hallucinogens addiction and abuse

Addiction is a complicated thing. It’s a disease that affects every aspect of a person’s life, including their friends and family. If you or someone you know deals with addiction, you know how difficult it can be.

One way to fight addiction is to arm people with all the knowledge they might need to spot it. In this article, we’ll talk about hallucinogens, what hallucinogen addiction looks like, how to tell if you’re addicted, and what to do about it.

You’re not alone. Keep reading to learn more about hallucinogen addiction.

Hallucinogens Addiction Statistics

Before we get into the details of hallucinogen addiction, let’s take a look at how prevalent abuse of this class of drug is in the United States.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health conducted a survey of Americans over the age of 12 in 2013. In this survey, the organization asked participants what their use of hallucinogenic substances looked like. In this survey, surveyors discovered that 229,000 Americans reported using LSD and 33,000 reported using PCP.

What’s more, the hallucinogenic drug known as salvia was more popular among kids in high school.

It’s worth noting that the reported abuse of hallucinogenic or dissociative drugs is low. Yet, to put that seemingly low number into perspective, America is first out of 36 countries when ranked in order of number of high school students who report using hallucinogens at all.

So, what do these statistics mean?

Essentially, it’s safe to assume that the numbers related to hallucinogen abuse and addiction don’t hold a candle to the ones related to the opioid epidemic. But, that doesn’t mean that it’s not a problem.

All across America, young people are turning to hallucinogens to get high, and over time that casual drug use can and will turn into an addiction.

Signs of Hallucinogens Abuse

Now that we know a little bit more about how prevalent hallucinogen abuse and addiction is in our country, let’s take a look at what it looks like.

We’ll take a look at the most often used hallucinogenic drugs and their specific, individual effects on the body are.

LSD

Let’s start with LSD. LSD is also known as acid and it’s taken by dissolving a small square of acid-infused paper on your tongue.

When someone takes LSD, they will seem out of it and disoriented. It’s common to see and hear things that don’t make sense, so reasoning with someone on LSD will be difficult. These trips can also be quite scary, and the user could be paranoid or afraid.

People on LSD will have an increased heart rate and higher blood pressure. They might also shake a little. Their pupils will look dilated and they might be sweating much more than usual.

PCP

Another common hallucinogenic is PCP. This is a drug that users can snort or smoked. Like with LSD, a person on PCP will have hallucinations and delusions. But, PCP tends to make the users more violent or panicked.

When on PCP, the user will be much more low energy. They won’t want to eat and they might have difficulty sleeping.

Ketamine

Ketamine, also known as “Special K” is a particularly strong hallucinogen. While many of the effects are the same, ketamine can put the user into something known as the “K hole, causing them to be unable to move or speak for a long time.

But, despite this numb state and inability to move, the person’s heart rate will stay elevated.

Salvia

Now, we’ll talk about salvia. As we mentioned before, high school students are most likely to smoke this hallucinogen, which makes it especially important to understand what it looks like when a person is using.

Salvia tends to make a person find everything very funny. They become unable to relate to the things going on around them. They’ll fall a lot and they’ll laugh without being able to stop.

Another notable difference in salvia over the other hallucinogens is that the high only lasts about five to ten minutes.

Am I Addicted?

Now that we know a little more about what addiction to hallucinogens looks like, how can you tell when you cross the line from abuse into addiction?

There are many different markers that you can use to determine whether something is a bad habit or an addiction.

If you continue to use hallucinogens despite the fact that you are dealing with the bad consequences from that use, you might have an addiction. You can say the same for skipping out on a social event where you shouldn’t use or be under the influence.

If you deal with withdrawal any time you try to stop, if you keep your hallucinogen use a secret, and if you need more and more to achieve a high, you should seek addiction help right away.

At the end of the day, if you feel as though you couldn’t stop using hallucinogens for whatever reason, you have an addiction.

Dangers of Hallucinogens Abuse

While abusing hallucinogens can have short-term effects, long-term addiction leads to long-term issues. People who are addicted to hallucinogens often experience things like intense flashbacks and hallucinations even years after they stop using.

Over time, it becomes more difficult for a person who is addicted to hallucinogens to use the full scope of their motor functions. Fine motor skills, like the ability to fasten a button or write neatly, begin to decline.

A person who is addicted to hallucinogens also tends to have a significant loss of memory, depression, and changes in the way they perceive reality that will never go away.

Get Help for Hallucinogen Abuse and Addiction

If any of this sounds familiar to you, or if it hits close to home, it would be worth it to speak to an addiction counselor to figure out the next step. While using hallucinogens might seem like fun at first, it can turn into a bad trip that leaves you with a debilitating addiction and a lifetime of long-term issues.

For more information about addiction and recovery, contact us today.