Hallucinogens

By: Maddie DesCamps

What is it?

A hallucinogen is a psychoactive agent which can cause hallucinations, perceptual anomalies, and other substantial subjective changes in thoughts, emotion, and consciousness.

How is it used/abused?

Hallucinogens can be taken in the form of a liquid or a tablet. They can also be consumed raw/dried, brewed into tea, smoked, snorted, injected, or absorbed through the lining in the mouth using drug-soaked paper pieces.

What effects does the drug have on the body?

Short-term effects-
  • increased blood pressure, breathing rate, or body temperature
  • loss of appetite
  • dry mouth
  • sleeping problems
  • spiritual experiences
  • uncoordinated movements
  • excessive sweating

Long-term effects-

  • speech problems
  • memory loss
  • weight loss
  • anxiety
  • depression and suicidal thoughts

What are the dangers/overdose effects of using the drug?

  • illusions resulting from the misinterpretation of actual experiences
  • synesthesia
  • unpredictable emotions
  • panic
  • psychosis
  • extreme depression
  • despair
  • intense fear of things such as death and loss of control
  • terrifying thoughts

What are the withdrawal effects?

Even though abusing hallucinogens does not develop into a physical addiction, it can still produce some physical withdrawal symptoms. Prolonged exposure to hallucinogens can expose the user to experience "flashbacks". These are when the person abusing hallucinogens go through a "trip" after the effects of the drug have worn off. This can continue months or years after the addict has discontinued use.

Resources for people who are addicted?

There are no government-approved medications to treat addiction to hallucinogens. While inpatient and behavioral treatments can be helpful for patients with a variety of addictions, scientists need more research to find out if behavioral therapies are effective for addiction to hallucinogens.