Education is the best weapon against the dangers of hallucinogens. There are many different types of drugs available to people today, and one of the most widespread types is hallucinogens. These drugs can have a very serious effect on the mind and body.
Typically, hallucinogens change a person’s perception of the things happening around them. They can also have a stimulant effect. This means that the user is antsy, has an increased heart rate and trouble sleeping. It is important to understand what hallucinogens are and how they work, as well as what the most common forms of these drugs are and what to look for if you think your child or someone else you know may be using them.
What Are Hallucinogens?
Hallucinogens are drugs that can cause people to hallucinate, or see and hear things that are not really there. These drugs can cause people to become irritated very easily, have panic attacks, and, in some cases, can cause seizures if taken in higher doses. People refer to these drugs as synthetics, which means that they are man-made and not naturally occurring. Some hallucinogens, however, actually natural, like certain mushrooms and peyote, which comes from a cactus.
Depending on the type of hallucinogen, the user can experience very potent effects from taking them. All hallucinogens have an effect on the brain and how it works, although these effects are usually temporary. These drugs can cause a difference in a person’s mood, perception, and thought. Some common types of hallucinogens include LSD, peyote, mescaline, and PCP, among others. All forms of hallucinogens are illegal, so if police catch someone using or selling them, it is a criminal offense.
The History of Hallucinogens
Drugs known as hallucinogens have been around since ancient times. There were many different cultures that would use them for religious or spiritual purposes. The Aztecs used a hallucinogenic plant that they would rub onto the skin in order to induce a different mental state in order to serve the gods. Mexican natives used peyote, a hallucinogen often used in religious ceremonies. Even the Salem witch trials were based partly on the fact that some people were acting immorally due to the use of some kinds of hallucinogens.
Scientists discovered LSD in 1938 and most consider it to be the first synthetic form of hallucinogen. A chemist named Albert Hoffman discovered it, and in 1947, it was used for medical purposes to help people with psychological issues. Originally, LSD was given to patients as an experiment, and the people taking it did not know what they were using or what would happen. Soon, it was decided that LSD would not be a viable drug to give patients. The dangers of hallucinogens were too high. But it did not stop the production of the drug on the streets to be used and sold by hard drug users.
By the 1960s, these types of drugs had become a popular form of recreation rather than a medically or clinically dispensed substance. Today, people still use many different forms of these drugs, although they are illegal. The consequences of using hallucinogens can be serious, particularly for those who take them frequently or in high doses.
Forms of Hallucinogens
While there are many different forms of hallucinogens, the three most commonly used are LSD, mushrooms, and peyote. LSD can cause serious, intense hallucinations, loss of memory, a heightened sense of touch, smell, and sound, and the feeling of distortion of time. It can cause panic attacks and heighten anxiety levels in the short term and can cause insomnia, paranoia, loss of appetite, and other serious problems if used regularly or taken in large doses.
Mushrooms, also known as psilocybin, can cause impaired judgment, nausea and vomiting, restlessness, and sometimes frightening hallucinations when taken in the short term. Long-term effects include possible depression, flashbacks, and impaired concentration or memory.
Peyote is another hallucinogen that is very popular. Some short-term effects include rapid heart rate, confusion, paranoia, and even violent behavior. Long-term effects can include delusions, a decrease in motivation, and recurring flashbacks. People with mental health issues are more prone to the longer-term effects of hallucinogens. They often deal with emotional problems and even psychosis.
The Dangers of Hallucinogens
Now that you know a little more about the dangers of hallucinogens, you can take steps toward making better choices. However, if you’re already dealing with an addiction to these dangerous substances, help is available. Call Morningside Recovery at 855-631-2135 for more information about our rehab programs and addiction treatment services.
By Michelle Conway