What are Synthetic Hallucinogens?
Synthetic Hallucinogens are man-made substances that mimic the effects of classic hallucinogenic drugs like LSD. These substances are frequently used as additives in designer drugs such as Ecstasy. PMA and PPMA are molecularly similar to Ecstasy or methamphetamine, as are Mephedrone and MDPV, and Methylone is frequently used in Bath Salts or labeled as Ecstasy. Other street names include Smiles, 25B, 25C, 25I, 2c-E, Europa, NBOMe, and N-Bomb, which is a more potent and more toxic than LSD, and cheaper.
What are Synthetic Hallucinogens used for?
People use Synthetic Hallucinogens with the intent of experiencing an energized “high” similar to other stimulant and designer drugs. Synthetic Hallucinogens are less expensive and more readily available than other illegal stimulants, mainly because they are made with any one of a number of highly inexpensive and frequently toxic additives.
Individuals using these substances are seeking a feeling of euphoria, dissociation, floating, extreme relaxation, and empathy, although they may also be seeking traditional stimulant effects such as decreased inhibitions, increased sociability, alertness, confidence, amnesia, and general disorientation. The range of additives and unknown chemical components in synthetic hallucinogens makes their effects highly unpredictable with each use.
What are the Side Effects of Using Synthetic Hallucinogens?
Since Synthetic Hallucinogens are created in illegal labs, their ingredients and potency vary a lot, making it nearly impossible to know what is actually in them or what they can do to you. There are a wide-range of side effects that can occur with Synthetic Hallucinogens, some of which are fatal:
- Confusion and disorientation,
- Motor impairment,
- Impaired decision-making,
- Anxiety, panic, paranoia,
- Cardiac disturbance such as increased blood pressure and heart rate,
- Respiratory distress,
- Convulsions and seizure,
- Blurred vision,
- Facial stiffness,
- Gastrointestinal distress,
- Death from either primary or secondary side effects and impaired decision making.
Signs of Synthetic Hallucinogens Abuse
Signs of Synthetic Hallucinogen abuse may include the usual symptoms such as paranoia, psychosis, increased sociability and decreased inhibitions, insomnia, mood changes such as increased anxiety or depression. An individual may also seem to be incorrectly perceiving or processing sensory information such as sight, hearing, and touch. Dilated pupils and lightheadedness may also occur with use. Decreased ability to successfully negotiate daily responsibilities is also a sign of abuse.
Synthetic Hallucinogens Abuse Health Risks
Synthetic Hallucinogens have severe health risks for users. Short term health effects include cardiac disturbance, seizure, organ failure, nausea, increased and/or distorted sensory processing, distortions in time perception, and death. Long term health risks include lasting psychosis and persisting flashbacks. Many synthetic hallucinogens are also highly addictive.
Synthetic Hallucinogens Withdrawal Symptoms
Synthetic Hallucinogens are highly physiologically and psychologically addictive. Withdrawal symptoms may include:
- Mood changes such as depression, anxiety, paranoia, panic, agitation, and suicidal thinking or behaviors.
- Physical symptoms may include tremors, sleep disturbance.
- Intense cravings for additional substances frequently accompany withdrawal.
- Persons may also demonstrate additional bizarre behavior as a result of paranoia and psychosis.
Rehab Treatment for Synthetic Hallucinogens Addiction at Castle Craig
Synthetic Hallucinogen addiction can have devastating consequences for individuals and their loved ones. The expert rehab treatment professionals at Castle Craig help individuals with Synthetic Hallucinogen addiction safely recover from the immediate effects of use, while providing a supportive and therapeutic environment in which to create personalised plans for long term and successful recovery.
Detox from Synthetic Hallucinogens
There is very little information available in scientific/medical literature about treatment for people who abuse or are dependent upon synthetic hallucinogens and very little is known about their chemical formulas and metabolism within the body. Most new psychoactive substances cannot be detected with urine or blood tests alone.
On admission a patient receives a urine and blood test to determine their overall well-being, the extent of kidney function/damage and evidence of muscle breakdown which can be caused by new psychoactive drugs. We then take a clinical history from the patient which aims to find out what drugs they have been taking. Our doctors medically assess the patient’s vital physical signs: heart rate, blood pressure, alertness, pupillary size; all of these things can help to form an assessment of the types of drugs they may have taken.
Once the patient is stable we monitor them for signs of withdrawal and treat these symptoms accordingly. We have an experienced medical and nursing team who help patients through the detoxification process at Castle Craig Hospital, and they are given 24/7 medical coverage and all the support they need.
Our Therapeutic Programme for GHB Addiction
We recognise drug addiction as a disease of the brain and we believe that abstinence is the only possible way to achieve a full recovery. As well as detox, 12 Step therapy and other psychotherapies including cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and EMDR are used to help change negative thoughts, attitudes and behaviours that block recovery, and treat the root cause of the addiction. Patients are taught relapse prevention and family members also receive therapy sessions. Visit our treatment section to find out more information about drug rehabilitation at Castle Craig.
Page last reviewed and clinically fact-checked | January 7, 2020