Teens looking for a fun party experience may choose to trip on hallucinogens like LSD or magic mushrooms. But just because many hallucinogens are plant-based, natural substances doesn’t mean they’re safe. Next Generation Village can help your teen overcome hallucinogen abuse or addiction.
Hallucinogenic drugs affect a user’s sensory perception and sensory interpretation. Under the influence of hallucinogens, a typical user can see, hear and feel things that aren’t there. These experiences are called hallucinations — imaginary sensations or images that seem real to the user. Many teens consider hallucinations to be fun or an enhancement of a party experience, but hallucinogens can take a frightening turn, resembling nightmares or causing paranoia.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, it takes 20–90 minutes for hallucinogens to take effect, and the effects can last for as long as 12 hours. No drugs or therapies can stop a hallucination once it starts.
Dissociative drugs are also considered a subcategory of hallucinogens. Dissociative drug users will experience the typical symptoms of hallucinogens in addition to dissociative effects like feeling disconnected from their body or feeling unable to control their actions.
Natural Hallucinogens vs Synthetic Hallucinogens
There are two classes or types of hallucinogens — natural hallucinogens and synthetic hallucinogens. These drugs produce similar effects but have different origins.
Natural hallucinogens come from natural sources, such as plants. On the other hand, synthetic hallucinogens are more chemically complex because of their construction in drug laboratories. Scientists manipulate synthetic hallucinogens to create a stronger high.
Popular natural hallucinogens include:
- Psilocybin, also known as magic mushrooms
- DMT, or dimethyltryptamine
Popular synthetic hallucinogens include:
- LSD, or d-lysergic acid diethylamide
- PCP, or phencyclidine
Data from the National Institute on Drug Abuse shows that while overall hallucinogen use is low, these drugs are most popular among teens. Of those surveyed on their drug use in 2015, 2.1% of teens 12–17, 7% of individuals ages 18–25 and 0.8% of people 26 or older said they used hallucinogens in the past year. Some of these drugs are more popular than others.
Peyote is sourced from a cactus plant native to Mexico and is a part of native Mexican religious cultures. Teens may smoke, eat or brew peyote into tea because they believe this natural drug is safer than synthetic drugs. A key sign of peyote abuse involves nausea — before the drug’s hallucinogenic effects appear, users often feel profoundly ill.
Psilocybin is another hallucinogenic drug that’s been used in traditional cultures. This drug is sourced from a specific type of mushroom, and users who want to experience the effects can simply eat or chew the mushrooms. These drugs are dangerous, however, because the amount of psilocybin in each mushroom can vary due to drought, processing and harvesting.
LSD is the most commonly used hallucinogen. Teens use LSD frequently by dissolving it on the tongue or sprinkling it in a drink, especially when at parties or raves. This synthetic hallucinogen rockets teens into a completely different reality within minutes with a high that wears off just as quickly.
In addition, common dissociative drugs include:
Getting Help For Hallucinogen Abuse
While hallucinogenic drugs and high addiction risk aren’t typically associated — they do not cause a craving for the drug like heroin or oxycodone — teens can quickly build up a tolerance for hallucinogens, prompting them to use increasingly more of it. This hallucinogen abuse could lead to physical or psychological dependence. A comprehensive treatment program can help.
Next Generation Village offers expert medical care with a compassionate touch for teens ages 13–17 facing substance abuse and addiction. Our brand new treatment facility in sunny Sebring, Florida, offers a full continuum of care and all the pleasantries of home, including a pool, ball courts, and an on-site chef.
If your teen is struggling with hallucinogen abuse or addiction, don’t wait to get them help. You may call our teen rehab center at any time to ask questions, get more information on rehab insurance and apply for admission.
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Medical Disclaimer: Next Generation Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.