Hallucinogen related disorder (A Guide)

Hallucinogen related disorder

This article is about a comprehensive guide about Hallucinogen related disorder, its causes, symptoms, and possible physiological and psychological treatments.

In this guide, you will get to know about a class of psychoactive drugs, either synthetic or plant products, that produce auditory and visual hallucinations as well as thought, mood, and perceptual changes. 

Hallucinogen related disorder use disorder is the persistent operation of hallucinogens. It is apart from phencyclidine, even with clinically significant distress or impairment. These hallucinogens contain: MDMA (“ecstasy”), LSD, mescaline, psilocybin, morning glory seeds, DOM [2,5-dimethoxy-4-methylamphetamine], and DMT [dimethyltryptamine].

Hallucinogen related disorder (A Guide)

What are hallucinogen related disorders?

The hallucinogens related disorders are a specific category of psychoactive drugs, which is found either in synthetic or plant products. It produces auditory and visual hallucinations as well as thought, mood, and perceptual changes. It thoroughly depends on the quantity of dosage, expectation, and environment. They also can prompt euphoria and a state similar to a transcendental experience. Common classic hallucinogens include the following:

  • LSD (D-lysergic acid diethylamide)

It is visible considered one of the most potent mind-altering chemicals. It is an explicit or white odorless material made from lysergic acid, which is found in a fungus that grows on rye and other grains. LSD has many other street or common names, like acid, blotter acid, dots, and mellow yellow.

  • Psilocybin (4-phosphoryloxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine) 

 You can find it in certain types of mushrooms found in tropical and subtropical areas of South America, Mexico, and the United States. Some of the common names for psilocybin are little smoke, magic mushrooms, and shrooms.

  • Peyote (mescaline)

It is a small, spineless cactus with mescaline as its main ingredient. Peyote can also be synthetic. Common names for peyote are buttons, plants, and mesc.

  • DMT (N,N-dimethyltryptamine)

It is a kind of powerful chemical which is naturally found in some of the Amazonian plants. Ayahuasca is a certain kind of tea made from such plants as taken in this form. People can also make DMT in a laboratories. Synthetic DMT normally takes the form of a white crystalline powder that you use as smoking. A popular name for synthetic DMT is Dimitri.

  • 251-NBOMe 

It is a particular kind of synthetic hallucinogen .It is very similar to both LSD and MDMA (see DrugFacts: MDMA), but that is much more potent. Developed for use in brain research, when sold on the street, it is sometimes called rN Bomb or 251.

The Major Types of Hallucinogen Related Disorder

Hallucinogen-related disorders have two subtypes:

1) phencyclidine 

2) other types of hallucinogens

It is a specific withdrawal pattern that has no documented proof in humans. That is why there is no parameter for phencyclidine withdrawal or hallucinogen withdrawal.

1) phencyclidine 

Phencyclidine use disorder, is defined as the continued use of phencyclidine. Mostly, its symptoms become visible in an uncontrollable urge to have the drug despite clinically significant distress or impairment.

Substance Abuse and Associated Problems

It results in the following kinds of issues that show themselves in some specific social, occupational, academic, and behavioral activities. 

Psychological Issues

  • Significant academic, occupational or social impairment
  • Disinhibition
    • Intoxicated behavior, impaired driving
    • Impulsivity, dangerous risk-taking, irresponsibility
    • Violent behavior
  • Sociable (High Extraversion): Intoxication causes euphoria
  • Emotional Distress (Negative Emotion): It can also cause suicidal impulses

In addition to the above enlisted risks, psychotic symptoms may also appear as a side effect of hallucinogen related disorder. 

Psychotic Symptoms

Intoxication causes severe changes in body image, loss of ego boundaries, paranoia, depersonalization, hallucinations. Hallucinations may last for weeks and may trigger a persistent psychotic episode resembling Schizophrenia.

Paranoid delusions can lead to bizarre acts of violence (e.g., the case of the phencyclidine intoxication of Big Lurch, a former rapper who, thinking that his roommate was the devil, killed her and ate part of her lung). Chronic use causes impairment in memory, speech, and cognition that may last for months.

It may induce feelings of strength, power, and invulnerability as well as a numbing effect on the mind. Low doses cause dissociative symptoms (sensations of separation from mind and body); high doses can cause stupor and coma.

Medical Issues:

  • Denial of addiction
  • Excessive drug usage may cause numbness in the extremities, staggering, unsteady gait, slurred speech, bloodshot eyes, and loss of balance; higher doses produce analgesia, anesthesia, and convulsions,
  • Injuries/death from accidents, fights, falls, or erratic behavior during a “bad trip.”
  • Cardiovascular and neurological toxicities (e.g., seizures, dystonias, dyskinesias, catalepsy, hypothermia or hyperthermia),
  • Intracranial hemorrhage, rhabdomyolysis, respiratory problems, and cardiac arrest.
Hallucinogen related disorder (A Guide)

Common Effects of Phencyclidine Use

PCP is one of the most dangerous drugs. Its use can lead to a mind-altering experience that may influence a patient to:

  • A strange feeling of detachment or “floating.”
  • Numbness, blank stare
  • Slurred speech
  • Loss of coordination in actions
  • A certain sense of “superpower” strength with little fear
  • Rapid walking or excited talking
  • Feeling a “rush” a kind of acute delightful affair, that is most of the times temporary 
  • Hearing or watching things that are not present there (hallucinations)

The patient can also go through mood disorders too. Anxiety, paranoia, hostility, violence, and a psychotic episode is visible could also be seen.

Physiological effects of phencyclidine might get visible in increased breathing rate, high blood pressure, and an unusually faster pulse function. Respiration system functions profoundly, accompanied by intense sweating.

How is PCP addiction treated?

The first towards its treatment is to realize that you have a specific problem and want to seek help for recovery. The critical step in this connection might be to ask your trusted friends, family, or healthcare provider for assistance.

Treatment may include some special behavioral techniques, for example, cognitive behavioral therapy and group therapy (talk therapy). If the symptoms of PCP addiction are intense, you might have to stay at a treatment facility. Medicines are an excellent resource used to treat them properly. 

Recovery is possible through an ongoing effort to remain drug-free. Rely on your friends, family, and support groups to help you through this period. Most importantly, pay special attention to:

  • Going to your treatment sessions regularly as scheduled
  • Taking care of your body fitness by taking a balanced diet and doing exercise. Keep away from other mind-affecting- medicines, like alcohol intake.
  • Avoid such places that intensify your desire to use PCP again.
  • Get a good alternative of your PCP use with activities that are positive for your growth and mind: consider meditation, yoga, or being involved in volunteer work.

Other Hallucinogen Use Disorder

These criteria are also applicable to different types of hallucinogen use disorders. Hallucinogens include a wide variety of substances. These substances create euphoria and have psychedelic effects (visual and auditory perceptual distortions). 

There are several commonly used hallucinogens: 

  1. Lysergic Acid Diethylamide, more widely known as LSD (also called acid, blotter, windowpane, Zen)
  2. Morning glory seeds (flying saucers, licorice drops, pearly gates)
  3. Mescaline (cactus, mescal, moon),
  4. Psilocybin (mushroom, magic mushroom, shrooms),
  5. MDMA (Ecstasy, X, Adam, XTC, MDM),
  6. DMT (snuff, businessman’s lunch).

Among the above enlisted hallucinogens, DMT is a kind of smoking. Most hallucinogens are orally taken. Hallucinogen use often begins in adolescence. It is about three times more commonly observed characteristics in males than females. Some cultures, such as Native Americans, may use hallucinogens in religious or other meaningful rituals. When used in this manner, it does not meet the diagnostic criteria.

Other Effects of Hallucinogens related disorders: 

Hallucinogen intoxication may show itself in some extreme behavioral and psychological symptoms. For example, severe anxiety, or paranoia; depression; fearfulness; poor judgment; difficulty getting along with, or being close to, other people; panic; and perceptual distortions (including hallucinations). 

The combination of these symptoms may lead to severe injuries (e.g., trying to fly from a building). Some of the visible physical effects of hallucinogen intoxication include sweating, nausea, slowed heart rate, dilated pupils, heart palpitations, blurred vision; tremors; and lack of coordination.

How is a hallucinogen addiction treated?

Hallucinogen related disorder (A Guide)

Presently, there are no FDA-approved medications to cure addiction to hallucinogens. However, behavioral treatments can be helpful for patients suffering from a variety of habits. Scientists need to do more research to find out more effective behavior therapies for addiction to hallucinogens related disorders.

Some hallucinogens bring for possible therapeutic benefits in treating mental disorders such as depression. Some of them described below:

Anesthetic medicine used for some painful medical operations. In March 2019, the medicine named esketamine (called “Spravato” by the manufacturer) was widely approved by the Food and Drug Administration as a treatment for severe depression in patients. These medicines do not effectively function for other therapies. 

Esketamine is very similar to the drug ketamine, used under the table. So there are severe risks about the possible abuse of this newly used medicine. As a result, ketamine will have a limited extent in medical facilities.

Unlike a prescription, medical supervision will use esketamine just as a nasal spray. Patients have to wait at least 2 hours under medical control to ensure proper management of potential side effects.

Traditional antidepressants 

The function of traditional antidepressants aims at the neurotransmitters serotonin, norepinephrine, or dopamine. Esketamine directly targets the receptor for a different brain chemical known as glutamate, and so it is instead a new approach to treating depression.

Evidence has also proved strongly; presently, psilocybin might prove to be useful in handling depression. Psilocybin is officially not approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). But in 2018, the FDA awarded “Breakthrough Therapy” designation to one pharmaceutical company. It aimed to ease clinical operations for its psilocybin-assisted therapy for treatment-resistant depression

Conclusion

It is quite right that the patients of hallucinogen related disorders experience excessive physical and mental trauma. Yet, the specific drug behavioral therapies can do a lot to take them back to a healthy life. The friends and family cooperation play a vital role in patients come back to a routine healthy life. 

FAQs

1. What is hallucinogen use disorder?

Hallucinogen use disorder is the continued use of hallucinogens, other than phencyclidine.

2. Can anxiety cause visual hallucinations?

Yes, anxiety causes visual hallucinations. For instance, during a panic attack, the patient might become more alert and conscious as well as focused on specific images in your visual field because your body and mind are in such an aroused, anxious state

3. How do hallucinogens affect the brain?

Hallucinogenic drugs are best known for how they alter the user’s brain. Classic hallucinogens, like LSD, affect serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps control functions such as behavior, mood, and perception. LSD and similar drugs over-stimulate serotonin, flooding the brain with signals that mimic psychosis and break down the user’s inhibitions.

4. Where can hallucinogens be found?

Hallucinogens are found in a diverse group of drugs that alter a person’s awareness of their surroundings as well as their thoughts and feelings. Some of the stimulants extracted from plants or mushrooms, and some are synthetic (human-made). 

5. What is the most potent hallucinogenic drug?

The most potent hallucinogenic drug is D-lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). It is a man-made chemical prepared from ergot. It is a fungus that grows on individual grains. It is probably the most potent hallucinogen available, producing hallucinations, changes in the way reality are perceived, and altered moods.

6. What drug makes you hallucinate?

The drugs that make you hallucinate are known as amphetamines, cocaine, LSD, or ecstasy. These hallucinations can also occur during withdrawal from alcohol or drugs if you suddenly stop taking them.

Hallucinogen related disorder (A Guide)

Informative Resources

Here are some of the useful books and tools to help the patient and his family understand and treat the patient in a better way.

  1.  The Effects of Hallucinogens on Children and Teens
  2. Lsd, Pcp, and Hallucinogen Drug Dangers
  3. Self-Healing
  4. Hallucinogens (Drug Abuse Prevention Library)
  5. The Dangers of Hallucinogens (Drug Dangers)

References

https://www.self.com/story/why-panic-attacks-can-make-you-feel-like-youre-hallucinating

https://study.com/academy/lesson/effects-of-hallucinogenic-drugs-on-the-mind-body.html

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/hallucinogens

https://www.verywellmind.com/what-are-hallucinogens-63386

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/hallucinations/

https://psychiatryonline.org/doi/10.1176/appi.books.9781585625048.gg51

https://www.gulfbend.org/poc/view_doc.php?type=doc&id=48507&cn=1408

https://www.drugs.com/phencyclidine.html

https://www.mentalhealth.com/home/dx/phencyclidinedependence.html

Hallucinogen related disorder (A Guide)

Juanita Agboola

Juanita Agboola is the editor in chief of HFNE and an expert in mental health online. She has been writing about online behaviour, mental health and psychology issues since 2012. All Guides are reviewed by our editorial team which constitutes various clinical psychologists, PhD and PsyD colleagues.

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