Hallucinogens are one of the most diverse types of drugs. The way they work is different than how other drugs affect the brain. These drugs alter a person’s awareness of where they are as well as their feelings. For those that use them, there is the risk of immediate effects, but there are also instances where problems can happen years later. Understanding the long-term effects of hallucinogens is critical, especially if you or a loved one is struggling to stop using these substances.

What Are the Effects of Hallucinogens on the Brain?

These drugs can cause hallucinations, which include sensations or images that seem very realistic though they are not. These drugs also have the ability to cause a person to feel out of control or somehow disconnected from not just the environment around them but also their body. There are numerous types of hallucinogens, and each differs a bit from the other in how they impact the body.

The key is to understand the effects of hallucinogens on the brain. Classic hallucinogens temporarily disrupt the way the brain communicates. This is due to changes in the brain’s chemical systems. They also interfere with serotonin, a chemical in the brain. This leads to effects such as:

  • Mood changes
  • Sleep changes
  • Sensory perception changes

This drug also plays a role in intestinal muscle control, sexual behavior, hunger, and overall sensory.

Those drugs that fall into the dissociative hallucinogenic category of hallucinogens impact the chemical glutamate. This chemical specifically interacts with pain perception, emotion, learning, and memory. 

What Are the Effects of Hallucinogens on the Body?

The effects of hallucinogens on the body begin right away when taking them. They may include:

  • Nausea
  • Increased heart rate
  • Changes in the sense of time, such as feeling like time is passing very slow
  • Intensified feelings such as feeling like something is very scary
  • Intense sensory experiences such as feeling like a light is very bright

Some people also feel dry mouth and have increased body temperature, breathing rates, or blood pressure. Many state they have spiritual experiences during this process.

Are Psychedelics Dangerous?

To understand the long term effects of hallucinogens, it is important to consider what they do to the body and brain over time. There are long-term impacts from these drugs that can be dangerous.

For example, some people suffer from persistent psychosis, which means that they may have ongoing visual disturbances, paranoia, and disorganized thinking. They may also experience mood changes often. 

In addition to this, many people experience hallucinogen persisting perception disorder. This condition involves the recurrence of certain drug experiences. A person may experience hallucinations and visual disturbances over time. Sometimes they have flashbacks, which occur at any time and can be specifically frightening.

There are also long-term effects of hallucinogens associated with the use of dissociative drugs. These drugs typically cause prolonged problems that can occur over time, such as speech problems, anxiety, weight loss, and memory loss. 

In addition to these risks, there is also the concern that addictive behavior can occur and, in some situations, a person may also experience overdoses.

What Can You Do If You Are Experiencing These Effects?

If you are using any type of drugs and experiencing any changes to your health, ability to think clearly, and ability to communicate, it may be necessary to reach out for professional help. Many people find themselves unable to stop using these drugs on their own. Often, individuals use hallucinogens alongside other drugs, which can lead to long term health effects as well as addiction and dependence. It is critical to take action now to get help.

Find a Treatment Center That Can Help You

If you are using hallucinogens or other types of drugs, it is critical to work to get treatment. Reach out to our admissions team at (866) 971-5531 to discuss your options for treatment. Though it is hard to know what the long-term effects will be, the sooner you receive treatment, the sooner you can reduce those risks and limit them from worsening.

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