Dissociative anesthetics, also known as dissociatives or dissociative drugs, are a class of hallucinogens that can distort a person’s sense of time, vision, sound and self.
Types of dissociative drugs include:
- Phencyclidine, or PCP
- Dextromethorphan, or DXM
- Salvia divinorum
Dissociative drugs cause people to feel detached, or dissociated, from the world around them.
Other physical effects of dissociative drugs include:
- Changes in sensory perception
- Feelings of detachment
- Increase in blood pressure, heart rate, respiration
Researchers have found that most dissociative drugs work by disrupting the neurotransmitter glutamate, a brain chemical responsible for activating various neurons. Salvia, meanwhile, works by activating certain opioid receptors in the brain.
At higher dosages, dissociative drugs can harm the brain and may cause aggressive behavior, seizure, coma or even death. For this reason, signs of a dissociative overdose should be taken very seriously.
Since there are many different kinds of dissociative drugs, there are also many different kinds of overdoses.
PCP overdose symptoms may include:
- Violent behavior
- High blood pressure
- Uncontrolled movement
Ketamine overdose symptoms include:
- Loss of motor coordination
- A trance-like state known as a K-hole
- Shortness of breath
- Impaired vision
- Muscle twitches
DXM overdose symptoms include:
- Muscle twitches
- Bluish fingernails and lips
- Trouble breathing
- Gut spasms
Salvia overdose symptoms include:
I’m addicted to dissociative drugs – What should I do?
Dissociative drugs can be both physically and psychologically addictive. In other words, individuals who misuse dissociative anesthetics may experience both physical and psychological withdrawal symptoms if they stop using.
Withdrawal symptoms of PCP can include:
- Weight loss
- Memory problems
- Poor reflexes
Ketamine withdrawal symptoms which can indicate a need for help from a ketamine treatment centers can include:
- Slowed respiration and heart rate
DXM withdrawal symptoms include:
Salvia withdrawal symptoms include:
- Panic attacks
Dissociative anesthetics are a diverse group of substances. For this reason, individuals who are addicted to dissociative drugs may benefit from treatment programs geared specifically toward their drug of abuse. As an example, a person seeking ketamine addiction treatment should look for ketamine treatment centers or drug treatment centers that include treatment for ketamine addiction. Clinicians at these ketamine treatment centers should be able to deliver specialized care.
People who are addicted to dissociative anesthetics can fight their addiction through medication management, cognitive behavioral therapy, stress management therapy and other professionally administered treatments.
For more information on treatment for addiction to dissociative anesthetic drugs and Sovereign’s drug treatment program, please contact our 24/7 helpline.