Hallucinogens are a group or class of drugs that cause visual and auditory hallucinations. When a person uses these drugs, it alters their perception of reality and causes them to hear or see things that aren’t real.
First City Recovery Center understands the dangers of hallucinogens and the importance of hallucinogen treatment. Typically, we use a combination of individual and group therapy, 12-step programs, and other support groups.
If you or someone you love is struggling with hallucinogen addiction, keep reading to learn how we can help them get their life back.
What Are Hallucinogens?
Hallucinogens are a type of drug that changes an individual’s perception of their surroundings. Also called psychedelics, They also alter people’s thoughts and feelings. Some hallucinogens come from natural compounds found in fungi and plants, and others are synthetic or man-made.
Hallucinogens can cause hallucinations, which are seeing, hearing, or feeling things that aren’t real. Some hallucinogens can cause feelings of being out of control or a disconnection from the environment or body.
Using hallucinogens in religious and healing rituals has been happening for centuries. Doctors consider all psychedelic drugs unsafe. However, scientists are studying the benefits of hallucinogens for mental health issues, including anxiety and depression.
What Are the Dangers of Hallucinogens?
Hallucinogen intoxication can lead to bizarre or risky behavior, accidents, and even acting on suicidal impulses. While overdoses on classic hallucinogens such as LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline are rare these days, dissociative drugs like PCP or ketamine overdoses increase.
In 2020, almost 8% of 12th graders have used a hallucinogen at some point in their life. 2% of these teens used hallucinogens in the last month. If your teen or a loved one is abusing hallucinogens, treatment for hallucinogens is crucial if they can’t stop using on their own.
First City Recovery Center Offers Addiction Treatment for Hallucinogen Addiction
There are many reasons a person may seek treatment for hallucinogens. For some, it is because they had a “bad trip” and hurt themselves. Whatever the reason for seeking hallucinogen treatment, First City Recovery Center believes addiction is a disease requiring respect and compassion.
While there isn’t a specific treatment for hallucinogen addiction, there are various treatments to help manage the symptoms. Treatment for hallucinogens typically includes:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Medication management
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
- 12-step programs and other support groups
If you or someone you know struggles with a hallucinogen addiction, we can help you get the treatment you need to build a future free of addiction.
Different Levels of Care for Hallucinogen Treatment
There are many levels of care in hallucinogen treatment depending on a person’s individual needs. Treatment at First City Recovery Center meets the person where they are.
For example, if a person uses hallucinogens on a regular basis and experiences withdrawals without the drug, they will benefit from a detox program before entering an inpatient or outpatient program. Learn the different levels of care and their benefits below.
We recommend our drug detox program in Kokomo, IN, as the first step in hallucinogen treatment. This is a necessary step to rid the body of hallucinogens and stop the withdrawal symptoms and cravings. By easing the physical part of addiction, clients can focus on the psychological and behavioral aspects of their addiction.
A medical detox program typically lasts around 7 to 10 days and involves three steps. The first step is an intake exam with medical professionals. They will check your physical and mental health in order to provide you with the best treatment.
The second phase is stabilization. With the help of therapy and medication management, the medical team will help manage withdrawal symptoms and minimize any complications.
The final step is transitioning you into a treatment program. Detox is not treatment but a stepping stone into treatment and a drug-free life.
Inpatient hallucinogen treatment is a comprehensive treatment program designed for those facing severe drug addiction. Clients transition into a closely monitored environment, becoming full-time residents.
They benefit from 24/7 care and support to address and overcome addiction. The primary goal of inpatient treatment is to remove clients from environments that may trigger hallucinogen use and immerse them entirely in their recovery process.
The duration of stay in the treatment center ranges from 30 to 90 days or even longer, depending on the severity of the addiction. Individuals with co-occurring mental health disorders may need longer stays for more intensive support and care.
A PHP or partial hospitalization program offers the same high level of care as an inpatient program. The biggest difference is clients go home in the evening to handle their personal responsibilities. This is a step down from inpatient treatment and a great program for those still at high risk for relapse.
You’ll need to be at the program for about four to six hours each day, at least five days a week. This plan works well if you have good support at home and can stay away from hallucinogens. Some places may randomly test clients for drugs to make sure everyone stays accountable.
An IOP, or intensive outpatient program, offers a flexible way to attend treatment while working, attending school, and handling family and personal responsibilities. Clients typically attend treatment for 10 to 12 hours a week and are encouraged to participate in a 12-step program.
An outpatient program (OP) focuses on education, counseling, and relapse prevention. Not only do our outpatient programs at First City Recovery Center help people stay on the road to recovery, we also offer co-occurring mental health disorder treatment.
First City Recovery City has a special program for people using hallucinogens and also dealing with mental health issues. This program is designed to help with both problems at the same time.
People in this program get personalized treatment that understands how substance use and mental health are connected. The program looks at both aspects to make sure it understands what each person needs.
The treatment plan uses proven methods for dealing with hallucinogen use. It includes therapy and counseling that are customized to tackle the specific challenges of hallucinogenic substances. This might involve things like talking therapy, motivation-focused therapy, and other effective approaches.
Additionally, the program focuses on mental health support. People get specialized care for mental health issues that might be happening at the same time, like anxiety or depression, which could be linked to substance use.
First City Recovery City knows how important it is to have a supportive and caring environment during dual diagnosis treatment. The facility has a team of experienced professionals, including experts in addiction and mental health, who work together to help people on their journey to recovery.
What Are the Effects of Hallucinogen Use?
While the effects of hallucinogens vary depending on the specific hallucinogen consumed, however, the general effects include:
- Altered Perception – Hallucinogens can cause profound changes in sensory perception. Users may experience visual distortions, such as vibrant colors, geometric patterns, or hallucinations.
- Changes in Mood – Hallucinogens can induce intense emotions, ranging from euphoria to anxiety or even panic. The mood changes are often unpredictable and may vary from one individual to another.
- Altered Sense of Time – Users may perceive time differently, with minutes feeling like hours or vice versa.
- Increased Creativity and Insights – Some individuals report enhanced creativity, a heightened sense of introspection, and profound insights during hallucinogenic experiences.
- Spiritual or Mystical Experiences – Some users describe feelings of interconnectedness, a sense of oneness with the universe, or spiritual experiences. This is particularly common with substances like psilocybin and DMT.
- Hallucinations – Users may experience auditory, visual, or tactile hallucinations. These can be pleasant or disturbing, depending on the individual and the context of use.
- Psychological Effects – Hallucinogens can affect thought processes, leading to unconventional or abstract thinking. Users may also experience a distortion of their sense of self.
- Physiological Effects – Hallucinogens can cause changes in heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature. Nausea is a common side effect, particularly with substances like psilocybin.
The effects of hallucinogens can be unpredictable, and individual responses can vary. Additionally, hallucinogenic substances can pose risks, especially in uncontrolled environments or for individuals with pre-existing mental health conditions.
How Long Do Hallucinogens Stay in the Body After Use?
The duration that hallucinogens stay in the body can vary based on several factors, including the specific substance, individual metabolism, dosage, frequency of use, and other individual factors. The following are approximate detection times for some common hallucinogens:
- LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide) – LSD is usually not detectable in standard drug tests, as it is rapidly metabolized and eliminated from the body. However, certain specialized tests may be able to detect LSD for a short period after use.
- Psilocybin (Magic Mushrooms) – Psilocybin and its metabolite psilocin are typically detectable in urine for up to 1-3 days after use. Hair tests may have a longer detection window.
- DMT (Dimethyltryptamine) – DMT has a short half-life, and its detection window in urine is usually around 24 hours. Hair tests may have a longer detection period.
- MDMA (Ecstasy) – While MDMA is primarily considered an empathogenic drug, it can also induce hallucinogenic effects. MDMA is detectable in urine for approximately 1-3 days. Hair tests can detect it for a longer period.
- Mescaline – Mescaline, found in certain cacti like peyote, can be detected in urine for up to 2-4 days. Hair tests may detect it for a more extended period.
Factors such as age, weight, liver function, and hydration levels can influence drug metabolism and elimination. Newer and more sensitive drug testing methods may extend the detection window.
Signs and Symptoms of Hallucinogen Addiction
Hallucinogens are generally not considered substances with a high potential for physical dependence or addiction in the way that substances like opioids or stimulants are. However, some individuals may develop problematic patterns of use or experience negative consequences related to their hallucinogen use.
It’s crucial to be aware of the signs and symptoms of hallucinogen abuse. Below are potential signs of problematic hallucinogen use:
- Compulsive Use
- Preoccupation with Use
- Neglecting Responsibilities
- Social Isolation
- Continued Use Despite Negative Consequences
- Legal or Financial Problems
- Failed Attempts to Cut Down or Control Use
While hallucinogens themselves may not lead to physical dependence, psychological dependence and problematic patterns of use can occur. Additionally, individuals with a history of mental health issues may be more vulnerable to the negative psychological effects associated with hallucinogen use.
Find Recovery at First City Recovery Center
If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction and seeking hallucinogen treatment, First City Recovery Center can help you beat your addiction and build a drug-free life to be proud of. Contact us today to learn more.
Dr. Vahid Osman, MD is a psychiatry specialist in Indianapolis, IN.
Dr. Osman completed a residency at Austin State Hospital. He has over 32 years of experience in Psychiatry & Behavioral Health. He is board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.