What Is Hallucinogen Detox?
Hallucinogen detox is the medical process in which the body is safely and successfully purged of hallucinogens. Hallucinogens are a diverse group of drugs that cause an altered sense of perception, thought, or mood. People under the influence of hallucinogens may exhibit a wide range of behaviors that can rapidly fluctuate between a relaxed, euphoric state to extreme agitation and aggression. The goal of hallucinogen detox is to minimize side effects and the changes in mood experienced during withdrawal in order to best enable patients to successfully proceed to the next stage of treatment.
Because hallucinogens take a relatively short time to leave the body, some hallucinogen users believe that detox is easy and can be done without the supervision of a medical professional; however, detox is never recommended to be done alone. Hallucinogen withdrawal symptoms can be debilitating and potentially even dangerous. Symptoms of withdrawal may begin to show as early as a few hours after stopping usage of the drug, and common symptoms include:
- Muscle spasms
- Vegetative state
- Aggressive behavior
- Panic attacks
- High blood pressure
- Suicidal thoughts
Detox is designed to minimize these symptoms and keep patients safe from the physical and behavioral changes often experienced when undergoing withdrawal. Detox then increases the likelihood of an individual completing recovery, as unsupervised withdrawal often proves too challenging to bear and causes relapse.
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The Process of Hallucinogen Detox
Because many hallucinogens are physically non-addictive, detoxification is typically conducted by simply stopping consumption of the hallucinogenic drug and administering medications to help alleviate symptoms of withdrawal.
Detox ranges anywhere from a few hours to a few days, depending on the hallucinogen.
Are All Hallucinogen Detoxes the Same?
Hallucinogens vary widely in composition and chemical structure, which can cause very different adverse effects. For example, Mescaline, which is a psychedelic derived from cacti, is vastly different from a synthetic hallucinogen, like LSD, in both composition and the side effects it produces. Although these variations exist, the detox process is pretty similar for all hallucinogens. In many cases, the severity of psychological addiction determines the treatment approach for detox.
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Options for Hallucinogen Detox
There are many options for hallucinogen detox, but the most effective are inpatient and outpatient facilities, as both provide the comprehensive therapy and treatment that is essential to a full recovery from hallucinogen dependency.
Inpatient detox within a hospital or treatment facility provides medical supervision, daily monitoring, and a secluded, quiet environment for patients to come down off the drug. Supportive staff members can make sure that patients are as comfortable as possible and offer medical support 24/7. In some cases, medications such as anti-depressants and Benzodiazepines can be helpful in managing certain withdrawal symptoms. Benzodiazepines like Valium and Diazepam are often used to reduce episodes of agitation and aggressive behavior experienced during withdrawal.
During outpatient detox, the patient comes into a facility during the day for treatment and returns home afterwards. The advantages to outpatient detox include more freedom and the ability to maintain a regular work/social schedule. The outpatient option is more suited for a less severe mental dependency on hallucinogens.
Treatment for Hallucinogen Detox
Hallucinogenic drugs are unpredictable and affect each person differently. A comprehensive treatment program and medical detox can offer a person struggling with hallucinogenic abuse hope. To learn about your hallucinogen detox options, contact a dedicated treatment specialist and begin your journey towards recovery today.
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