Since OARS began in 2015, we have mostly treated patients with opioid use disorder. Through our experience, we’ve learned that many of our patients develop co-dependence on other substance use disorders as well.
According to Addiction Center, about 1.4 million people in the United States are regular hallucinogen users. A 143,000 of them are minors between the ages of 12 and 17.
Hallucinogens are mind-altering drugs that can alter a person’s surroundings, and even their own thoughts and feelings. It is commonly split into two categories: classic hallucinogens (LSD) and dissociative drugs (PCP). Both drugs can cause hallucinations: images or feelings that are not really there.
Common classic hallucinogens include: LSD, psilocybin, peyote, DMT, and 251-NBOMe.
Common dissociative drugs include: PCP, ketamine, dextromethorphan (DXM), and salvia.
Classic hallucinogens effect the brain by disrupting communication between brain chemical systems throughout the brain and spinal cord. Some hallucinogens interfere with the action of serotonin in the brain, which regulates mood, sensory perception, sleep, hunger, body temperature, sexual behavior, and intestinal muscle control.
Dissociative hallucinogens effect the brain by interfering with the action of glutamate, which regulates pain perception, responses to environment, emotion, and learning and memory.
In the short-term, the health effects of classic hallucinogens are:
- Increased heart rate
- Intensified feelings and sensory experiences
- Increased blood pressure, breathing rate, or body temperature
- Loss of appetite
- Dry mouth
- Sleep problems
- Uncoordinated movements
- Excessive sweating
- Bizarre behaviors
In the long-term, the health effects of classic hallucinogens are:
- Persistent psychosis
- Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder
The health effects of dissociative drugs in the short-term are:
- Disorientation and loss of coordination
- Increase in blood pressure, heart rate, or body temperature
- Memory loss
- Panic and anxiety
- Psychotic symptoms
- Inability to move
- Mood swings
- Trouble breathing
The health effects of dissociative drugs in the long-term are:
- Speech problems
- Memory loss
- Weight loss
- Depression and suicidal thoughts
If your loved one has a dependency on hallucinogens, look out for these signs:
- Violent or aggressive behaviors
- Continuing to use even after having negative experiences
- Abusing the drug in situations when it’s dangerous to do so
- Muscle spasms
- Loss of interest in enjoyable activities
- Mood swings
- Social withdrawal
If they exhibit any of these signs, seek treatment immediately.
OARS is continuing to expand its treatment services. We’re announcing that we now treat those with hallucinogen use disorder. Our treatment includes:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy
- The Matrix Model, which consists of behavioral therapy, family education, counseling, a 12-step component, drug testing, and promotion of non-drug-related activities
While there are currently no approved medications for hallucinogens, we are using off-label treatment in addition to the above approved treatment.
If you have any questions about our treatment options or want to learn more about getting into treatment at OARS, call us at 724-912-6277. We’re here to answer any questions you have to get help for you or your loved ones.