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Hallucinogens alter your sensory perceptions and your awareness of yourself and your surroundings. As a part of the high produced by these drugs, you will see and hear things that seem real but are only the results of the drugs’ effects on your body and senses. Hallucinogens as a class of drugs include: ayahuasca; DMT; LSD; mescaline (“Peyote”); psilocybin (“mushrooms”); DXM; ketamine; PCP; and salvia. This list, however, does not include all hallucinogens. While some hallucinogens are derived from plants or plant extracts, other man-made hallucinogens will produce similar effects. Some hallucinogens take longer to produce their intended effects compared to other drugs, but their high can last much longer, in some cases, as long as 6 to 12 hours.

Hallucinogens are relatively unique in that there is a long historical record of their use often in religious rituals and ceremonies. These drugs can often produce an “out of body” sensation and feelings of detachment which coincide with their ritual use. These drugs create this effect, scientists believe, by disrupting several chemical response systems in the brain and spinal cord. Two brain chemicals that hallucinogens affect are serotonin and glutamate. Serotonin controls many major physiological functions including sensory perceptions, mood, sleep, hunger, body temperature, muscle control and sexual responses. Glutamate also regulates many responses to environmental stimuli including pain, emotion, memory and learning abilities.

Over 229,000 Americans older than 12 years of age reported using LSD in the last month, and over 33,000 reported using PCP, according to a National Institute on Drug Abuse survey conducted in 2013. The survey also found salvia use to be prominent especially among younger, high-school aged students. The report highlights the dangers these drugs present to younger users both as a result of hallucinogen use and from the potential for introduction to other drugs. Another 2012 scientific study indicates that the United States, in particular, ranks first among 36 nations for hallucinogenic use amongst teenagers.

The severe physical and psychological side effects you will experience from short or long-term use of hallucinogenic drugs necessitate a medically-supervised detox to manage symptoms during your withdrawal, prevent relapse and break the dependency on the drug that will make additional addiction therapy treatments as effective as possible. Care settings which emphasize an individualized and compassionate approach to detox and addiction recovery, further, help ensure the effectiveness of your detox and therapy and increase your likelihood of long-term sobriety.


Hallucinogens, even if used for only a short time, can have intense negative side effects. These side effects often include:

Emotional and Psychological Effects

  • intensification of feelings, senses, and experiences
  • changes in perception of time
  • synesthesia — the experience of “seeing” sound or “hearing” color
  • intense, relaxed sensations and feelings of detachment from the self and the environment
  • spiritual experiences

Physical Effects

  • dry mouth
  • loss of appetite
  • nausea
  • elevated heart rate
  • higher than normal breathing rate, blood pressure and body temperature
  • sleep issues
  • impaired coordination
  • excessive sweating
  • panic
  • extreme paranoia
  • psychosis


Consistent use of hallucinogens and hallucinogen dependency have severe side-effects which can be debilitating. These side-effects include:

  • persistent psychosis including mood changes, chaotic thinking, paranoia and visual disturbances
  • persistent flashbacks including hallucinogen persisting perceptual disorder (HPPD), a long-lasting condition
  • symptoms resembling a brain tumor or stroke


Long-term hallucinogen use also has severe psychological and physical side effects which often include:

  • speech impairment
  • memory loss
  • weight loss
  • anxiety
  • depression and suicidal ideation


Symptoms of withdrawal from hallucinogens resemble symptoms of long-term use and frequently include:

Physical Effects

  • stiff muscles
  • shaking and tremors
  • Elevated heart rate
  • high blood pressure
  • fast breathing rate
  • fluctuating body temperature
  • seizures

Psychological Effects

  • panic attacks
  • psychotic breaks
  • severe mood swings
  • speech impairment
  • rage
  • impaired impulse control


Call Serenity Oaks Wellness Center at 833-725-0071 today if you are ready to break free from your addiction to hallucinogenic drugs and start creating a life free from drug use. A professional, medically-supervised detox with personalized and compassionate care gives you your best assurance of safeguarding your emotional and physical safety.

Get Started at Serenity Oaks

At Serenity Oaks Wellness Center, we offer residential detox and addiction treatment with a wide range of modalities to address the needs of all our clients. Our high staff-to-client ratio ensures everyone that enters our facility gets the personal attention they need and deserve for a safe and successful detox process. To learn more about our program, contact Serenity Oaks Wellness Center today at 844-720-6847.
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