Hallucinogen Addiction Treatment: What to Expect
The first step in any addiction treatment program is to undergo an initial evaluation at a quality rehab facility. The facility should be experienced in helping people overcome hallucinogen use disorders. This evaluation will allow you to consult with an addiction specialist about the most appropriate course of action.
Once you have enrolled in a treatment program, you will undergo a comprehensive intake interview that helps the staff understand your medical history. It is important to be honest about past and current drug use during the intake interview.
If you have a serious dependence on a dissociative hallucinogen, you may spend the first day or two in an inpatient medical detox program. While there are no FDA-approved medications for treating hallucinogen addiction, medication may be prescribed to help manage the severity of withdrawal symptoms.
Following detox, a rehab program that includes individual and group therapy sessions, cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing and other forms of counseling will begin. For people who do not require detox, the treatment process may begin here.
It is important to understand that a rehab program will likely include therapy sessions that may be uncomfortable. You will be asked to confront the mistakes you made while on hallucinogens, which can be very challenging. Many people feel ashamed or embarrassed in the early stages of recovery, but pushing through the initial discomfort will help you begin the healing process.
Hallucinogen Addiction Treatment Options
Depending on the degree of dependence or addiction, treatment for a hallucinogen addiction can take many forms. Quality rehab facilities will provide all of the following programs to ensure that their clients receive care and treatment that suits their needs.
- Medical Detox
The first stage of recovery is the detox period. All the hallucinogens are purged from the system during this period, which can be uncomfortable. It is associated with withdrawal symptoms such as cravings, fatigue, depression, and irritability. Medical detox is done under the supervision of medical professionals who are available 24/7 to address questions and concerns as they arise. They are also able to intervene in the case of complications and provide medication to relieve withdrawal symptoms.
- Inpatient Treatment
Inpatient treatment programs, also known as residential rehab, may be an appropriate starting point for someone who does not need supervised detox. During the challenging first weeks of recovery, many people find that residential programs are the best way to avoid temptation and achieve early success.
- Partial Hospitalization Programming (PHP)
PHPs are often a transition step for people who have completed a residential rehab program and are preparing to begin an outpatient program. PHPs include full-time care and support during the day and clients will then return home at night to work on returning to an independent and sober lifestyle.PHP programs are often beneficial for people who have been diagnosed with a co-occurring mental health disorder that has not yet been treated.
- Outpatient Treatment
Outpatient drug rehab programs can take many forms. Intensive outpatient programs (IOP) are the most structured, and they provide a smooth transition from a residential or PHP to a program that allows more flexibility. This allows clients to gradually re-engage with life outside of the rehab facility. Other outpatient programs include weekly or bi-weekly therapy sessions that help clients who want the continued support of a full-service rehab facility. People with mild dependence or addiction to hallucinogens may find that beginning with an outpatient program is sufficient. If you feel you might relapse, however, it will be most effective to start with an inpatient rehab program.
- Treatment for Dual Diagnosis
An underappreciated component of many hallucinogen use disorders is the presence of a co-occurring mental health disorder. Dissociative hallucinogens like ketamine are often misused in an attempt to manage symptoms of depression or post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Drug Rehab Aftercare
Participating in aftercare is the most effective way to manage long-term recovery. Aftercare programs typically help clients develop an appropriate drug relapse prevention plan, which helps people to have a strategy in place for when temptation strikes.