Types of Hallucinogens
Many people have heard of the types of drugs that fall within the hallucinogenic category, but might not be sure exactly what they are or their effects. Certainly, some hallucinations are involved, but other than that, people are often not too sure about why they are used and what draws users to them. What follows are several key pieces of information on this drug type and how it affects physical, emotional and mental wellbeing.
What Are Hallucinogens?
To be general, hallucinogens are psychoactive drugs that produce altered perceptions or ways of thinking and feeling when taken. To be specific, hallucinogens can be broken down into three types including dissociatives, psychedelics and deliriants.
What Are Common Types of Hallucinogens?
Dissociatives are a type of hallucinogen that work by creating sensory deprivation in the brain so that the mind creates its own perceptions without the interference of actual external stimuli. Examples of dissociatives include PCP, DXM, magic mushrooms and ketamine or Special K as it is often referred to on the streets.
Psychedelic drugs alter the way you perceive the world around you and are said to expand the mind-that is, turn off your brain's selective perception function and allow you to perceive everything around you. Examples include LSD, mescaline and peyote.
Unlike the two aforementioned types of hallucinogens, deliriants are actual hallucinogens in that they produce completely false perceptions that aren't based in reality. Examples include mandrake, deadly nightshade (commonly known as Atropa belladonna) and some medications like Benadryl and Dramamine when taken in high doses.
The Effects of Hallucinogens on the Body and Mind
Each type of hallucinogen affects the body in slightly different ways and though they all provide perceptual alterations, the manner in which this takes place is different for each. For instance, a dissociative can carry symptoms much like a depressant in that they slow the heart rate and breathing to the point of death in some cases. Substances like PCP pictured here, are also known to provide users with a "Superman" feeling as though they cannot be harmed, even though this isn't the case. If injured while on PCP, damaged muscle cells could release too much myoglobin, causing renal failure and death.
Psychedelics affect your perceptions in various ways. For instance, there are specific drugs within this type that effect only one sense like DiPT, which is an auditory hallucinogen. They also vary in the type of "trip" you will experience. For some, it is an intense but brief experience, while in others it can last for hours or days. Several psychedelics are very difficult to overdose on like LSD and mescaline, so death by toxicity is relatively rare.
Lastly, deliriants produce effects that are similar to a person who has become delirious from a fever. Users in a delirium see things that aren't there or perceive things not as they are. It is typical that users don't remember what they did while high. The risks of taking deliriant drugs are much higher than the other types of hallucinogenic drugs because they are toxic and it is possible to overdose on them, resulting in death. Side effects include dehydration, confusion, anger and dilated pupils. Even more dangerous is the fact that users are completely disconnected from reality; making it all the more likely they'll injure themselves while high.
How Can I Combat My Addiction to Hallucinogens?
Like any drug addiction, dealing with an addiction to hallucinogens is difficult but it can be done with help. If you are ready to seek out assistance in battling this problem, consider the extensive directory of drug rehab centers provided here. They have programs that can help you detox from the drugs, deal with withdrawal from these substances and then acquire the coping mechanisms to deal with life without drugs. And once you're done with rehab, you can enroll in an ongoing maintenance program such as a sober living home designed to help you stay on target with your goal to live a life without drugs.
Hallucinogenic drugs are very serious and are nothing to take lightly. Addiction is less likely than with many other drugs, but the short term dangers and the long-term health effects can be numerous, so eliminating them from your life would be the best decision you can make.
Talk about your experiences, and get questions answered in the hallucinogens forum or Dextromethorphan Pictures, Shrooms Pictures, and other hallucinogen photos in our drug pictures archive.