Hallucinogens - A Concern for Addicts?

Hallucinogens have long been considered niche drugs for hippies and music festival attendees, substances used for the occasional “trip” but not suitable for regular use. As addicts, we cannot let this seemingly harmless portrayal of hallucinogens lull us into a false sense of security. This class of drug includes several substances with a proven track record of addictive potential, and there is little research on the addictive nature of many hallucinogens commonly used today. Those with substance abuse disorders should abstain from using these drugs recreationally lest they be sucked back into the world of active addiction.

Hallucinogens have been used by humans for centuries as a means to experience a sense of heightened consciousness and connection to the universe. Little has changed over the course of human history, and these substances are still popular at spiritual retreats across the globe. Viewed as a harmless curiosity by many, the most common hallucinogens encountered today are Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD), Ketamine (Special K), and Psilocybin (Mushrooms). The few studies conducted on these three drugs indicate a low potential for addiction, but that does not mean they are safe for substance abusers. As with any drug, the mind altering effects experienced while under their influence can lead to reduced inhibitions and an increased willingness to return to your drug of choice.

Recently, the hallucinogenic Ketamine has gained popularity in the medical community as an alternative treatment for depression. The drug is administered by the prescribing doctor in a clinical office setting, and the patient remains under supervision for two hours after receiving the dose in order to ensure no debilitating side effects have occurred. Many addicts develop substance abuse disorders as a result of underlying mental illnesses such as depression, and for many traditional antidepressants offer modest success at treating their symptoms. While it is true Ketamine is a powerful drug with substantial mind and mood altering potential, given the precautions taken by the medical community when utilizing it as a treatment for depression a person in recovery should feel comfortable and confident should this particular course of treatment be advised by their physician.

Hallucinogens are a bit of an oddity in the world of recreational drugs - unlike most, their addictive potential remains questionable, though their ability to irrevocably damage a person’s psyche if abused is well-documented. As such, addicts in recovery should absolutely abstain from recreational use of hallucinogens in any context, even if they are a standard part of a spiritual retreat. The only acceptable use case for an addict is in the context of a medically prescribed and supervised treatment for depression or other mental illness. By sticking to a policy of abstinence you will ensure your sobriety is well protected against the danger of relapse, and you will remain undeterred as you continue your journey in recovery.


Evolutions is a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center located in beautiful South Florida. Our holistic approach to addiction treatment centers around addressing and healing the underlying issues at the root of addiction, rather than merely medicating symptoms away.

Our treatment program includes individual and group-based therapy to help clients understand and manage their symptoms and emotions.

If you or a loved one is suffering from addiction, alcoholism, or any co-occurring disorders please call us at (833) 818-3031 or visit www.evolutionstreatment.com