Hallucinogens Use Signs – The Symptoms To Pay Attention To

signs of addiction to hallucinogens

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Scientists consider many substances to be recreational drugs. They are very famous for their mind-altering effect. Usually, users might have certain audio, visual and even sensory effects. Sometimes, this can be dangerous. What are the signs and symptoms of Hallucinogens use?

Hallucinogens can be found in certain plants and mushrooms, or they can be synthetic. There are many popular hallucinogenic drugs out there. Currently, the most potent ones are LSD, Psilocybin, DMT, Mescaline, and Salvia Divinorum. The information on the exact way in which these drugs affect the brain is still incomplete. For example, scientists have yet to shed light on how these drugs exude their effects. Nonetheless, it certainly involves nerve signal pathway disruption. What they found so far is that perception-altering effects occur. This is due to the interference of hallucinogens with serotonin receptors. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that carries signals along and between nerves. They mostly regard it as a chemical responsible for many things. For example, it can be for mood balance, wellbeing, and maintaining happiness.

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How to Tell That Someone is Using Hallucinogens

When hallucinogens use intoxicates someone, it is called a “trip”. The trip distorts sights and sounds, people and things also may be warped. As a result, users might see strange shapes moving. The experience during and after this trip can be positive or negative. Of course, it depends on the person’s state of mind, prior experiences, anxiety, mood, and dose strength. Users describe positive trips as mentally stimulating. Meanwhile, the bad ones are horrible thoughts, fear, and nightmares. In addition, people might feel a loss of control and despair.

If there are any suspects that someone is involved in hallucinogenics use, pay attention to the following:

  • Strange, unusual behavior
  • Panic or fear
  • Poor perception of space and distance
  • Poor perception of tone (time goes by very slowly)
  • Coordination problems – a person is not able to walk straight easily, prefers sitting
  • Drug-seeking behavior without any regard for the consequences
  • Risky behavior (unsafe sex)
  • Extreme hunger or loss of appetite
  • Sweating
  • Pupil dilation
  • Rapid breathing
  • Depression

What are the Most Common Signs of Hallucinogen Use?

Sometimes, it is hard to see the signs of hallucinogens use. This is on both the physical and behavioral levels. Furthermore, it is not easy to recognize certain symptoms. However, it is easier when one knows what to look for.

Here are some of the general signs and symptoms of hallucinogens use:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Teeth clenching
  • Muscle twitching
  • Aggression
  • Euphoria
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Increased body temperature, sweating
  • Dizziness
  • Numbness
  • Sleeplessness
  • Increase in blood pressure and heart rate

Unusual and extreme insensitivity to pain (analgesia). The person doesn’t realize that there is an injury. This is even if the injury is serious because users might even not feel pain.

What are the Long Term Signs of Hallucinogen Use?

Hallucinogens Use SignsMany people consider these drugs are to be recreational. However, they often have laughter episodes and silly behavior. They can leave irreversible negative effects on one’s physical and psychical well-being. The first effects after ingestion usually occur after 20 to 90 minutes and can last for 12 hours.

Researchers suggest that there are two main long term effects of hallucinogenic drugs use. They include:

First, persistent psychosis is a kind of visual disturbance. They include disorganized thinking, paranoia, mood disturbances throughout one’s entire life.

Then, there is a Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD). It is often mistaken for neurological disorders. It is because of its symptoms of hallucinations and visual disturbances.

Besides these, there are also:

  • Blurred vision
  • Memory loss
  • Hypothermia and hyperthermia
  • Difficulty in speech, illogical speech
  • Seizures
  • Impaired motor skills
  • Breathing problems
  • Violence
  • Irritability
  • Career failures
  • Family relations broke down
  • Suicidal tendencies
  • Social withdrawal
  • Coma
  • Stroke
  • Death

What’s Next?

Hallucinogenics use is certainly not something that should be ignored, or thinked of as a phase. In addition, it can leave long term consequences that can reflect on the person’s entire life.

If there is someone who is a fan of hallucinogens use, try to help before it is too late. Treatment for this kind of addiction differs from most other drugs. It is because there are no pharmacological treatments that can help. Therefore, the primary goal is to care for the person. Also, keep users stress-free because their distorted view of reality. Furthermore, it is important for the person to realize this.

It is also very important to consult an expert in this matter. There are many hallucinogen rehab programs that can help. Treatments usually consist of behavioral therapy, support groups, and programs.

Like every other healing process, this too is a difficult one, but the reward is worth it. Approach the person in need carefully and choose the treatment wisely. Every individual deserves a chance to overcome their addiction.

View Sources
  1. National Institute on Drug Abuse. What are hallucinogens? 2019. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/hallucinogens.
  2. National Institute on Drug Abuse. How Do Hallucinogens (LSD, Psilocybin, Peyote, DMT, and Ayahuasca) Affect the Brain and Body? 2015. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/hallucinogens-dissociative-drugs/how-do-hallucinogens-lsd-psilocybin-peyote-dmt-ayahuasca-affect-brain-body.


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