AZ Addiction Treatment for Psychedelic Drugs
Psychedelic drugs come in many shapes and forms, but they have a few things in common. The most notable is that they cause those who take them to hallucinate, which is what makes them a commonly used — and abused — substance. In fact, an estimated 32 million Americans have used psychedelics at some point in their life .
While not all psychedelics are considered physically addictive, they’re often taken to produce a high, and repeated abuse can lead to dependency and behavioral addiction. Read on to learn more about psychedelics, including the signs of addiction, withdrawal symptoms, and substance abuse treatment options.
What Are Psychedelic Drugs?
Psychedelics are drugs that alter perception and cognition, often resulting in hallucinations. These hallucinations and altered senses of perception can be either positive or negative experiences, which are commonly referred to as “trips.” People who use psychedelics regularly often do so because they are trying to recreate positive feelings and hallucinations experienced in the past by taking the drug. Some take drugs in this class as way to reach a deeper meaning or higher way of thinking. Others use psychedelics to self-medicate.
Psychedelic substances come in many shapes and forms, but the most common are LSD (acid), mescaline, DMT, PCP (angel dust), cannabis (marijuana, pot, weed), salvia, MDMA, and mushrooms. Many psychedelics are consumed orally, but some can be snorted or injected.
Most psychedelic drugs are illegal, but some states may allow for medical and religious use. In Arizona, the following psychedelic drugs and products are illegal for any type of use, sale, or possession.
- Peyote (the plant from which mescaline is derived)
- LSD (acid)
- Recreational cannabis/marijuana
- Psilocybe cubensis (mushrooms)
There are several drugs in this class that aren’t wholly illegal:
- Ayahuasca (a tea containing DMT) is illegal, but a few churches in the United States have religious exemptions for ceremonial use
- Salvia divinorum (a psychoactive variety of the salvia plant) is currently legal in AZ
- Marijuana is legal for medical purposes
Signs and Symptoms of Addiction to Psychedelics
Because psychedelics come in so many varieties, the signs and symptoms of psychedelics abuse differ greatly depending on the individual, their history with the drug, and their method of use. Common symptoms that someone is “tripping,” or are under the influence of psychedelics, include:
- Mood changes
- Disorganized thoughts
- Change in personality or social circles
- Changes in appetite
- Sudden financial difficulties
One of the most common signs that someone is struggling with an addiction is if they begin to place a drug above their familial, social, school, work, or self-care priorities and responsibilities.
Effects of Psychedelics Abuse and Addiction
Psychedelics are often popular for very different reasons than other drugs. The highs they create are more immersive, which leads them to be used in a more experiential way. But these drugs are also very unpredictable, which can put the user at great risk. One never knows whether they will experience a good or bad “trip,” and the latter can be very dangerous. “Bad trips” can lead to someone hurting themselves or others based on the hallucinations they’re experiencing. Some “bad trips” can cause someone to put themselves in harms way, for example, unknowingly wandering into a busy street, and can ultimately lead to serious injury or even death. Psychedelics can also lead to:
- Extreme anxiety
- Extreme paranoia
Those who use psychedelics for an extended period of time are also at risk of developing Hallucinogen Persisting Perceptual Disorder (HPPD), where flashbacks to previous “trips” will intrude on and affect their everyday life.
Arizona Psychedelics Detox and Withdrawal
Most psychedelics are not considered physically addictive, but they are psychologically and behaviorally addictive. Psychological addiction occurs when a person stops using a substance, and instead of physical symptoms of withdrawal, they experience negative psychological effects, including depression and anxiety.
A behavioral addiction can result from any activity. When we do something that makes us feel good, our brains release dopamine. With repeated use, the brain starts to associate an action with positive feelings and becomes dependent on it. This isn’t inherently a bad thing — positive associations from eating healthy or good job performance, for example, are ways that people stay motivated to live productive lives. But when they allow substances, gambling, or another potentially damaging behavior to be at the heart of this association, it can be dangerous.
In the case of physically addictive psychedelics, such as PCP, which is considered a dissociative psychedelic drug, people going through detox can experience agitation, seizures, paranoia, elevated body temperature, and tremors.
Many times, those using psychedelics are searching for an “escape,” which can be a sign that the individual is suffering from a mental health disorder, such as depression. Because of their ability to trigger or exacerbate mental health disorders, it’s important to seek out professional medical help when taking steps to quit using psychedelics.
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Treatment for Psychedelics Addiction in Arizona
At The River Source, we believe in holistic treatments, meaning that we treat all aspects of an individual: mind, body, and spirit. When it comes to treating addictions to psychedelics, it’s important to discover and heal the underlying sources of addiction.
Through proven treatments and group, individual, and family counseling, we help clients heal every aspect of their being that has been touched by psychedelics addiction. We’ll also provide you with the coping mechanisms, tools, and support you need to live a healthy life without substances.
If you or someone you love are using or abusing any psychedelic drug, The River Source offers a full continuum of care, starting with detox and residential, as well as multiple levels of outpatient treatment.