Hallucinogenic Drug Abuse
Hallucinogenic drugs are used by people for the purpose of warping their perception of the world around them. Some of these can be sourced through nature while others are derived synthetically. Anyone who is considering using hallucinogens should be aware of the effects they can have on your mind and the potential for long-term abuse.
Why Do People Use Hallucinogenic Drugs?
Hallucinogens, like most other types of drugs, are used by many for purposes of escape from reality. Some people might use them for a temporary shift in their reality, while others turn to them because they’re deeply unhappy and believe that they can find some sort of salvation through using these substances. However, wanting to get away from responsibilities and any other pressing issues can just turn into being afraid to face reality. If someone needs hallucinogenic drugs to handle certain situations, it becomes harder for them to do basic things.
Dependency on Hallucinogenic Drugs
Hallucinogens are different than famously addictive substances like cocaine and heroin. You’re unlikely to hear about someone developing a daily habit of using hallucinogenic drugs, particularly based on how long the experience (or “trips”) of using these drugs can take. However, someone without direction in their life or discipline could find themselves susceptible to wanting to use these substances on a fairly frequent basis. They could also end up with their minds greatly altered by the side effects of taking them.
What Kinds of Hallucinogenic Drugs Are There?
When you think of hallucinogens, you might initially think of things like LSD and magic mushrooms. While these are certainly popular examples, they’re not the only kinds. These are some of the various types of hallucinogenic drugs you might encounter.
Also known as “acid,” LSD is typically consumed through swallowing or being delivered via special paper that users consume. Made synthetically, it can have very powerful effects on users. Those who take LSD typically do so with the intention of seeing things that aren’t actually there. However, the potency of this drug can have severe effects on one’s mind. Someone who is not prepared for the experience or in a poor state of mind can end up having what’s known as a “bad trip.” They can start to become very paranoid and feel emotionally vulnerable. This could carry over into the days after the drug wears off. Like with any other hallucinogenic drug, there’s the risk of someone under the influence of LSD doing something that could cause serious harm to themselves or others.
The mushrooms you find at the grocery store won’t do anything beyond adding some flavor and texture to your meals. However, psilocybin (or “magic”) mushrooms have very powerful psychedelic effects. Similar to LSD, they can cause users to see strange things and can negatively affect their state of mind.
This substance is found inside certain cacti. It can cause intense hallucinations. A similar drug, also derived from cacti, is peyote.
Though used medically for anesthetic purposes, ketamine can also have powerful hallucinatory effects. It can be taken in multiple ways, including smoking and injecting through needles. Users can feel themselves losing their relationship with reality as a result of using ketamine.
Phencyclidine, typically referred to as “PCP”, is another hallucinogenic drug that originated as an anesthetic. It has since been made completely illegal thanks to the consequences of using it. Like ketamine, it can be consumed in multiple ways. When someone is high on PCP, they can lose focus and have trouble telling what’s real and what isn’t. They can also make dangerous decisions due to having the part of their brain that knows what they should and shouldn’t do end up being compromised.
How to Avoid Hallucinogenic Drugs
The best way to avoid hallucinogenic drug abuse is to avoid using these substances in the first place. Being comparatively safer to things like opiates can lead people to the false perception that there’s no harm in using these substances. However, there are more than enough cases of people suffering serious consequences through using hallucinogenic drugs to show that these should not be viewed lightly.
Hallucinogenic drugs are often consumed in social settings. If you’re at a party where others are using mushrooms or LSD, you might be tempted to partake. This can be even more dangerous, as you’re unlikely to be prepared for what could transpire and you may not know what the intentions of the other people are, especially if you don’t know them very well.
If you consider taking any hallucinogenic drugs, first think about what the consequences could be. Some people think it’s worth taking the risk if it means they’ll be able to have their perception of the world altered in a profound way. However, the experience of having a frightening experience under the influence of these drugs can be traumatic enough to make someone immediately regret taking them. If someone offers you them and you don’t want to take them, tell them no thanks. If they persist or you find yourself feeling uncomfortable with the situation, get out of it as soon as you can. There should be no obligation to stay in an environment you don’t feel good about being in.
What to Do If You Already Use Hallucinogenic Drugs
Because hallucinogenic drugs do not have the same addictive properties as other drugs, it’s easier to stop using them. Withdrawal symptoms are highly unlikely and the intensity of the situation could easily make someone not want to use them ever again. However, you should consider how continued usage could affect your life. It only takes one bad experience for your life to be permanently altered.
If hallucinogenic drugs or any other substances are being abused by you, it’s important that you seek out help as soon as possible. You should never think that your substance abuse isn’t serious enough to warrant treatment. Delaying treatment means that it will be much more difficult for you to be able to get the help you need. You need to be honest with yourself and anyone working to help you in a treatment program.
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