Dissociative Anesthetics are drugs that cause hallucinations by altering a person’s sensory perceptions. They are found in some mushrooms and plants and are also produced chemically. People under the influence of dissociative anesthetics may feel detached from their surroundings. They see, hear, and feel things that seem to be real.
According to the 2017 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), around 143,000 adolescents aged 12-17 were current users of dissociative drugs. Dissociative anesthetics react by temporarily affecting the communication pathways between the neurotransmitter systems of the human body. Some experts believe that such drugs affect the activity of a brain chemical known as glutamate. This chemical is responsible for processing emotions, memory and learning, and perceiving pain. It is also said to affect another brain chemical called dopamine, responsible for the reward centers of the brain.
The effects of dissociative drugs or hallucinogens depends on the dosage and the drug taken by the user. Though most of the symptoms are highly unpredictable, some common ones that high dosages produce within minutes are:
A low or moderate dosage might produce the following general symptoms:
Combining dissociative anesthetics with alcohol or other CNS depressants increases the risk of suffering respiratory problems that may prove to be fatal.
Some of the most commonly available dissociative drugs are:
LSD – Also known as acid, the effects of this hallucinogenic drug include delusions, hallucinations, altered thoughts and feelings, paranoia, flashbacks, and overwhelming feelings.
Ketamine – Commonly known as special K or super K, it is a painkiller used for veterinary purposes. However, its use by humans causes feelings of detachment and hallucinations. Excessive dosage leads to immobility, drowsiness, co-ordination problems, and memory loss.
PCP – A synthetic drug, this can be injected, snorted, smoked or ingested. PCP causes paranoia, aggressiveness, and psychotic behavior. People indulging in prolonged use may also suffer from heart and respiratory problems.
DXM – Commonly used for cold and cough, this is a psychoactive drug. Its use leads to severe side effects like unclear speech, nausea, euphoria, and paranoia when abused. Prolonged use can also create nerve and heart-related problems.
Salvia – Known as a potent hallucinogen, salvia produces intense psychedelic experiences. A kappa opiate receptor (KOP) agonist, its use leads to unclear speech, loss of coordination, and delusions.
Dissociative anesthetics abuse leads to impairment in a person’s motor skills, memory and thinking, and learning capabilities. It leads to several mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, paranoia, and even schizophrenia. A user is also more like to develop respiratory and heart problems over a period of time.
Withdrawal symptoms of dissociative anesthetics generally depend upon the substance abused. However, some withdrawal symptoms like chills, tremors, hallucinations, and cravings are common in nature and may be experienced during the withdrawal process.
The treatment program for addiction to dissociative drugs would depend on the kind and severity of drug used and abused. A comprehensive treatment program includes a medically supervised detox to flush out the toxins from the body, accumulated with years of abuse. It would also include behavioral treatment therapies to help the patient recover and learn coping strategies to manage triggers and avoid a relapse.
ADEONA Healthcare of California provides holistic and strength-based treatment approaches to treat adolescents aged 12 to 17 for mental health disorders, co-occurring disorders, behavioral problems and alcohol and/or drug addiction. The programs for dissociative drug abuse and addiction treatment stress on a tailored-made program and holistic treatment approach to assist teens in overcoming their substance use disorder.
Teens are a vulnerable section and early substance abuse by them leads to multiple problems later in life. ADEONA Healthcare boasts of the latest in the field of addiction and mental health treatment. Our experienced and friendly staff understands that each teen patient is unique and special and works towards a holistic recovery by addressing their social, emotional, and physical needs.
To learn more about the drug addiction treatment programs offered for dissociative anesthetics and other drugs, call our 24/7 helpline (888) 379-9360 and speak with a representative. You can also chat online to a representative for further information.