Other Hallucinogen Use Disorder
Another hallucinogen use disorder is the persistent use of hallucinogens, other than phencyclidine, regardless of clinically significant distress or impairment caused by those. (Such hallucinogens involve ecstasy (MDMA), mescaline, LSD, morning glory seeds, psilocybin, DOM, and dimethyltryptamine (DMT), The disorder typically includes a strong urge to consume the drug, problems in controlling its consumption, continuity in its use, in spite of damaging outcomes, a higher preference given to the drug use as compared to other obligations, activities and increased drug tolerance.
In the United States, the prevalence of 1-year consumption is estimated to be 0.5% among 12 to 17 years old adolescents, and 0.1% among adults. The highest prevalence rates are seen in those younger than the age of 30 years, and peak ages are 18 to 29 years (0.6%). Use is very rare in adults age 45 and over. The cause of other hallucinogen use disorders is not well known. Generally, it is supposed to have low persistence and good rates of recovery. Young people who consume MDMA and other hallucinogens have a higher incidence of other substance use disorders. Adolescents and adults who consume MDMA are more prone to become polysubstance drug users and to have other drug use disorders. Those individuals are at higher risk of developing non-substance mental disorders such as depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, and bipolar disorders, especially with addiction to salvia and MDMA.
Causes and risk factors of Other Hallucinogen Use Disorder
Causes of other hallucinogen use disorders mainly involve a previous history of a drug use disorder, younger age, severe pain, and other mental disorders occurring side by side. Risk factors are also similar to these. In addition, a risk factor for the disorder involves a history of childhood abuse (e.g. sexual abuse, physical penalties, emotional abuse, or neglecting behaviors). Hallucinogen use disorders such as alcohol, tobacco, and cannabis are the risk factors. Major depressive disorder is also associated with higher rates of other hallucinogen use disorders. Historically, hallucinogens have been used in established religious practices e.g. ritual psilocybin use by native populations occurs in South America, Mexico, and some areas in the United States.
Symptoms of Other Hallucinogen Use Disorder
The affected individual exhibits at least two of the following symptoms within a 12 month period:
- The affected individual continues to use the hallucinogens, even though he has social or interpersonal problems, such as arguments, due to the drug use.
- The person sticks to hallucinogens even though he knows it is initiating or worsening a psychological or physical problem.
- The affected person has urged for hallucinogens.
- The affected individual fails to carry out the most important roles in his life at, school, work or home, due to his hallucinogen use.
- The affected individual gives up or lessens other activities that were previously important to him, such as work-related, social, and other recreational activities. The individual has difficulty in cutting down or controlling his hallucinogen use.
- The affected individual spends a lot of time attaining, using, and recovering from hallucinogens.
- The affected individual takes more of the hallucinogen than they planned to.
- The individual abuses hallucinogenic drugs in dangerous situations, such as driving or operating machinery.
- Tolerance of hallucinogens.
Effects of Other Hallucinogen Use Disorder
Hallucinogen addiction leads to noteworthy psychological and social distress (e.g., marked depression or anxiety, fear of losing one’s mind, fearful ideation, damaged judgment skills, or compromised social or occupational functioning). There are perception-related changes occurring in a state of full alertness and wakefulness (e.g., intensification of depersonalization, perceptions, delusions, illusions, hallucinations, and synesthesia. Two or more of the given signs usually develop:
- pupillary dilation
- blurring of vision
- These hallucinogens have a stimulant effect and cause some of the features of Amphetamine Intoxication.
Complications of Other Hallucinogen Use Disorder
Other Hallucinogen Use Disorder (particularly with LSD) can lead to visual hallucinations that are terrifying. The perception disturbances and compromised judgment might result in fatalities or injuries from car or vehicle accidents, fights, or efforts to jump from high places. The use of Ecstasy may cause long-term neurotoxic effects (e.g., memory damage, sleep disturbances, brain damage, and psychosis).
Diagnosis of Other Hallucinogen Use Disorder
Diagnostic criteria for hallucinogen use disorder includes the majority of the following:
- Consuming the substance in excessive amounts or for longer than one is meant to.
- Willing to stop using the substance but unable to manage.
- Spending a lot of time getting, using, or recovering from the use of the substance.
- Cravings and strong desires to use the drug
- Being unable to complete tasks at work, home, or school due to substance abuse.
- Using even when it produces issues in relationships.
- Abandoning essential social, occupational, or recreational interests as a result of substance abuse.
- Using drugs repeatedly, even when doing so puts you at risk.
- Continuing to use while knowing you have a psychological or physical condition that the drug might have caused or exacerbated.
- Requiring more of the drug to get the desired effect (tolerance).
- The onset of withdrawal symptoms, which can be alleviated by consuming more of the drug.
Treatment of Other Hallucinogen Use Disorder
People who are high on hallucinogens should be evaluated psychologically. If they display erratic behavior, doctors might give them benzodiazepines to reduce anxiety and promote drowsiness. Antidepressant drugs can assist alleviate depressive symptoms, whereas benzodiazepines can alleviate anxiety symptoms. However, no medicines to treat hallucinogen misuse have been licensed by the Food and Drug Administration.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy, for example, can help people modify their beliefs and feelings about hallucinogen usage.
Other psychological treatment methods include:
- Support group meetings such as Narcotics Anonymous
- Individual or group therapy
- Living in a sober house