Category Archives: Drugs causing hallucinations

Signs of a Psychotic Break from Marijuana

Marijuana use has become increasingly more common amongst teens and young adults with the legalization of cannabis in multiple states. Many assume this substance is safe for consumption, but there are a number of negative effects for those who frequently use or misuse marijuana. Included in the list of possible side effects is psychosis. However, knowing the signs to look out for can help someone who is experiencing a psychotic break from marijuana use get the support and treatment they need. 

Effects of Marijuana Use

Cannabis use affects both the mind and body of the person using the substance. While some effects only last for short periods of time, others can have long-term consequences. Immediate effects include:

  • Altered senses (sounds, visual effects, sensitivity to touch)
  • Impaired movement and thought processing
  • Challenges with memory and decision making
  • Hallucinations, delusions

Long-term use can cause symptoms such as:

  • Lasting cognitive impairment
  • Difficulty learning new information
  • Breathing problems
  • Increased heart rate
  • Signs of schizophrenia, paranoia, or hallucinations

Bipolar Disorder and Marijuana

According to a 2017 research analysis, those with bipolar disorder have some of the highest rates of marijuana use among those with mental illnesses. In fact, some studies reviewed in this report note that almost 10% of people with bipolar have a cannabis use disorder. Those with this mental illness may be more likely to use the substance to help regulate their emotions, but it often has the opposite effect. The same research analysis reports that marijuana use can increase the intensity and duration of manic episodes and create rapid cycling between manic and depressive episodes. The substance can also increase suicidal ideation and symptoms of psychosis, resulting in a psychotic break.

What is a Psychotic Break?

A psychotic break occurs when someone loses touch with reality. This usually includes hallucinations, delusions, and paranoia. In the mental health field, professionals refer to this as psychosis or a psychotic episode. This can be a warning sign that a person could develop schizophrenia in the future, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that will happen. In fact, less than one percent of U.S. adults develop schizophrenia, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. Rather, it’s more common that people will exhibit temporary symptoms of psychosis that can be managed through treatment and lifestyle changes. 

Signs of a Psychotic Break from Marijuana Use

Psychosis that comes as a result of marijuana use has similar characteristics to other types of psychotic breaks. Early signs of this include:

  • Insomnia
  • Seeing shadows or objects that others don’t
  • Hearing voices or ringing in the ears
  • Smelling or tasting things that others can’t
  • Difficulty thinking clearly

A full psychotic break will involve both hallucinations and delusions. Hallucinations occur when a person hears, sees, or feels something that isn’t present in reality. Delusions are beliefs that are either untrue, irrational, or based on an altered perception of reality. This can include a person believing they have special powers, are being controlled by external forces, or are on a special type of mission.

Treating Psychosis Due to Marijuana Use

Cannabis use increases the chances that someone will experience a psychotic episode, and those with bipolar disorder are at an even greater risk. At PACE Recovery Center, we specialize in treating young men who are managing substance use and mental health issues. Psychosis can be a terrifying experience, especially when people aren’t sure what’s going on. We help the gentlemen in our program develop coping skills for symptoms they are experiencing while addressing underlying diagnoses contributing to their condition. Our multiple levels of treatment provide support in all stages of recovery. If you or a young man you know would benefit from an integrative treatment program, contact us today. 

Drugs That Cause Hallucinations

Ingesting certain drugs can cause hallucinations. Hallucinations change your brain’s awareness of its surroundings. In turn, your mind forms images, smells, and sounds that might seem real to you, but they are not. 

Doing them regularly could result in psychotic episodes and other long-term problems. This guide outlines drugs that cause hallucinations, how they affect the brain, symptoms of use, and treatments.

Which Drugs Lead to Hallucinations?

The National Institute on Drug Abuse classifies two types of drugs causing hallucinations: classic and dissociative drugs. Here is a look at some of the drugs that lead to altered mental states:

  • LSD: LSD, also known as D-lysergic acid diethylamide, comes in white or clear material. When someone takes LSD, they go on an acid trip, invoking images of vivid color, inanimate objects moving, and tasting sounds. 
  • Peyote: It is a cactus containing mescaline. People can also synthesize it. After taking it, you can feel like you’re in a dream. Your mind can form hallucinations even with your eyes closed. 
  • DMT: You can find DMT (N,-N-dimethyltryptamine) derived from Ayahuasca, a chemical found in Amazonian plants. People use the chemical to make tea or synthesize it into white powder to smoke. DMT has a reputation for giving its users an intense hallucination. 
  • Psilocybin: It comes from mushrooms found in the United States, Mexico, and South America. After eating them, hallucinations can form within 30 minutes. These include altered realities, feelings of paranoia and confusion, and distortions in sound. 

Meanwhile, there are dissociative drugs, such as PCP, Ketamine, Salvia, and DXM, which can also cause hallucinations.

Are There Side Effects to Taking Drugs Causing Hallucinations?

Yes, users can experience the following symptoms during or after hallucinating:

  • Rapid heart rate
  • Nausea
  • Dry mouth
  • Paranoia (being afraid of others or surroundings)
  • Sweating
  • Panic
  • Fitful sleep
  • Changes in perception of time
  • Intense sensory experiences (tasting sounds, seeing vivid colors, etc.)

Meanwhile, taking hallucinating drugs could result in psychosis. When a person undergoes a psychotic episode, they might exhibit:

  • Paranoid thoughts
  • Rapid changes in mood or behavior
  • Disconnected thinking and speech

Users might also experience Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder. It is where you can relive drug experiences from your past–even if you do not use them anymore. Your mind can produce flashbacks of hallucinations you encountered. It can occur from a few days to a year or more after using the drug

How are Dissociative Drugs Different?

These drugs present different symptoms, such as numbness, raised blood pressure, memory loss, seizures, amnesia, the inability to move, problems breathing, and mood swings. Moreover, dissociative drugs tend to result in higher overdoses. A person overusing PCP could experience coma, seizures, and ultimately, death. 

Providing a Way Out

Hallucinogenic drugs carry severe side effects that can stay with a person for more than a year after use. If you or someone you know exhibits some of the symptoms outlined in this guide, know that help is here when you’re ready.

We tailor our treatment options to cater exclusively to men’s needs. It includes uncovering the source of why you use it. And helping you develop the coping skills necessary to live a drug-free future. Learn about all the treatment options available to you by contacting the Pace Recovery Center today.