Understanding Dissociative Drugs

Understanding Dissociative Drugs

Psychoactive substances, which are also called dissociative drugs, are very powerful and addictive substances that can alter someone’s brain, perception and consciousness.

If you or someone you know consumes these substances, it’s crucial to be aware of them fully as well as the risks associated with them.

Here, we explain everything there is to know and aim to shed light on dissociative drugs, how they work, the effects and the risks of taking them.


What Are Dissociative Drugs?

When we talk about dissociative drugs, we’re referring to substances that have the ability to distort and alter the brain’s perception of sight, sound and feelings. When ingested, users can feel a form of detachment from themselves and reality and can become disassociated with their surroundings.

Unlike depressants or stimulants, which are known for having an effect on someone’s mood and energy, dissociative drugs have an impact on cognition and sensory perception. This alone can be very dangerous and can lead to feelings of anxiety and paranoia.


The Most Common Types of Dissociative Drugs

Some of the most common types of dissociative drugs include ketamine, laughing gas, methoxetamine and DXM.


Possibly one of the most well-known dissociative drugs, ketamine is used in medical and veterinary settings as a pain relief medication and anaesthetic. However, as a result of its ability to create a pleasurable and euphoric feeling, it’s now commonly used and abused recreationally.

Individuals who have taken ketamine reportedly enter a trance-like state and experience distorted senses, dissociation from their surroundings and even sedation. In the UK, ketamine is classed as a class b drug which means that possession, supply and production of it for non-medical purposes is illegal and comes with several penalties including possible imprisonment.

The health risks associated with ketamine are severe and include dependence, bladder problems, respiratory depression, and cognitive impairment. Long-term use of ketamine has even been linked to organ damage and urinary system damage.

Nitrous oxide

Also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide has the ability to create dissociative states when used in high doses. Users who inhale nitrous oxide experience feelings of detachment from reality, altered sound and vision, and euphoria. However, misuse of this substance can also lead to loss of consciousness, oxygen deprivation and even long-term damage to the neurological system.


Shortened to MXE, methoxetamine derives from ketamine. It produces the same effects as ketamine but is believed to be much stronger. Despite this, similar to ketamine it can result in addiction, serious health concerns and cognitive impairment as well as dissociation from the environment.


Also known as DXM, dextromethorphan is found in common cold medications and cough syrups. However, it is also abused by those searching for dissociative effects. Prolonged and excessive use of DXM can result in hallucinations, motor function impairment, cognitive issues and dissociation from reality.


Side Effects of Dissociative Drugs

Like any other drugs, the use of dissociative drugs can also result in several adverse effects. This includes:

Dissociative drugs can impact individuals differently and it’s important to note that individuals can have varying reactions to them.


Are Dissociative Drugs Dangerous?

To put it simply, yes, dissociative drugs can be very dangerous as they pose a significant risk to mental and physical health. What’s more, as well as the immediate impact of dissociative drugs mentioned above, long-term and excessive use of these substances can also lead to what’s known as tolerance, dependence and addiction. This is where the body associates feelings of pleasure with the substances and then requires a higher level of the substance over time in order to function.

Once at this stage, it’s common for individuals to experience withdrawal symptoms and cravings without the substance which ultimately leads them to use the substance again and restarts the vicious cycle.

In addition to this, users in a dissociative state are at an increased risk of injury, accident and self-harm. Long-term abuse of these substances has also been linked with escalating mental health disorders and cognitive impairment. Not to mention that any addiction can have a direct and negative effect on relationships, finances and careers.


Signs of Drug Abuse

In order to make informed decisions about your own lifestyle choices and those people you care about, it’s important to be able to recognise the potential signs of dissociative drug addiction. This is because it may help you to get the support and treatment needed to be able to regain control of your life.

Some of these signs of drug use include cravings and withdrawal symptoms without the drug, increased usage, lying and dishonest behaviour, mood swings and changes in friendships and relationships. While these signs do not automatically mean a drug addiction is present, it could imply that you or someone you love requires a little support.


Get Help For Drug Abuse With Cassiobury Court

If you are struggling with addiction regarding dissociative drugs or someone you care about, then getting in touch with a professional could help to kickstart the recovery process. A team like the one at Cassiobury Court can provide comprehensive and leading addiction treatment services tailored to individual needs that not only treat the physical and psychological aspects of addiction but also prepare you with relapse prevention and aftercare advice so that users can maintain their resilience and sobriety in the community.

While dissociative drugs might provide a short-term escape or pleasurable experience, the risks associated with them are much larger. That’s why understanding them in full and knowing how they work and the consequences of their abuse is so important so that you can make better-informed decisions.

Remember that help is available and you don’t have to face recovery alone, however, you’re affected by addiction, so why not pick up the phone today on 01923 369 161 and speak to our friendly and professional team? Together we can make a plan for the future and create a life away from dissociative drugs and addiction.