Hallucinogen Detox Timeline And Symptoms

Medically Reviewed by Johnelle Smith, M.D. on October 11, 2021

Hallucinogens are mind-altering substances that can alter your thoughts, mood, perception, and sense of reality. Some hallucinogens can be habit-forming. Hallucinogen withdrawal may be treated through detox.

How To Detox From Hallucinogens

Hallucinogens are a class of mind-altering drugs. Chronic, regular use of certain hallucinogens, such as LSD and ketamine, may cause physical dependence and withdrawal.

A detox program for hallucinogen abuse or addiction can help people safely stop using hallucinogens, and any other substances of abuse, by offering treatment for withdrawal.

Read more about how to detox from drugs

What Is Hallucinogen Withdrawal?

Withdrawal is the body’s reaction to the stopped use of a habit-forming drug. This can develop as a result of drug dependence, or a physical reliance on a drug.

Physical drug dependence can result from:

  • long-term drug use
  • frequently taking high doses of drugs
  • polydrug abuse (i.e. abusing multiple drugs)

Research has found mixed evidence on whether hallucinogens cause withdrawal.

However, there is evidence that this can occur with the heavy, chronic use of certain hallucinogenic drugs. Not all hallucinogens may result in withdrawal.


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Which Hallucinogens Require Detox?

Many different types of drugs are classified as hallucinogenic, or hallucinogens. If you become physically dependent on a hallucinogen through frequent, chronic use, you may require detox.

Which hallucinogens may require detox:

  • LSD
  • PCP
  • ketamine
  • psilocybin
  • mescaline (peyote)

What Factors Can Affect Hallucinogen Detox?

A number of factors can affect the detox process, including the severity of hallucinogen withdrawal symptoms and for how long they last.

Factors that can affect the hallucinogen detox process include:

  • age of the person
  • type of hallucinogen taken
  • amount of hallucinogens taken
  • frequency of hallucinogen use
  • use of multiple drugs (including alcohol)
  • hallucinogen abuse or addiction
  • co-occurring disorders
  • certain medical conditions
  • overall health
  • genetic factors

Long-term, heavy use of drugs is more likely to lead to withdrawal. However, this may not occur in every person who uses hallucinogens. This can vary from person to person.

Hallucinogen Detox And Withdrawal Symptoms

Withdrawal symptoms from stopping hallucinogen drug use can vary depending on the type of hallucinogen. Withdrawal symptoms are typically emotional and psychological in nature.

Emotional and psychological withdrawal symptoms may include:

  • drug cravings
  • anxiety
  • depression
  • dysphoria
  • mood swings
  • nightmares
  • confusion
  • hallucinations
  • paranoia
  • feeling of fear
  • memory troubles
  • problems with concentration
  • foggy thinking
  • difficulty sleeping

With some hallucinogens, like PCP and ketamine, physical reactions to detox may also occur.

Potential physical symptoms of withdrawal include:

  • sweating
  • headache
  • shaking
  • palpitations
  • chills
  • fatigue
  • restlessness
  • weight loss
  • increased body temperature
  • seizures

Hallucinogen Detox Timeline

There is no standard timeline for how long withdrawal from hallucinogens lasts. Drug detox typically lasts four to seven days on average.

Polysubstance abuse, or the misuse of multiple drugs, may affect this. Furthermore, some side effects of hallucinogen use, including cognitive effects, may persist for some time.

How Hallucinogen Detox Works

Anyone struggling with hallucinogen abuse or addiction will need to be first assessed by a doctor or detox treatment provider in order to create a suitable detox and addiction treatment plan.

Clinical Assessment

Detox typically begins with an intake assessment. A clinical intake assessment may involve a physical evaluation, as well as an assessment of your mental and psychological health.

You may be asked questions about:

  • how often you use drugs
  • for how long you’ve used drugs
  • the amount of drugs you use
  • your medical and mental health history
  • current overall health
  • previous attempts to detox from hallucinogens
  • history of substance abuse treatment

The Detoxification Process

First comes the creation of a detox plan. Next comes the detoxification process. Depending on the type of drugs and other personal factors, fully detoxing may take up to a week.

During this time, you may experience symptoms of withdrawal. If symptoms become very uncomfortable, or dangerous, medical staff will be able to provide treatment to help with this.

Hallucinogen Detox Programs

Drug detox programs are offered by inpatient and outpatient treatment facilities.

Detox programs for hallucinogen abuse may offer:

  • supportive care
  • medication (e.g. antidepressants, antipsychotics, sedatives)
  • drug counseling
  • nutritional support
  • treatment referrals

Medical Detox For Hallucinogen Addiction

Medical detox, or medically supervised detox, is generally recommended for anyone who is at high risk for severe withdrawal symptoms or relapse during detox.

Benefits of medical detox include:

  • around-the-clock observation and support
  • treatment for withdrawal symptoms
  • offers a calm setting for detox
  • treatment referrals for hallucinogen addiction

Medical detox is typically offered on an inpatient basis. This type of detox program is offered by many detox facilities and some inpatient treatment centers.

Outpatient Detox For Hallucinogen Addiction

Outpatient detox options may be available for those who are unable to access a medical detox program, or for those with mild drug dependence.

Within an outpatient program, you’ll likely be required to visit a detox facility or rehab center during the day for supervision. At the end of the day, you’ll go home.

Outpatient detox may not be suitable for people who:

  • have co-occurring drug addictions
  • have severe drug dependence
  • have a history of drug addiction
  • have certain medical conditions
  • are at risk for severe withdrawal

Hallucinogen Detox FAQs

Find answers to frequently asked questions about hallucinogen detox, withdrawal, and treatment options for hallucinogen abuse.

❓ Do You Need To Detox From DMT?

✔️ DMT is a hallucinogen. However, it is not known to cause drug tolerance or withdrawal.

❓ Is Detoxing From Hallucinogens Dangerous?

✔️ Hallucinogen detox can be dangerous in some cases. For instance, severe psychological symptoms, such as hallucinations and suicidal thoughts, may put a person at risk for harm.

Furthermore, addiction to multiple drugs—including stimulants like cocaine, or depressants like opioids, heroin, or marijuana—may complicate withdrawal and increase certain health risks.

❓ Can You Detox From Hallucinogens At Home?

✔️ If you’re addicted to a hallucinogen, or have been abusing it for some time, trying to detox at home isn’t recommended.

Hallucinogen withdrawal can be unpredictable and potentially dangerous. This may not be manageable within a home environment. Seek medical advice before attempting at-home detox.

❓ Do I Need To Detox From Hallucinogens?

✔️ Having an addiction to hallucinogens may require that you first undergo a detox process in order to safely stop using them. Detox may be followed by an addiction treatment program.

Find A Hallucinogen Detox Program Today

Millions of Americans struggle with drug abuse and addiction issues. If you or a loved one is struggling with hallucinogen abuse, you’re not alone.

Call our free and confidential helpline today to learn more about hallucinogen detox and to find a detox program that’s right for you.

This page does not provide medical advice. See more

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Medically Reviewed by
Johnelle Smith, M.D. on October 11, 2021


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