Renaissance Ranch

How Dangerous Are Hallucinogens?

Jun 5, 2023

Young adults typically like to drink alcohol, misuse prescription medications, and take illicit drugs for recreational purposes. Psychedelic substances, such as hallucinogens, are quite commonly used at raves, nightclubs, and EDM parties. These drugs are a popular choice, as they are often sold to strangers in the heat of the moment while listening to electronic music. Hallucinogens can be mistaken for candy, as it is their common appearance. This can be especially dangerous for someone who is already under the influence.

There are many serious health risks associated with taking hallucinogens. Long-term use of these drugs can result in addiction. Renaissance Ranch can be a center for men to find the professional support they need. Our facility can be a safe place to learn new skills and successfully overcome addiction altogether. 

What Are Hallucinogens?

As stated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), hallucinogens are psychoactive substances that are typically found in fungi or plants. These illegal drugs can be synthetically made. They are historically known to be one of the oldest groups of drugs used. Hallucinogens can alter how one perceives reality. When taken, they can change an individual’s mood, thoughts, and behavior. 

Hallucinogens come in many different vibrant colors. Individuals can take them orally or smoke them. For example, MDMA and ecstasy pills may have different logos imprinted on them. These are known to attract young adults because of their attractive appearance. LSD can be made from saturated paper. They may also be imprinted with unique and colorful visual designs. 

Hallucinogens can produce heightened sensory effects. They can cause distorted thoughts that displace space and time. These drugs can alter one’s ability to perceive the appropriate setting. Depending on the severity of one’s experience, it can cause one to be ultimately frightened, making for an unending trip.

Negative Consequences of Hallucinogens

As hallucinogens can change the way a person perceives reality, this may serve as an unhealthy way to escape life’s problems. Conforming to the aforementioned DEA study, even after taking hallucinogens, an individual may experience negative effects weeks or months later.

A person who chooses to use hallucinogens may develop a rare mental health condition called hallucinogen-persisting perception disorder (HPPD). This is where an individual may have flashbacks, which can include vivid recurrences of their intense past experience with the substance without actually taking the drug. There is no saying when an individual may experience HPPD episodes, but they are more likely to happen during stressful periods in one’s life. Younger adults may be more likely to develop this condition. Flashbacks can be either pleasant or an absolute nightmare. They can last approximately one or two minutes but are extremely vivid. 

Some individuals choose to partake in the act of micro-dosing hallucinogens. This is done by taking very small amounts of the substance to achieve its desirable psychoactive effects in hopes of not experiencing any negative side effects. Microdosing is not always promising and is strongly discouraged by professionals, as staying abstinent from all drugs is always best.

Health Effects of Taking Hallucinogens

Taking hallucinogens can make one see and hear things that are not actually there. This interferes with an individual’s ability to detect danger. As a result, this impairs one’s ability to make the right decisions making it very unsafe to drive. According to the Administrative Office of the Courts, short-term health effects may include: 

  • Irregular heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart failure
  • Abnormal breathing
  • Suspiciousness
  • Slurred or mixed-up speech
  • Meaningless movements
  • Violent behavior
  • Dilated eyes

Long-term side effects may include: 

  • Decreased motivation
  • Increased panic
  • Prolonged depression
  • Impaired memory
  • Lack of concentration
  • Increased delusions
  • Severe mental disturbances

Risk of Addiction

As stated by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, individuals that take LSD are at risk of developing a high tolerance to the drug. This may result in having to take increased doses of hallucinogens to achieve the desired effect, inevitably leading to addiction. Although hallucinogen overdose is rare, building a tolerance over time can be especially dangerous and detrimental to one’s health. As hallucinogens can sometimes be laced with other drugs, the results can be unpredictable. This may result in an increased risk of falling into a coma, experiencing convulsions, heart or lung failure, and ultimately death. 

Coping With Hallucinogen Abuse

There are various alternate activities to attempt that are proven to help one safely decompress from life’s stressors. Participating in sober activities can be a wonderful opportunity for men to meet like-minded individuals who enjoy their free time without using drugs. Different living sober activities may include physical fitness, yoga, recreational activities, and more. 

Practicing self-care can greatly increase an individual’s self-esteem and confidence to help one heal from hallucinogen dependency. Getting enough rest, eating nutritional foods, and reaching out to family and friends in times of need can be effective ways to stay mentally and physically healthy.

Moving Forward With Professional Help

Depending on an individual’s level of severity, surrendering to professional help may be a great addition to self-care. Renaissance Ranch’s treatment center is extremely dedicated to helping men concur with the effects of hallucinogen addiction and co-occurring mental health conditions. We have various services and provide a full continuum of care for adult men that are facing challenges with substance abuse and their mental health. Renaissance Ranch places a strong foundation of support in the lives of men through Gospel-centered solutions.

Hallucinogens come with many mental and physical health effects. They are dangerous psychoactive drugs that can come with serious consequences. Here at Renaissance Ranch, our team believes that true recovery includes spiritual healing. It has been our experience that this approach has proven to be the most successful. Men and women experience addiction differently. Therefore, we provide a world-class program specially designed for adult men. Our clients can learn new and healthy strategies in therapy to overcome hallucinogen addiction. We offer a 12-Step approach to family therapy. If you or a loved one are in need of professional support, please call Renaissance Ranch at (801) 308-8898 to learn more information about our program.