Popular myths among drug users are prevalent, and perhaps none of these myths are as well-established because the misconception that it is not possible to become dependent on hallucinogens. While physical dependence and addiction to hallucinogens doesn’t occur as rapidly as addiction to opiates, barbiturates, benzodiazepines or alcohol, it does happen and can have severe results. Because people who use hallucinogens experience significant distortions in what they see, hear and feel, chronic usage of these substances can result in a bunch of psychological and physiological problems, including addiction syndrome.
Hallucinogens are an arduous class of drug to define but generally include any drugs that cause prominent altered states of perception that greatly distort a user’s ability to differentiate between what is a hallucination and what is reality. The most typical and well-known hallucinogen is LSD or Lysergic Acid Diethylamide – a strong hallucinogen synthesized from spurned wheat or corn ergot. Other hallucinogens include Ecstasy, PCP, Psilocybin, Mescaline, Ketamine and Dextromethorphan. And although some people might argue that not most of these drugs are true hallucinogens, each of them cause addiction.
Generally speaking LSD, ecstasy, psilocybin and mescaline are considered true hallucinogens and work by disrupting the brain’s ability to produce and utilize serotonin. Serotonin helps to regulate sleeping patterns, mood and sexual desire, among other things. Other drugs that are not true hallucinogens – like Ketamine, PCP and Dextromethorphan – block the neurotransmitter glutamate, that is in charge of controlling cognitive functions like learning and memory.
Whether true hallucinogen or not, most of these drugs cause major disruptions in the senses and deprive the mind of its ability to work normally. In response the human body is likely to make changes in the central nervous system to conform to and mitigate the consequences of these drugs. As time passes and with continued use these changes be much more permanent, culminating at a point where the human body only functions “normally” once the drug is in the system. This is known as physical dependency. While different as addiction, many people consider physical dependency and addiction to be synonymous with each other.
However, while addiction is a clinical, neurological disease psychedelic mushroom chocolate bars on the market California, it’s most often classified by a small grouping of behaviors rather than physical signs or symptoms. The reason being hallucinogens cause the pleasure and reward center in the mind to be stimulated. Once the mind associates a drug with an atmosphere of “reward,” it will work to recreate that feeling whenever possible. Therefore, the longer a person uses a hallucinogen like LSD or ecstasy, the more associations are designed in the mind that not only “remembers” the pleasurable feeling of hallucinating, but also the environments in that your use took place.
This entire associative process builds neurological pathways in the mind to service them. Since these pathways have a primary purpose to recreate the pleasurable event, they cause severe and uncontrollable cravings in the consumer to have on top of the drug again and again, and true addiction is born.
Addiction to hallucinogens is equally as real and life threatening as addictions to drugs like heroin and cocaine. And because the nature of addiction doesn’t allow most sufferers to find help independently, it’s your responsibility to have help when someone you adore is fighting an addiction to hallucinogens.