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Hallucinogens could be far more dangerous than was previously thought. Many are extracted from mushrooms or plants. For centuries, these drugs have been used for religious rituals. Virtually every single hallucinogen known to man contains nitrogen.

In fact, many of these drugs have a chemical structure that is similar to natural neurotransmitters, such as serotonin or acetycholine. While people have been using hallucinogens for decades, scientists still haven’t figured out exactly how they produce the psychedelic effects they’re known for.

Around the world, an alarming number of individuals use hallucinogenic drugs. About 4.2 percent of Europeans have tried hallucinogens.

Today, as much as 6 percent of high school seniors use LSD occasionally. According to the statistics, hallucinogens aren’t nearly as popular as other illicit drugs, such as heroin and cocaine, but they can be quite addictive.

What Are Hallucinogens?

HallucinogensA hallucinogen is a drug that causes the user to hallucinate. A hallucination is a profound distortion in the way an individual perceives reality. While under the influence of these drugs, individuals are likely to feel, hear or see things that aren’t real.

It’s common for hallucinogen users to see things that appear to be very real, but in reality, these things don’t exist. It’s believed that hallucinogens produce their effects via the disruption of serotonin and nerve cells.

Serotonin is a neurotransmitter, and it can be found throughout the spinal cord and brain. Scientists believe serotonin controls regulatory, perceptual and behavioral systems. It controls sensory perception, muscle control, sexual behavior, body temperature, hunger and mood.

There are several different drugs that can be classified as a hallucinogen. The three major categories are deliriants, dissociatives and psychedelics. Some of the most well-known hallucinogens are peyote, PCP, psilocybin and LSD.

Most of these drugs have a high potential for abuse and have no approved medical use. According to the latest statistics, the use of hallucinogens is on the decline, but many individuals are developing an addiction to hallucinogens.

A Deeper Look into Hallucinogen Addiction

Out of the handful of popular hallucinogens, LSD is the most well-known and used. Also called lysergic acid diethylamide, LSD is actually a synthetic psychedelic. It was developed during the 1930s but wasn’t used heavily until around the 1960s.

LSD is very popular, but there are many other widely-abused hallucinogenic drugs. LSD is created from lysergic acid, which comes from a fungus. This fungus grows on rye and several different grains. Today, roughly 36 million Americans have tried at least one hallucinogen.

Nearly four million Americans have used a hallucinogen in the last 12 months. In American, at least one million individuals have an active hallucinogen addiction. The problem is the fact that hallucinogens are known to cause serious health complications. Every year, these drugs send thousands of individuals to emergency rooms.

The Effects and Real Dangers

Unlike heroin, alcohol and many other drugs, hallucinogenic drugs don’t cause physical dependence. However, it’s well-known that hallucinogens can significantly impair a person’s cognitive abilities.

After trying LSD, many people develop a desire to continue using the drug. Unfortunately, for many individuals who’ve developed a hallucinogen addiction, quitting isn’t as easy as making a decision.

Many individuals will need someone to make the decision for them. When attempting to eliminate an addiction to hallucinogens, many users experience depression and memory loss. These symptoms can last for an entire year after cessation of hallucinogens.

Anyone who tries hallucinogens is at risk for developing an addiction to the drugs. Some of the potential long-term health issues caused by hallucinogens are paranoia and psychosis.

Get the Facts

Knowledge is power. If you know a lot about hallucinogens, then you’re better equipped to fight addiction. One of the dangers of using these drugs is the varied effects. Hallucinogens can cause profoundly different effects for each individual.

The expected effects are, at best, unpredictable. An individual might experience very different effects from different hallucinogenic compounds. There is no way to know exactly what the high from these drugs will feel like.

Statistics show that these drugs are still primarily abused by teens and young adults. One of the effects of hallucinogen addiction is a phenomenon known as a flashback. However, a single use of LSD can cause a flashback.

Hallucinogen users describe a flashback as an experience that closely resembles the experience of being high on a hallucinogen. Flashbacks can occur, days, months or even years after using a hallucinogenic drug.

Since it’s believed that hallucinogens primarily affect serotonin, they might not be nearly as addictive to drugs that primarily affect dopamine levels, such as heroin and cocaine. Anyone who has developed an addiction to these drugs should seek inpatient drug treatment.

Some of the top benefits of inpatient care are nutritious food, 24-hour support and professional help. A lot of people will need to seek professional help to eliminate a hallucinogen addiction.

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