Hallucinogens Detoxification Treatment*
Denial is often a road block when seeking information about detoxification and recovery from hallucinogen abuse. The user may argue that these drugs are mind expanding, not brain damaging. You can’t argue with a delusional person, you can only coax them toward help. First of all it’s important that the individual understands exactly what they are ingesting. Hallucinogens (psychedelics) alter the mind and thought processes. The individual experiences sensations disconnected from reality. Obviously, detoxification is a primary concern for the client.
Almost all hallucinogens are classified as alkaloids and many have chemical structures similar to those of natural neurotransmitters such as acetylcholine or serotonin. Recent research suggests that these drugs work by temporarily interfering with neurotransmitter action or by binding to their receptor sites. Some currently problematic drugs are described below:
Ketamine is an anesthetic used on both humans and animals with an unpredictable range of effects in humans, including analgesia (pain relief) and hallucinations. This unpredictability is related to dosage, with low doses of Ketamine increasing the heart-rate, while higher doses can depresses consciousness and breathing, making it a deadly combination with sedatives like Xanax, alcohol or Valium. Dependence upon Ketamine usually develops in users seeking an escape from consciousness.
Users of “magic mushrooms” are ingesting the active ingredient psilocybin. These mushrooms grow in various regions throughout the United States, Mexico and South America. The effects of psilocybin are highly variable, but basically the drug interacts with sensory input rendering it unreliable -- much like LSD.
LSD is probably the most potent of all hallucinogens. Frequent users develop a tolerance, encouraging them to take higher doses. High doses of LSD are more likely to induce periods of psychosis and the effects on neurotransmitters are not well known. While most users of LSD eventually limit or stop using, recent use requires mood stabilization and observation before therapeutic healing can begin.
Among the lesser used hallucinogens are Peyote and PCP. Peyote is a plant long used as a part of religious ceremonies. This little cactus is native to the southwestern United States and northern Mexico, providing the active ingredient mescaline. Mescaline is a powerful hallucinogen with the naturally prophylactic quality of making users nauseous. It is not particularly popular for this reason. PCP won’t make a user violently ill, but it can damage their brain. PCP was developed in the 1950s as an intravenous anesthetic. It is no longer made in U.S. labs and is now manufactured by amateur “cooks” much like methamphetamine. Repeated use of PCP causes serious brain damage. Detoxification and treatment is urgent for anyone using PCP.
There is always anxiety in approaching new experiences and circumstances. Morningside’s knowledgeable and compassionate staff knows these fears and works to allay them. The professionals at Morningside Recovery are here to help.
*Detoxification services are not provided at Morningside Recovery facilities. We work closely with local, fully licensed detoxification centers that provide the highest level of care to our clients. If a client requires detoxification and is admitting to any of Morningside's programs, our clinical team will follow the client’s detoxification treatment at these local facilities. If the detoxification period is to exceed 72 hours, we will also begin private therapy and other treatment services at the designated location. Our consulting physician and psychiatrist will also follow each client’s case at this outside center in order to ensure a smooth transition into any of our many levels of care. Although outcome studies have shown significant increase in client success when receiving full or extended treatment services after detoxification, if you require only a detoxification without further treatment, we are happy to refer you to one of the highly regarded and trusted detoxification facilities that we utilize.