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Psilocybin and Hallucinogens Addiction Treatment

Hallucinogens are a class of illicit drugs that profoundly alter a person’s perception of reality (otherwise known as hallucinations). Hallucinogen users may see images, hear sounds, or feel sensations that aren’t real. Some hallucinogens are synthetic, while others come from plants or mushrooms or their extracts.

The most abused hallucinogens are:

  • Marijuana (can also be classified as a depressant or a stimulant, depending on the type and strain)
  • Psilocybin
  • L-S-D (lysergic acid diethylamide)
  • DMT
  • PCP
  • Mescaline
  • Salvia divinorum
  • Ayahuasca

These hallucinogenic drugs can be divided into two broad categories: classic hallucinogens, including DMT, LSD, MDMA, mescaline, psilocybin, and THC, and dissociative drugs, including DXM, ketamine, PCP, and salvia.

Hallucinogens often cause rapid, intense emotional swings. While many people report having positive experiences taking hallucinogens, they may also experience what hallucinogen users refer to as a “bad trip.” This is when a person experiences extreme and unreasonable distrust, fear, distress, or paranoia while on the hallucinogen. The more a person uses hallucinogens, the more likely they are to have a bad trip.

Though serious adverse effects of hallucinogen abuse are rare, in rare cases physical symptoms associated with hallucinogenic drug abuse can be dangerous, like elevated body temperature, increased blood pressure, and altered heart rate, especially if hallucinogen abuse is mixed with abuse of other substances.

The psychoactive drugs can also be life threatening if altered cognition and perception associated with hallucinogen use leads to suicidal thoughts or actions. Another danger associated with the effects of hallucinogens is that hallucinogens affect muscle control as well as alter perception, so high doses of drugs like ketamine that cause immobilization have allowed it to be used as a date rape drug.

In rare cases, people who repeatedly abuse hallucinogens may have visual disturbances or “flashbacks,” which can last for a few weeks or even a few years or experience persistent psychosis, a condition which is known as hallucinogen persisting perception disorder. People who have pre-existing mental illness or a family history of mental health problems may be at higher risk of negative effects of hallucinogens, so should avoid hallucinogen use.

How Hallucinogen Drug Abuse Acts On The Brain And Spinal Cord To Alter Sensory Perception

Both classic hallucinogens and dissociative drugs work by interfering with communication and activation of various parts of the brain and spinal cord. However, classic hallucinogens work primarily on the brain chemical serotonin, which regulates sensory perception, emotion, and body temperature. Research suggests that hallucinogens tend to lead to altered perceptions and sensory experiences by inhibiting activity in the prefrontal cortex, the brain’s “central executive” area.

Meanwhile, dissociative hallucinogens interfere with different chemical systems, inhibiting the action of the brain chemical glutamate. The brain chemical glutamate regulates reactions to the environment, emotion, learning, and pain perception responses, which can lead to a sense of numbness and invulnerability after dissociative hallucinogen use.

You can learn more about hallucinogenic drugs at the National institute on Drug Abuse website or the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website, and more about hallucinogen addiction treatment options below.

Are Hallucinogens Addictive?

People who take frequent doses of hallucinogens can develop a tolerance to its effects. They can also develop a cross-tolerance to other hallucinogens, meaning that a drug like LSD produces tolerance to drugs like psilocybin and DMT.

However, hallucinogen addiction is somewhat rare. Yet, since the drug can produce positive feelings like happiness and satisfaction, some people may feel a compulsive urge to use hallucinogens—the hallmark of drug addiction.

Generally hallucinogen withdrawal symptoms are more mental than physical in nature, at least when it comes to classic hallucinogen withdrawal. However, after using the drug for several days continuously, a user may have trouble adjusting back to reality.

And people who detox from certain hallucinogens like PCP, ketamine, and DXM may develop physical dependence, meaning that when they abruptly stop their hallucinogen use, they experience withdrawal symptoms that can be acutely dangers, like seizures, elevated heart rate, and elevated blood pressure. They thus may need to be supervised in a drug rehab program while they detox from the addictive drug.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, some classic hallucinogens are actually being studied for their potential to treat addiction to other drugs. However, there are no government approved medications for the treatment of hallucinogen addiction, but mental health counseling provided by a qualified substance abuse treatment center can put those who struggle with hallucinogen use back on the road to recovery.

Hallucinogen Addiction Treatment

RECO Intensive provides comprehensive treatment for hallucinogen and psilocybin addiction. Our hallucinogen addiction treatment center in Delray Beach, FL is the ideal center for healing and recovery.

Our interdisciplinary team includes doctors, nurse practitioners, board-certified psychiatrists, therapists, yoga instructors, equine specialists, and others who work together to create a personalized treatment plan for each client.

  • Our residential inpatient program is best for people who have a high rate of relapse and have struggled to stay sober. Programs typically range from 30-90 days.
  • Our partial hospitalization program is a good option for people who are overcoming a chemical dependency but need the flexibility to continue working or going to school while in treatment.
  • Our psilocybin intensive outpatient program is ideal for people who do not require detox or inpatient treatment or who have already completed it. Addiction center clients attend individual and group therapy sessions at our facility and get the support they need to stay sober.

If you or a loved one is struggling with psilocybin abuse, our treatment programs’ team of qualified clinical and addiction specialists will help you find better ways of managing stress, anxiety, and negative feelings.

Contact us to learn more about our hallucinogen treatment programs and learn more about the treatment process. Hallucinogen recovery is possible at RECO Intensive.

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