LSD stands for lysergic acid diethylamide, a hallucinogenic drug first developed in 1938. Hallucinogens are a diverse group of drugs that alter perception, thoughts and feelings.1 According to the most recent National Survey on Drug Use and Health, nearly 10 percent of those 12 and older have used LSD in their lifetime.1
LSD in tablet, capsule or liquid form, but the most popular way to ingest the drug is from absorbent paper “stamps.” The user places the stamp in their mouth where it dissolves. This fast-acting form of LSD begins to work in less than 30 minutes. Understanding more about LSD and recognizing its side effects is an important part of helping a loved one get clean from the drug.
LSD Side Effects
The effects of LSD are so unpredictable that each person responds to the drug in a different way. Some contributing factors include the amount of LSD used, the personality of the user, and what kind of mood a person is in when he or she takes the drug. Because LSD works in the brain as a mood-altering drug, the primary symptoms are typically psychological in nature.
- Dramatic changes in sensations and feelings.
- Feeling several different emotions at once.
- Swing rapidly from one emotion to another.
- Altered sense of time.
- Altered sense of self.
- Crossover senses, synesthesia (hearing colors, seeing sound)2
These distortions of a person’s perception of reality can last up to 12 hours. Though the side effects of LSD use are mainly psychological drug, there are some physical side effects when using the drug.
- Dilated pupils
- Increased heart rate and blood pressure
- Dry mouth
An LSD high is often referred to as a “trip.” Within 30 to 90 minutes of LSD use, the individual may begin to experience visual hallucinations, mood swings, or delusions. Sometimes LSD users experience a “bad trip. When this happens, the user has terrifying delusions and hallucinations.
These sensations can cause the user to experience frightening thoughts, panic attacks, and intense irrational fear. The human body builds up a physical tolerance to LSD quickly. As a result, you need to take higher doses of LSD to experience the same effects. For this reason, prolonged LSD use is very dangerous. The higher the dosage, the more unpredictable the effects of LSD become.
Getting Clean From LSD
Though the body builds a tolerance to LSD, it is not considered physically addictive like other recreational drugs. LSD has no immediate withdrawal symptoms, so there is no painful detox process. Any addiction associated with LSD is purely psychological.
Individuals who take LSD may do so for several different reasons. The effects LSD has on the mind can be used as an escape-mechanism from reality. Others may take LSD as a way to relax or to defeat boredom.
LSD can also have severe after-effects. At any given time, former users might experience flashbacks to previous “trips.” If a person has a flashback to a negative experience on the drug, paranoia and irrational fears can develop. Psychological disorders such as schizophrenia and severe depression have been linked to LSD use. Those who use LSD for prolonged periods of time may require more serious psychological treatment to break free from addiction to the drug.
Get Help Getting Clean From LSD
When a person uses LSD, psychological treatment is the only path to recovery. Many former LSD users struggle with depression and other mental health issues, but working with an addiction treatment counselor in the proper setting can lead to recovery.
If you struggle with LSD abuse, help is available right now. Just pick up the phone and call our toll-free number at 269-280-4673. A professionally trained admissions coordinator is standing by and ready to help 24 hours a day. You don’t have to face addiction alone. A sober life is possible. Call now.
1 “Hallucinogens.” National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIDA, Oct. 2018.
2 Fogoros, Richard N. “What Does LSD Really Do to Your Brain?” Verywell Mind, 15 Dec. 2017.
3 “LSD | CESAR.” CESAR: Center for Substance Abuse Research. Accessed Oct. 1, 2018.