Should I See a Counselor About My Hallucinogen Flashbacks?
You should absolutely seek treatment for flashbacks after having abused hallucinogens. This is a much more common condition than many individuals realize, and it can be much easier to cope with after attending therapy. Call 800-411-9312 (Who Answers?) to find rehab centers that can cater to your needs and treat the effects of your hallucinogen abuse.
What Causes Hallucinogen Flashbacks?
The medical term for the condition that causes flashbacks is hallucinogen persisting perception disorder. According to the Center for Substance Abuse Research, “HPPD episodes are ‘spontaneous, repeated recurrences of some of the sensory distortions originally produced by LSD’” and other psychedelic drugs of abuse.
For a long time, doctors believed this condition could only be caused by long-term, frequent hallucinogen abuse, but it actually now seems that anyone who takes one of these substances––even once––can experience this condition. HPPD can be extremely difficult to cope with, which is why treatment is necessary.
How Can Counseling Help Treat Hallucinogen Flashbacks?
As stated by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, “There is no established treatment for HPPD, in which flashbacks may occur spontaneously and repeatedly although less intensely than their initial occurrence.”
However, seeing a counselor regularly––especially in an inpatient treatment facility where the stimulations and triggers you experience will be limited and controlled––can be extremely helpful toward allowing you to cope with the disorder and causing your flashbacks to become less intense.
Eventually, most individuals do experience an end to their symptoms, but seeking treatment can make the entire process much less severe and traumatizing. In counseling, patients are taught:
- How to identify triggering objects, people, and things that may be likely to cause a flashback to come on
- How to avoid these triggers as much as possible
- How to cope with any flashbacks that do occur in the safest way possible
- How to explain their condition to others
- When to expect worsening flashbacks (if possible)
- How to avoid panic and other anxious feelings at the thought of a flashback
In addition to these therapeutic coping strategies, a patient may also be given medication to help treat their symptoms. While drugs cannot minimize the severity of one’s flashbacks or reduce their frequency of occurrence (something that comes with time), they can help treat the individual’s anxiety toward the possibility of experiencing one.
Anxiolytics like Xanax can be especially helpful for this purpose. Taking medication can also allow patients to be calmer in their treatment sessions, which also allows them to be more focused on getting better.
Seeking Hallucinogen Flashback Treatment
If you have been abusing hallucinogens for several months or years, it is time to seek treatment. You are likely experiencing a number of issues in addition to HPPD, and rehab can actually help in many ways. Call 800-411-9312 (Who Answers?) to find safe, reliable treatment centers where counselors trained in substance abuse disorders and anxiety disorders can help you cope with the effects of your hallucinogen abuse. We can help you begin your recovery today.
Coping With Flashbacks After Hallucinogen Addiction Treatment
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