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LSD Addiction

Sections:  Understanding LSD | Effects | LSD Addiction Possible? | Factors of Addiction | Treatment & Hope

What Is LSD?

LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) is a powerful hallucinogenic drug that alters a user’s perception of reality. The drug is commonly known as “acid,” probably because it’s derived from lysergic acid, a chemical that comes from the ergot fungus, which grows on rye and other types of grains.

The immediate effects of LSD can be overwhelming and unpredictable. The long-term consequences are less clear. Substance abuse experts typically do not place LSD on the list of the addictive drugs, largely because it does not give rise to physical dependence.

That being said, repeated use of LSD can lead to emotional addiction and even psychosis. Those who struggle to quit the drug on their own may need to enter a professional treatment program to address the psychological and physiological issues that contribute to the disease of addiction.


Understanding LSD

LSD is a dangerous drug that currently has no accepted medical uses. As a result, the U.S. government has labeled it a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, making it illegal to sell, possess and use.

In spite of its status, LSD is commonly sold on the street. It typically comes in liquid form. Suppliers and dealers may place the liquid on gelatin squares (sometimes known as “window panes”), tablets (also known as “microdots”), sugar cubes and blotter paper.

Users usually ingest the drug orally. LSD has no color or smell, but it can produce a bitter taste in the mouth.


The Effects of LSD

Guy Covering His FaceLSD is the most potent hallucinogen in the world. It produces violent emotions, delusions, and visual hallucinations. It often distorts a person’s sense of time, space, and even identity. The effects of even a small dosage can last for up to 12 hours.

People often refer to the mind-altering experience of LSD as a “trip.” A frightening or disturbing experience is often called a “bad trip.” Such upsetting episodes can cause psychological trauma, particularly since the effects of the drug sometimes last for an entire day.

User experiences differ depending on a number of factors, including a person’s psychology, current mood, and expectations. The immediate physical environment can also impact the experience.


Short-Term Physical Effects of LSD

LSD is known primarily for its hallucinatory effects, but it also has a direct physical impact. As soon as the drug takes effect, a user may experience:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Elevated body temperature
  • Increased heart rate
  • Higher blood pressure
  • Sweating
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sleeplessness
  • Dry mouth
  • Tremors


Short-Term Psychological Effects of LSD

The psychological impact of LSD is usually more potent than the physical effects. After taking the drug, a person may experience:

  • Visual hallucinations
  • Rapidly changing or simultaneous emotions
  • Distortion of time, space or objects
  • Disassociation from self
  • Impulsive behavior
  • Extreme terror
  • Fear of losing control
  • Fear of insanity
  • Fear of dying
  • Panic attacks
  • Feelings of despair


Long-Term Effects of LSD

While repeated abuse of LSD is especially dangerous, even one trip can create long-lasting effects, including:

  • Flashbacks (a recurrence of hallucinations or emotions after the drug has worn off)
  • Persistent psychosis
  • Severe depression
  • Suicidal thoughts

LSD changes how the brain works. Over time, the drug can interfere with normal thinking and behavior patterns, leading to life-altering consequences. Although there are no known withdrawal symptoms that occur after quitting LSD, long-term psychological disturbances can make life difficult for former users.


Is LSD Addiction Possible?

LSD does not create physical dependency in users. That does not, however, preclude the possibility of addiction. Although LSD is not considered to be a highly addictive substance, people can become emotionally and psychologically dependent on the high produced by LSD.

It doesn’t help that users develop a tolerance very quickly. That means someone must take increasingly higher doses in order to experience the same psychoactive effects. Someone who wants to enjoy the same high may continue to use increasing amounts of the drug. Unfortunately, such repeated use can heighten the long-term risks associated with LSD.


What Factors Contribute to Addiction?

Many users take LSD in conjunction with other drugs such as marijuana and even alcohol. In such cases, substance abuse becomes an all-encompassing lifestyle.

Unfortunately, many people find it difficult to withdraw from the culture that surrounds the drug. That would mean abandoning their circle of friends, their usual hangouts, and their established routines. It would mean a complete life change.

Those who suffer from other mental conditions may also find it difficult to wean themselves off drugs. Sometimes these psychological disturbances are drug-induced, arising after the use of LSD and other drugs.

In other instances, a person may suffer from co-occurring disorders, mental conditions that exist alongside substance use disorder. More often than not, co-occurring disorders contribute to the desire to use drugs, as a person seeks relief from their mental troubles in the refuge of illegal drugs.

Addressing such problems is crucial. Failure to treat underlying mental conditions may increase the risk of a relapse. A former user may return to old ways, either because they haven’t yet addressed the underlying issues that drove them to drug use in the first place, or because they have decided to self-medicate rather than seek professional help.


LSD Addiction Treatment Is the Answer

Girl Receiving ConsultationYellowstone Recovery’s drug treatment program is designed to help people overcome the emotional and social issues that precipitate drug use, as well as the emotional damage that can result from LSD abuse.

While there are no specific LSD detox techniques or LSD addiction treatments, people who need help overcoming their substance abuse problems can find the resources and support they need at our affordable Southern California treatment facilities.

Over the years, our 12-step approach to LSD rehab has helped countless men and women free themselves from dependence on drugs. We also use individual and group therapy to address pre-existing or co-occurring disorders which may complicate recovery.

If you or a loved one struggles with substance abuse problems, don’t hesitate to reach out to the Yellowstone Recovery treatment center to learn more about LSD rehab. Together we can build a brighter, freer future.

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