In the 1960s and 1970s, hallucinogens saw a rise in popularity as the younger generation struggled against the culture created by their parents. These “flower children” were part of a counter-culture that opposed the flaws in society, inequality, and the Vietnam War.
The use of hallucinogens became popular as these people struggled to leave reality behind and find a new one. However, over the decades since, the use of psychedelic hallucinogens has remained popular.
While it might not seem problematic to hallucinate for a few hours and return to normal. There are serious long-term effects from hallucinogens, and someone who experiences addiction to them might have problems down the road. Discover the long-term effects of psychedelic hallucinogens.
What Are Psychedelic Hallucinogens?
Psychedelic hallucinogens are a drug that creates hallucinations in the user, and the hallucinations are sometimes called a trip. In the United States, more than 30 million people use these drugs.
When someone takes a hallucinogen, it changes the way the person sees and experiences the world around them, which is how the experience got the name “a trip.” It’s a trip into a new or altered reality for a brief period of time.
Some psychedelic hallucinogens are found in nature, such as in types of mushrooms, while others were created in a lab. Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), also commonly referred to as acid, was created in a Swiss lab in the 1930s.
Psychedelic hallucinogens haven’t always been an illegal substance; however, that began to change in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Today, most hallucinogens are illegal to possess and use.
Most people view hallucinogens as relatively harmless drugs that allow someone to escape their reality for a short period of time. However, there are some concerning long-term effects that aren’t being considered.
Some Common Psychedelic Hallucinogens
When it comes to psychedelic hallucinogens, there are a variety of available types. Some of these hallucinogens are lab-created, while others grow in nature in plants and require little changes to use them.
Some hallucinogens offer a varied experience while others might offer a component of sexual arousal. Most regular users of hallucinogens have one that they prefer to use. The most common psychedelic hallucinogens are:
- MDMA, also under the names:
- Love drug
- Lysergic acid diethylamide, also under the names:
- Yellow sunshine
- Ketamine, also under the names:
- Special K
- Kit kat
- PCP, also under the names:
- Angel dust
- Horse tranquilizer
- Embalming fluid
- Peace pill
- Rocket fuel
- Salvia divinorum, also under the names:
- Diviner’s sage
- Magic mint
- Maria Pastora
- Psilocybin mushrooms, also under the names:
- Magic Mushrooms
- Little smoke
- Purple passion
- Dextromethorphan, also under the name:
- Triple C
- Peyote, also under the name:
- Ayahuasca, also under the name:
- Dimethyltryptamine, also under the name;
Many hallucinogens have street names that make them seem innocuous, but there’s a real danger for long-term effects.
What Are the Short-Term Effects of Hallucinogens?
Most people who use hallucinogens are looking to escape their own reality for a short period of time. This drug makes a good choice, as it changes the way a person perceives the things around them. This includes all the senses: sight, sound, touch, and taste. The most common short-term effects are:
- Out of body experience
- Feelings of floating weightless
- Changing moods and feelings, including:
- And more
- Alternate sense of reality. This includes:
- Synesthesia, senses that blend together
- Visual hallucinations
While these effects might not seem scary, when a person is using a hallucinogen, there is always the chance of a person accidentally hurting themselves. There is also the possibility of a “bad trip.”
A bad trip occurs when the person sees something that frightens them throughout the experience. This type of experience can cause the person to hurt themselves or others close by them during the period of hallucination.
What Are the Long-Term Effects of Hallucinogens?
When a person takes hallucinogens, there are immediate effects, but there are also long-term effects. Some of the long-term effects are compounded when the person continues to use hallucinogens. These long-term effects can include any or all of the following:
- Recurring psychosis
- Persistent psychosis
- Sudden and unexplained mood swings and disturbances
- Visual disturbances
- Unorganized thought process
- Memory loss
- Difficulty with concentration
- Delusional thinking
- Weight loss
- Abnormal or violent behavior
- Difficulty with speech
The long-term effects of hallucinogens can occur even if the person only uses the drug one time. However, people who use this drug regularly experience a much more intense long-term effect.
With these types of long-term effects, it’s very difficult for a person to maintain a normal life. In fact, some long-term effects of the usage of hallucinogens can create dangerous and life-threatening conditions.
For example, if a person has a flashback and losses their sense of reality while driving a car, they can cause an accident. There are ways to mitigate some of these long-term effects.
Common Treatment for Addiction to Hallucinogens
While most hallucinogens aren’t physically addictive, a person can become psychologically addicted to them as an escape mechanism from everyday life. As with any type of addiction, this person needs treatment to help them overcome it.
The most common treatment for an addiction to hallucinogens is going to be therapy. In many cases, during therapy, the patient and therapists uncover an underlying condition that needs to be treated for the patient to make a full recovery.
The patient needs to deal with all co-occurring diagnoses to help them overcome their addiction to hallucinogens. The person’s therapy might include working with mental health professionals one-on-one and group therapy sessions, which might occur in an in-patient or out-patient setting.
Get Help for Addiction to Hallucinogens
At Sober Partners, our team provides care and compassion for all the patients we treat with an addiction to hallucinogens. When a person is ready to overcome their addiction, we’re ready to help. Contact us today!