Your teen seems moody and withdrawn. He or she says unexpected things and acts in unpredictable ways. Is it just the usual teenage angst, or is your child high on LSD? Look for some common signs of LSD use, and learn how to start a conversation about drugs and addiction.
WHAT IS LSD?
LSD is a psychoactive drug. This mean it acts differently than other types of drugs. LSD changes how parts of the brain communicate. Time Magazine reports that the drug primahhrily affects areas of the brain in charge of introspection, or self-perception, and external perception, or the senses.1 While CNS depressants (such as heroin or oxycodone) and stimulants (such as cocaine or methamphetamine) often produce very obvious physical side effects, the signs of LSD use can be more subtle.
SIGNS OF LSD USE
If you suspect your teen is using LSD, you can look for signs of use. First look for visible or observable signs. Some of these are physical, but many more of them are emotional, social or psychological. They can include the following:
- Dilated pupils
- Elevated body temperature
- Loss of appetite
- Trouble sleeping
- Mood changes
- Rambling, incoherent speech or bizarre comments
- Increased anxiety or paranoia
If you see these signs — or even if you don’t but have other reasons to suspect your child is using LSD — it’s time to start a conversation about the issue. Recognizing the warning signs of LSD use is the first step to communicating effectively about potential drug abuse. Learning how to approach him or her about LSD use is the next.
DO NOT OVERREACT IF YOUR TEEN IS HIGH ON LSD
If you suspect your teen is using LSD or other drugs, do not overreact. Approach with love, concern and compassion. Avoid becoming accusatory or confrontational. A negative approach tends to be counterproductive. Your relationship with your teen may already feel strained or distant. Confrontation can widen the communication gap rather than open the door for serious talks.
UNDERSTAND LSD BEFORE YOU APPROACH YOUR TEEN ABOUT IT
LSD is not physically addictive. However, its use can impact your teen, your family and yourself. Understand how LSD works and what its effects are before you approach your teen. Talk with a doctor or therapist to learn the facts and to get more tips and tricks for starting a healthy, proactive conversation about abuse and addiction.
BE OPEN AND ACCEPTING OF YOUR CHILD.
You don’t have to accept continued LSD use. You do have to accept your child’s experiences and point of view. When you talk to him or her about LSD use, don’t lecture. Listen. LSD use is often a reaction to mental health issues, troubles dealing with reality or other personal stressors.
Don’t judge your child. Build trust and understanding by making sure your child knows you love him or her unconditionally.
Express your concerns for your child’s well-being. Ask how you can help, and offer help and treatment in turn.
TREATMENT AND COUNSELING FOR LSD USE
If you suspect your teen is high on LSD, learn about your options for treatment. Teens need care that is tailored to their unique age group. They need care meant to address LSD use and any co-occurring mental health concerns. LSD does not produce the same physical withdrawal symptoms as other drugs, so your child won’t need a program that focuses on detox.
Your teen will need a program that offers integrated, age-appropriate care. He or she will need treatment the includes and involves the whole family. Be ready and willing to do your own part to bring the family together.
GETTING YOUR TEEN INTO TREATMENT FOR LSD USE
If your teen is using LSD, he or she will probably need help and encouragement to get into treatment. The National Institute on Drug Abuse explains: “Most teens, and many young adults still being supported by their family, only enter treatment when they are compelled to by the pressure of their family, the juvenile justice, or other court system.”2
An intervention will probably be necessary, but this isn’t the dramatic, emotional chore the media makes it out to be. Interventions work best when they involve calm, understanding and supportive conversations.
A professional interventionist will help you determine the best way to reach through to your teen and begin the recovery process.
1 Oaklander, Mandy. “Here’s What LSD Does to the brain.” Time Magazine. 13 Apr. 2016.
2 “What to Do If Your Teen or Young Adult Has a Problem with Drugs.” National Institute on Drug Abuse. Jan. 2016.