the dangers of psychedelics

Psychedelics: What Are They and What Are the Dangers?

Psychedelic drugs are notorious for their ability to alter perception and mood, sometimes in spectacular fashion. Many are derived from plants or fungi or created synthetically. They come in forms from pills to liquids to impregnated blotting paper, and many are in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. This means that they have a high risk of causing a substance use disorder and currently have no medical use or safe dosage. 

Psychedelic Effects 

The effects of psychedelic drugs on an individual person depends on the drug that they are taking, the dose, their mood and where and when the drug is ingested. The effects include distortions in the person’s perception of space and time, transmogrified colors and forms and a feeling of detachment from their body. The most common physical affects of psychedelic drugs are dilated pupils, increased heart rate and high body temperature and blood pressure. Some users also have insomnia, dry mouth, sweating, loss of appetite and tremors. People who take peyote, psilocybin and mescaline report severe nausea and vomiting when they first take the drug. 

Some users of psychedelic drugs have what are called flashbacks weeks or even months after they have taken the drug. Flashbacks usually occur when the person is under stress and are more common among younger people. As time passes, the flashbacks grow less intense. Other people suffer anxiety and depression in the wake of taking psychedelic drugs to the point where they may seek addiction treatment. 

Dangers From Psychedelic Drugs 

Deaths from direct overdose of psychedelic drugs are rare though in the cases of PCP and ketamine a severe overdose can result in coma, seizures and death when the respiratory system collapses. With other psychedelics, deaths are usually due to accidents or suicide. 

However, in the case of Ecstasy, or MDMA the body can no longer regulate its temperature. On top of this, users often forget to stay hydrated and lose water to the point where they damage their liver, cardiovascular system and kidneys. This risk is made worse from the setting where many users take Ecstasy. These settings include raves or parties where conditions are hot and crowded. 

Real Consequences  

Though psychedelics do not result in the type of addiction that opioids and cocaine can lead to, they can still cause dire consequences for mental and physical health and a substance use disorder that requires addiction treatment. Residential treatment centers help people who crave the effects of psychedelics and do not think they can stop taking them on their own.

As is the case in any substance use disorder, there are always underlying factors that influence the severity of an addictive behavior. This is why there is a need for professional assessment and individualized plans that include cognitive and behavioral therapies, as well as structured life-skills work. Beyond that, the team needs to be compassionate and have a deep understanding of addiction treatment and the individuals that are in need of care.

This is where Pure Life Recovery in North San Diego comes in. Our treatment program is designed with long-term recovery in mind. If you or your loved one is in need of detox or residential addiction treatment, please call us today. Our professional staff are ready to help you understand your treatment options and what steps you need to take to get there. Call now: tel:949-344-2863.

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