Hallucinogens are dangerous drugs due to their reality-distorting effects. Abuse of these drugs is unfortunately fairly common.
How Common is Hallucinogen Abuse?
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Hallucinogens are widely abused drugs that cause the users to hear or see things that are not real. The drug can have a different effect on individual users, which is why it is important to know the risks of hallucinogen abuse, and the effects it has on the brain. Hallucinogen drugs can be man-made (LSD and PCP) or plant based (Salvia).
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, a survey conducted in 2012 on drug use and health, more than 180,000 Americans aged 12 or older reported current use of LSD and 32,000 reported current use of PCP. While LSD and PCP have been known as the most used hallucinogenic type drugs, in recent years Salvia has emerged as the most commonly used hallucinogenic drug.
Why Should I Worry About Hallucinogen Abuse?
While occasional use of hallucinogens can be common among some recreational drug users, when it is taken often, users can develop a pattern of drug abuse. Hallucinogen abuse can cause psychological problems, and can even do permanent damage to the brain. Sometimes even from first time use. Some of the common signs of hallucinogen abuse are:
- The body can develop a tolerance quickly and lead the user to take more. This poses danger since too much can cause an overdose.
- Each time a hallucinogen is taken the user can also experience different effects. They may have a “trip” that can cause them to hallucinate to the point where they can hurt themselves, or someone else.
- Hallucinogen abuse has long-term effects that include depression, panic, psychosis and suicidal thoughts.
- People who abuse hallucinogens can also experience flashbacks. Users can re-experience the effects of the hallucinogenic drug days or weeks after using the drug. In some cases, users have had flashbacks even months or years later after they have stopped using a hallucinogen drug.
- Users can have difficulty trying to concentrate, and communicate. Others have such confusing thoughts that they cannot distinguish between reality and illusion.
Hallucinogens can have a powerful effect on the brain. No one can tell what type of trip they will experience. Some have experienced pleasant and enjoyable sensations, while others have experienced terrifying thoughts of panic and even suicidal.
What Other Dangerous Symptoms Can Result from Hallucinogen Abuse?
Since the effects can be unpredictable and different for individual users, hallucinogens are extremely dangerous drugs that can disturb the normal function of the user’s brain. They can develop long-lasting psychoses, and become vulnerable to fatal situations.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the effects of hallucinogen abuse are highly variable and unreliable, producing different effects in different people at different times. Because of their unpredictable nature, hallucinogens can be very dangerous to use.
Is There Help for Hallucinogen Abuse?
If you or someone you love have experienced any of the symptoms above due to hallucinogen abuse and are still using the drug regardless, then contacting a substance abuse counselor can help you find the right treatment. No one can predict what can happen in any a hallucinogen “trip”, but waiting to see if something bad happens is not the right move. Get help before anything happens, including permanent damage to your mental health.