Hallucinogen Addiction Treatment and Rehab
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- Classical hallucinogens (LSD, psilocybin) are not associated with a significant risk for dependence or addiction
- Dissociative hallucinogens (ketamine, PCP) have a much higher risk for misuse, dependence, and addiction, and they may require professional treatment to overcome
- Rehab comes in many forms, including long-term residential programs and outpatient programs
- Look for rehab programs that offer cognitive behavioral therapy and family therapy
- Long-term recovery takes maintenance, and participation in an aftercare program can help ensure long-term success
he hallucinogen family includes some drugs that are associated with risk for addiction, including PCP and ketamine. These drugs may require professional treatment and rehab to quit.
- Classical hallucinogens, or psychedelics, are usually what comes to mind when people think of hallucinogens. Examples include LSD, mescaline, psilocybin (magical mushrooms) and DMT.
- Dissociative hallucinogens have significant hallucinogenic properties and can cause a sense of detachment from reality. Common examples of dissociative hallucinogens include ketamine, PCP, DXM, and nitrous oxide. Some of these drugs are used alongside anesthesia during surgery.
These two categories have very different risks for misuse, dependence and addiction. Evidence indicates that these risks are very low in classical hallucinogens and that these hallucinogens may be helpful in managing mental health conditions.
Some dissociative hallucinogens may also be helpful in treating mental health conditions. However, they are associated with a much higher risk of misuse, dependence, and addiction.
Research into the potential benefits of these drugs is done in controlled settings and under the immediate supervision of medical professionals. Hallucinogens should never be taken recreationally.
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.
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
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)
PHs are often a transition step for people who have completed a residential
rehab program and are preparing to begin an outpatient program. PHs 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 drug rehab programs can take many forms. Intensive outpatient
programs (I0P) 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 is
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
Hallucinogen Addiction Treatment Therapies
The most common treatment therapies for hallucinogen use disorders include:
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
CBT is one of the most effective treatment options for helping people overcome
addiction. The goal of CBT is to restructure negative cognitive patterns and build
coping skills that help people to manage temptation and succeed in recovery.
Mounting evidence is demonstrating that CBT changes certain regions of the
brain, which helps people to better handle stress and triggers.
Addiction Therapy Models
The premise of addiction therapy models is that no drug addiction is like another.
For example, people with a hallucinogen addiction have challenges that are
different from people with an opioid addiction. When rehab programs are specific
to a particular drug, success may be achieved earlier and with more sustainable
Family Therapy for Substance Use Disorders
Addiction can be hard on relationships. Many facilities offer group and private
sessions that are designed to help repair relationships with family and friends in a
constructive, guided environment.
Duration of Treatment
Without a consultation, it is difficult to estimate how long a person will need to stay in rehab. Dissociative hallucinogens can be challenging to overcome, and some people may have the most success by attending a long-term rehab facility. Others may find that outpatient programs are enough. People in inpatient rehab programs may spend several weeks or months in a residential facility, followed by several months of outpatient care.
Life After Rehab
Successful recovery requires regular maintenance. The people who are most successful in long-term recovery are proactive about participating in aftercare programs. They also work to develop strong, healthy social networks that can provide support in times of weakness.
How Much Does Rehab Cost?
General estimates for 30-day rehab programs are as follows:
A basic program may cost less than $10,000, while luxury programs may exceed
PHPs can vary widely from one facility to another. Costs may range from $7,000
to over $20,000.
Outpatient programs range from free programs to full-service treatment plans that
can cost $10,000 or more. Intensive outpatient programs often require the client
to live on-site, which will increase the overall cost.
Other associated costs may include:
Other Rehab Costs
Admissions fees ($3,000 to $4,000)
Medical detox ($300 to $800 per day)
Additional medical treatments (for example, treating a mental health disorder)
Enrollment in aftercare programs
Does Insurance Cover Rehab?
Many insurance plans (including Medicaid) will cover part or all of your rehab. Contact The Recovery Village Palm Beach at Baptist Health to learn whether your insurance carrier will cover rehab with us.
There are also options for drug rehab without insurance. Many rehab facilities offer scholarships, grants and sliding fee scales to accommodate people from a wide range of income brackets. In addition, Florida provides some assistance to people who are seeking rehab.
Finding Treatment for Hallucinogen Addiction
There are many options for drug rehab in Florida, but it is important to find one that fits your specific needs. Look for a facility with a multidisciplinary team that is equipped to deal with physical, psychological and medical components of your recovery.
There are several factors to consider when you are evaluating your options, including:
The closest facility may not be your best option. Don’t be afraid to consider
programs that are farther from home, especially if you are concerned about
Look for a program that accepts your insurance or can provide ways to help keep
out-of-pocket costs within your range.
The program you choose should be equipped to help you manage every step of
the recovery journey. The best facilities provide medical detox, aftercare, evidence
based therapies, and inpatient and outpatient programs.
Hallucinogens are often used in an attempt to manage untreated mental health
disorders. Programs that can evaluate whether you are a candidate for a dual
diagnosis will maximize your chances of long-term success.
Look for a low staff-to-patient ratio to ensure that you will have plenty of access to
medical professionals and therapists.
Programs that are accredited by either The Joint Commission or CARF
International guarantee a certain standard of care.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. “What are hallucinogens?” April 2018. Accessed December 19, 2019.
Belouin, S.J., Henningfield, J.E. “Psychedelics: Where we are now, why we got here, what we must do.” Neuropharmacology, November 2018. Accessed December 19, 2019.
Bador, K., Kerekes, N. “Evaluation of an Integrated Intensive Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Treatment Within Addiction Care.” The Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research, April 2019. Accessed December 19, 2019.
Dutcher, Janine M.; Creswell, J David. “Behavioral interventions in health neuroscience.” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, June 2018. Accessed December 19, 2019.
See, N.J. “Models and Theories of Addiction and the Rehabilitation Counselor.” Research Papers, 2013. Accessed December 19, 2019.