Utah Hallucinogen Addiction

Definition

Hallucinogens possess psychoactive characteristics that have been used for centuries for ceremonial and religious purposes around the globe. They are also being used in today’s modern society as well, however not for the same spiritual reasons. Our society is mainly abusing them to escape from their reality (trauma) and to further avoid any trials and life lessons needed to grow both emotionally and spiritually as a human. Hallucinogens are very effective in helping the user experience a new altered reality and are therefore abused on a regular basis. One reason this may be is because no two hallucinogenic experiences are alike. Although a tolerance is developed over time, the user can expect to “trip” every time they consume a hallucinogen. The safest way to express and find freedom is through exploring different schools of thought with a pure and open consciousness and clean and sober mind.

Hallucinogens are most known to affect the user physically, mentally as well as emotionally. They can be found around the world and survive in many different climates and environments. Some hallucinogenic drugs come naturally straight from the earth and many are produced synthetically and manufactured in a laboratory like setting. There are three (3) different classifications of hallucinogenic drugs. One, psychedelics, two, dissociatives, and lastly, deliriants. A psychedelic substance primarily affects the user by expanding their perceptions and cognitions. A dissociative substance alters the user’s perceptions of sound and sight as well as strong feelings of detachment (dissociation) from both themselves and/or their immediate environment. Deliriants affect the user by creating instances of delirium such as: confusion, stupor, memory disturbance with reality where the user believes the lies they are telling about themselves or the world as they see it. This is called “confabulation” and those that do it have no idea the information they share is false.

Generally speaking, hallucinogens rarely cause toxicity or death from ingesting a large amount, however there are some that are quite deadly and have been known to cause an overdose and/or death such as; deliriants, certain mushrooms, PCP and other types of dissociatives. Hallucinogens affect the neurotransmitters of the brain as well as the central nervous system. They effect the user singularly or all five of the different senses (taste, smell, touch, vision and sound) simultaneously. Although the addictive properties of hallucinogens seem to be more emotional and psychological instead of physical, many short-term dangers (date rape, falling from a window or roof, car accident or DUI, walking into oncoming traffic, etc.) as well as long-term health side effects are prevalent (neurotransmitters in the brain become depleted of natural chemicals, flashbacks, etc.). These dangers are exacerbated when mixed with other harmful substances; especially alcohol, heroin or other drugs the body can overdose on. Depending on the type of hallucinogen, they vary in shape, size and even form. They can be found as a mushroom, liquid, powder or pill, as well as on small perforated paper squares or sugar cubes, etc. Hallucinogens are usually laced or cut with other harmful substances (meth, strychnine, etc.) and unless you pre-test them with a kit, you really have no idea what you are putting into your body. Hallucinogens are primarily taken orally, but can be snorted, smoked or even injected. Some of the more commonly known hallucinogens are as follows (in no particular order or classification):

PCP (Angel Dust), Jimson Weed, Ecstasy (MDMA), Ketamine (Special K), Salvia, GHB, Atropa Belladonna (Deadly Nightshade), DXM (Dextromethorphan), Mandrake, DMT (Ayahuasca), Nutmeg, 2C-E (2C-B, 2C-P), LSD, Dramamine, DiPT, Magic Mushrooms (Psilocybin, etc.), Peyote (Mescaline), Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas), PMA, Ibogaine, Datura.   


Signs and Symptoms of Use

Common signs of a hallucinogen addiction are:

  • Mood swings
    • Happy and blissful
    • Depression
    • Irritability
    • Lonely and unemotional
    • Suspicious
    • Paranoia
    • Hostility
      • Violent outbursts
    • Aggression
      • Physical alterations
    • Anxiety
      • Panic attacks
  • Personality changes
  • Intense feelings of pleasure
  • Empathetic 
  • Lowered inhibitions
  • Hyper-sensitive to music (Sounds)
  • Hyper-sensitive to colors (Images)
  • Hyper-sensitive to touch (Sexuality)
  • Strong affinity with the outdoors
  • Intense ability to focus on tiny details in conversation or on objects, etc.
  • Becomes easily frustrated with anything too complicated, loud or boisterous 
  • Appears energetic moving around a lot, stretching, twisting, dancing, etc.
  • Eyes are obviously dilated abnormally
  • Manipulating patterns or behaviors to get what she/he wants
  • Unable to manage daily life stressors naturally
  • Personal relationships are affected
  • Mentions seeing things ripple, shimmer or melt into each other
  • Unconscious, buried or repressed memories are surfaced to her/his consciousness
  • Excessively thirsty for water or juices (Dry mouth)
  • Completely disconnected from reality or environment
  • Loss of consciousness (Or falls in and out of)
  • More open and trusting of others
  • Mentions feeling emotionally or physically drained
  • Appears to be more comfortable in social settings
  • Has a hard time remembering own name or accomplishing simple tasks (walking to restroom, etc.)
  • Observed to be babbling, mumbling or slurring nonsensical phrases or words
  • Mentions having contradictory feelings simultaneously
  • Sensations of falling, flying or feeling weightlessness
  • Appears to act/look drunk but does not smell of alcohol
  • Her/his eyes might wander without focusing on anything in particular
  • Appears to be confused and struggles with bouts of amnesia
  • Appears to be in a deep trance transcended beyond the “here and now”
  • Difficulty with problem solving, concentrating and short-term memory
  • Overwhelming feeling of well-being
  • Is the center of attention
  • Complaints of current life and the way the world runs today
  • Complaints of always feeling awkward, stressed, uncomfortable or misunderstood
  • Complaints of arms, legs and spine feeling stiff, achy, etc. (Often cracking their knuckles, back, etc.)
  • Complaints of muscle cramps 
  • Complaints of tremors, twitches or cold chills when the temperature is warm
  • Complaints of blurred vision
  • Complaints of buzzing or ringing in ears (Tinnitus) 
  • Complaints of body and/or mind exhaustion
  • Complaints of bizarre images (geometric, mythical, doll-heads, etc.) whenever eyes are closed
  • Complaints of sensations/visuals when not using (Flashbacks)
  • Feels their mind is disconnected from their body
  • Embracing or avoiding (paranoia) inanimate objects as if they were alive and have feelings, etc.
  • Decreased appetite (eating poorly) and severe sleep deprivation (Insomnia)
  • Not able to make sense of what she/he is saying/seeing/hearing/smelling/touching/tasting, etc.
  • He/she assumes other bystanders are able to experience the “trip” with them
  • Communicating with entities, forces, elements, (God/Devil/Angels) she/he was not aware of before
  • Her/his five (5) different senses are either slowed, muted or amplified (Singularly or simultaneously)
  • False sense of invincibility and feeling immune to being harmed
  • Carelessness in appearance and/or poor hygiene
  • Often forgetful or tangential
  • Speaks of being reborn or re-experiencing their original birth
  • Mentions having bizarre or unusual/vivid dreams
  • Speaks of feeling a tingling sensation throughout their body
  • Sluggish and clumsy and therefore falling down a lot
  • Lose sense of time and perception of distance
  • Excessive gum chewing 
  • Excessive smoking of cigarettes
  • Sucking on lollipops, suckers, or even baby pacifiers
  • Feelings of happiness, bliss, euphoria, warmth and being on top of the world
  • Acting bizarre, irrational and strange
  • Poor decision making ability
  • Racing or cloudy thoughts
  • Excessing giggling, crying or laughing intermittently
  • Frequenting the party, raves, club and dance scene on weekends
  • Frightening or traumatic feelings of impending doom
  • Appears drowsy and relaxed
  • Extra loving than usual due to lack of ego
  • Mentions seeing sounds or smelling images, colors, etc.
  • Loss and/or lack of control
  • Telling lies (Confabulation) 
  • Prone to accidents and/or injury
  • Involvement with the legal and court system
  • Fatigued, wiped out or very tired
  • Sitting or lying down in a single place for multiple hours at a time
  • Appears catatonic or unable to move or do anything (Comatose state starring at ceiling, etc.)
  • Feeling sick to her/his stomach (Nausea and/or vomiting)
  • Overall poor health with frequent colds and flu 
  • Poor coordination and motor skills

Common symptoms of a hallucinogen addiction are:

  • Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD)
    • Can last weeks or years after initial use
    • Flashbacks
    • Persistent visuals
      • Curved or warped patterns
      • Trails
      • After images (Visual echoes)
      • Halos/starbursts around objects/lights
      • Geometric shapes
      • Peripheral flashes
  • Cross-tolerance
    • She/he will have to use higher doses with other hallucinogens to get the same effect
      • She/he will have this effect even if never used a particular hallucinogen before
  • Mental health issues that are hallucinogenic induced
    • Manic
    • Psychosis
    • Depression
    • Anxiety
    • Hallucinations
    • Paranoia
    • Delusional
      • Grandiose
    • Schizophrenia
      • Catatonic
        • Body assumes bizarre postures for long periods of time
  • Dissociative Class
    • Slowed heart rate and breathing
    • Dilated pupils
    • Damaged muscle cells (Myoglobin) (PCP)
      • Renal failure
      • Death
  • Deliriant Class
    • Dehydration
    • Confusion
    • Anger
    • Dilated pupils
    • Accidental injury
  • Psychedelic Class
    • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
    • Heart problems or stroke
    • Stiffness, cramping and muscle tension throughout the body
    • Dehydration
    • Hot flashes
    • Nausea 
    • Fever
    • Sweating
    • Overall illness
    • Tremors, twitches or cold chills (LSD/acid chills or shakes)
    • Dilated pupils
    • Memory loss
  • Overdose Symptoms (Ecstasy)
    • Oxygen is depleted to brain and other vital organs
    • Dehydration
    • Nausea 
    • Jaw clinching/clamping
    • Dizziness
    • Vomiting blood
    • Choking on own vomit
    • High blood pressure and heartbeat
    • Fainting
    • Sweating
    • Trouble with breathing
    • Unresponsive (In and out of consciousness)
    • Brain hemorrhaging 
    • Hallucinations
    • Damage to the lining of the esophagus and/or stomach
    • Seizures
    • Insomnia
    • Tired or drained of energy
    • Panic attacks
    • Hyponatraemia (Water poisoning from trying to avoid heat stroke) 
    • Brain damage
      • Impaired seratonin levels
      • Memory performance
    • Hyperthermia (Heat stroke)
      • Unstoppable bleeding
      • Kidney failure
      • Liver failure
      • Death
  • Withdrawal Symptoms (Ketamine)
    • Poor attention span
    • Emotional cravings and behavior to obtain more
    • Depression
    • Irritability
    • Restlessness
    • Insomnia
    • Food consumption
    • Anxiety
      • Tension
      • Restlessness
      • Twitchiness
  • Overdose Symptoms (Ketamine)
    • Slowed breathing
    • Exhausted
    • Increased heart rate
      • Irregular heartbeat
      • Heart attack
      • Stroke
    • Loss of consciousness
    • Lack of oxygen
      • Brain damage
      • Death
  • Overdose Symptoms (Mushrooms)
    • Fly Agaric and Amanita Muscaria, etc. 
    • Stomach cramping
    • Nausea and vomiting 
    • Diarrhea
    • Heart failure
    • Liver failure
    • Death
  • Withdrawal Symptoms (PCP)
    • Insomnia
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Heightened blood pressure
    • Heart palpitation
    • Shaking and tremors
    • Agitation and crankiness
    • Delirium
    • Dissociation
    • Hallucination
    • Anxiety
      • Panic attack
  • Overdose Symptoms (PCP)
    • Psychosis
      • Can become permanent brain wiring or last for years after initial use
        • Distanced or detached effect
        • Severe struggle with learning and memory, etc.
      • Substance-induced schizophrenia
      • Hallucinations
      • Paranoia
      • Manic episodes
      • Dissociation
        • Cut off from emotional and physical sensations occuring to them
        • Disorientation
      • Delusional
        • Feelings are grandiose as if they were “Superman”
          • Feels they are above the law with no consequences
          • Life threatening situations do not cause fear or alarm
            • Extreme risk taking
            • Attempting to stop cars
            • Trying to fly or jump off buildings or out of windows, etc.
    • Mood swings with unpredictable and spontaneous behavior
    • Issues with normal cognitive abilities
    • Kidney damage
      • Death
    • End up in jail from erratic behavior
    • Self-harming behaviors
      • Experience little to no pain when seriously injured
      • Stabbing, cutting or breaking their own bones on purpose
    • Attempts to or does harm others
      • Usually requires physical restraining
    • Rapid up and down movement of eyes
    • Blood pressure drops
    • Muscle spasms, cramps and contractions causing deformed body movement
      • Broken bones
      • Muscle tears
    • Tripping, stumbling or falling down excessively
    • Slowed response time
    • Excessive sweating
    • Drooling and sloppy
    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Dizziness
    • Slurred speech
    • Heart rate increases and breathing shallows
      • Heart attack
      • Stroke
      • Death
    • Seizures
      • Coma
      • Death
    • Become extremely agitated and/or volatile
      • Extreme violence to self or others
    • Red or puffy eyes
    • Severe depression
      • Suicide ideation and/or attempt
        • Death

Treatment for Hallucinogen Addiction

When treating an hallucinogen addiction, many factors must be considered. For instance the importance of having a physical separation between you and the drug. This is usually accomplished by attending a drug and alcohol residential inpatient treatment center. When looking for a residential drug facility, make sure you find one that specializes in treating hallucinogen addiction and is able to provide a knowledgable and caring staff. Zion Recovery Center’s clinical treatment team is the best in the industry when it comes to ruling out a substance induced psychosis (symptoms relating to schizophrenia, paranoia, delusions or a manic episode) the user is experiencing under the influence. This needs to be handled with care and can only be done by an experienced licensed therapist who specializes in substance abuse. The next best step to remain clean and sober is to attend and successfully complete an aftercare treatment program on an outpatient basis. This can last anywhere from three to six months or more in severe cases. Another great way to maintain your sobriety and recovery is to move in to a sober living home. This is where you are held accountable which makes it harder for you to relapse. Zion Recovery Center can do all of this and more. We will help you get clean and sober. We are only a phone call away from a drug free lifestyle. Call us now! 

385-207-2029