LSD is a hallucinogen that is known commonly as acid. The drug is made from lysergic acid that is manufactured from a fungus.1
LSD abuse is widespread, particularly among young adults. LSD in its pure form is a slightly bitter, odorless and white crystalline powder that is incredibly potent. Pure LSD the size of a pill is equal to 3000 doses.
The drug is sold on small squares of blotting paper that are dipped into a single dose of the drug. LSD is also sold as tablets, capsules or powder. Understanding the way LSD works and the dangers of using the drug recreationally can help you or a loved one prevent dependency on the drug.
While LSD abuse is quite common it is not considered to be as addictive as some other drugs because it does not create the cravings that normally come with physical addiction. Many people can stop using the drug successfully on their own, but for those who have developed a psychological dependence on the feelings the drug produces, quitting without treatment is almost impossible. Although the drug does not create physical cravings, it can create strong psychological cravings which also means psychological withdrawals when the drug is stopped.
Some psychological withdrawal symptoms include:
- Concentration problems
- Depersonalization and an altered sense of reality
- Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder– this involves a person experiencing hallucinations months and/or years after their LSD usage
- Mood swings
- Suicidal thoughts2
The effects of an actual LSD trip are so strong that users often crave the experience of being high on the drug rather than on the drug itself.
Psychological Dependence on LSD
LSD psychological addiction makes it very difficult for the user to quit because it requires the individual to stop socializing with other users and break the social ritual associated with his or her LSD use.
Users also tend to develop a tolerance to the drug, so they have to take higher doses to achieve similar experiences.
As doses increase, the risk of side effects also increases which can quickly escalate to serious health problems. LSD trips are unpredictable and can cause strong mood swings and erratic behavior. When someone on LSD has a terrifying hallucination, he may act out based on that fear, creating dangerous situations for himself and others.
LSD Addiction Detoxification and Withdrawal
Withdrawal from an LSD addiction does not generally cause noticeable physical symptoms. This allows users to stop using the drug without experiencing any physical effects such as discomfort or cravings. However, users may become unhappy or depressed when they quit the drug because of their LSD psychological addiction.
LSD use can trigger undiagnosed or untreated mental illnesses such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder with hallucinations. That’s why LSD addiction treatment should include the diagnosis of any underlying mental illness as well as the psychological and social factors associated with the drug abuse.
Finding Help for LSD Abuse
Hallucinogen addiction can have a devastating impact on every area of life. If you or someone you love struggles with LSD abuse, we are her for you. Our outpatient treatment programs include family counseling, behavioral therapy and individual counseling. The patient monitoring and drug testing to ensure complete abstinence from the drug are also part of the program.
Call our 24-hour helpline to speak to an admissions coordinator about available treatment options and your individual insurance benefits. Please call 269.280.4673 today.
1 “Hallucinogens.” National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIDA, Jan. 2016.
2 “LSD Withdrawal Symptoms: Are There Any?” Mental Health Daily, 30 Oct. 2015.