People often turn to drugs to escape from what’s going on in their life. There is one class of drugs, however, that affects how people perceive their very reality. They’re often referred to as psychedelic drugs for this reason. The combination of hallucinogens and the brain can make people feel like they are not in their bodies. That can then put them in dangerous situations that can lead to self-harm or damage to others.
Psychedelic drugs include LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, and DMT. These substances are illegal in the United States and can result in a felony charge. However, people continue to use them for their purported effects, which can include spiritual experiences, creativity, and increased understanding of oneself and the world around them. Despite this potential benefit, there is a lot of risk associated with using psychedelics.
What Are Hallucinogens?
Hallucinogens work by altering a person’s interpretation of what they see, hear, and feel. Most users refer to the effects of drugs as “tripping.” When it comes to hallucinogens and the brain, different substances can cause varying effects.
Some hallucinogens are natural. For example, a compound called hallucinogen mescaline, found in the peyote cactus, produces these effects. Another well-known substance people use because they like the combination of this hallucinogen and the brain is the psilocybin found in some mushrooms.
Popular man-made hallucinogens include lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and PCP, commonly referred to as “angel dust.” LSD typically comes in gelatin or small squares of paper soaked in the substance. People also consume the drug in capsule or tablet form. PCP comes in tablet and capsule form, though some prefer sniffing or injecting it as a powder.
Other common natural and synthetic hallucinogens include:
- Ketamine — Typically used as an anesthetic by medical practitioners, drug users abuse it because of the effect of the hallucinogen on the brain.
- Ayahuasca — Found in South Africa, it is a plant-based hallucinogenic tea that’s found popularity among Westerners.
- MDMA— Known as ecstasy, it produces a euphoric effect on users.
Depressants and stimulants capable of producing similar effects in users, include cannabis and ecstasy. One of the most significant side effects of hallucinogens on the brain is people losing their sense of time and reality.
How the Brain Responds to Hallucinogens
When it comes to hallucinogens and the brain, the experience of taking them can be a mixed bag. Some people take them and feel nothing. However, most people experience some form of the following effects. Hallucinogens affect the brain by targeting the places responsible for sensory input. In fact, the outcome of taking the drug depends on what you take, how much, and the strength of the dosage.
One of the dangers of psychedelics is that they can distort reality. This can then lead to people doing things they wouldn’t normally do or put themselves in dangerous situations. For example, someone who is under the influence of psychedelics may think that they can fly and jump off a building. Psychedelics can also cause people to have a bad trip, which is a negative experience that can include intense fear, hallucinations, and paranoia.
Other factors like a person’s state of mind and their current functional capability can also alter the impacts of hallucinogens and the brain. Most people under the influence of hallucinogens experience effects like:
- Feelings of detachment from the body
- Blurred senses
- Distortion of perception of time, distance, and direction
- Feelings of paranoia
Other Effects of Hallucinogens
Hallucinogens can also produce physical side effects in users, including:
- Heightened blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Higher body temperature
- Trouble sleeping
- Impulsive behavior
- Rapid mood shifts
Some people have more severe experiences when it comes to using hallucinogens, like:
- Muscle spasms
- Loss of coordination
- Aggressive or violent behavior
- Zombie-like catatonic syndrome
- Loss of consciousness
When it comes to hallucinogens and the brain, individuals can build up a tolerance. That causes people to take larger doses to reproduce the same effect. Some become dependent on the drugs, believing them necessary to continue function normally.
One side effect of long-term hallucinogenic abuse is flashbacks, where people relive previous “trips” taken while under the influence. It makes them feel they are right back in the moment, which can be disorienting and frightening.
Getting Treatment for Hallucinogen Abuse
If you need drug addiction treatment for hallucinogens, Bayview Recovery Center can help. We aid those looking for a way to get clean and remain in recovery. Our facility offers a variety of treatment options, including:
- Individual therapy
- Group therapy
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy
- Dialectical-behavioral therapy
- Psychotherapy programs
- Trauma therapy programs
It’s time to escape the prison that drugs put you in. Therefore, it’s time to learn more about effective treatment by calling Bayview Recovery Center at 855.478.3650 today.