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Is LSD Addictive?

LSD Abuse & Addiction, Hallucinogens, Symptoms, Effects, Overdose Risks, & Treatment

How Addictive Is LSD?

LSD is a psychedelic drug that can cause hallucinations, delusions, and drastic behavioral changes. Is LSD addictive? Yes. LSD is addictive. Although the substance is not physically addictive, LSD can cause several long-term health problems, psychological dependence, or death. LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), first synthesized in 1938, is a highly potent hallucinogen. It is synthetically made from lysergic acid, which is found in ergot, a fungus that grows on rye and other grains.  It is so potent its doses tend to be in the microgram (mcg) range.  Its effects, often called a “trip,” can be stimulating, pleasurable, and mind-altering or lead to an unpleasant, sometimes terrifying experience called a “bad trip.”

LSD is a powerful synthetic hallucinogen.  The psychedelic drug can cause visual hallucinations and change a person’s mood, emotions, and perception.  Because it has a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use, LSD is illegal in the United States. The drug is hazardous.  It can damage the body, alter the mind and cause volatile behavior that threatens the safety of the LSD user and others.  Chronic use can lead to long-term effects of LSD, such as health problems such as hallucinogen persisting perception disorder.  The disorder causes flashbacks to spontaneous visual distortions that may reoccur months to years after quitting using LSD.

Is LSD Addictive
Is LSD addictive? and what are the effects? The psychedelic drug can cause visual hallucinations and change a person’s mood, emotions, and perception.

Several treatment options can effectively treat addiction to LSD. Encourage your friend or loved one to talk to their doctor or a treatment counselor about using rehab programs, substance abuse treatmentrelapse prevention, or support groups as part of their recovery.

Who Abuses LSD?

Some people may inhale LSD through the nose (snort) or inject it into a vein (shoot it up). Unfortunately, there is no way to predict the amount of LSD contained in any form consumed. Can you be addicted to LSD? Yes, and adolescents abuse LSD more than any other age demographic, according to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. The report found that about 209,000 people aged 18 to 25 were addicted to acid in 2016.  Acid is common at dance clubs, alcohol and LSD mix, music festivals, and underground parties called raves. [1]

Other Hallucinogens include:

  • Phencyclidine (PCP, Angel Dust)
  • Ayahuasca (DMT)
  • Salvia divinorum (Salvia)
  • Psilocybin (Magic Mushrooms, Shrooms)
  • Mescaline (Peyote, Buttons, Cactus)

Is Acid Addictive?

When you or a loved one is addicted to acid, the most severe effects of addiction to LSD are likely to only happen after large and frequent doses, but they can be life-threatening. Extreme side effects may include hyperthermia, suicidal thoughts, and psychosis.

LSD Addictiveness

The effects of addiction to LSD are psychological. LSD, also called acid, is a white or transparent crystal most commonly sold on the street as a tablet or capsule.  The odorless drug can be crushed into a powder, dried on gelatin sheets, added to sugar cubes, or dissolved in water. In powder or liquid form, the drug can be inhaled or injected.  Powdered LSD can also be compacted into small balls known as microdots.  In liquid form, it can transfer the substance onto an absorbent paper called a blotter.  The drug is usually divided into tabs, which are small single-dose squares.  Acid tabs or pills contain 20 to 80 micrograms of LSD.  They can be swallowed, licked, or chewed.

Is LSD Addictive

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Is LSD Addictive Physically?

How is LSD addictive? People develop a tolerance to LSD with repeated use.  This means they must use the drug more frequently or in higher doses to achieve the desired “high.”  However, abusing acid does not lead to drug addiction because it does not cause physical cravings or compulsive drug-seeking behavior.

Four Reasons Why LSD Can Be Less Addictive

  • The drug’s effects last longer than other drugs, reducing the need to purchase the drug frequently.
  • People use LSD infrequently because of its inconsistent effects and the potential for adverse reactions.
  • Is LSD highly addictive? Tolerance develops rapidly, making it pointless to use the drug repeatedly.
  • The powerful hallucinations produced by LSD cause people to avoid the substance to recover from its effects.

Although acid is not physically addictive, people can become psychologically dependent on the substance.  While individuals may repeatedly use LSD to experience sensory hallucinations, most people wait extended periods before retaking the drug.

Is LSD Addictive? & LSD Addiction Signs

Can you get addicted to LSD? Yes, but LSD use can cause unpredictable effects.  Some people enjoy their high, but others endure terrifying fear and feelings of despair.  The drug alters a person’s mood, personality, and perception of time.  How long do the effects of LSD last? The effects can last up to 12 hours, but LSD stays in your system for about five days.

Is LSD Addictive
The physical effects of LSD are unpredictable from person to person. 

Can You Be Addicted to LSD? & Effects Of LSD Use

LSD is a mind-altering drug.  LSD causes its characteristic hallucinogenic effects via interaction with the serotonin receptors in the brain.  Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that helps control your behavior and mood, governs your senses, and moderates your thoughts. Usually, the first effects of the drug when taken by mouth are felt 30 to 45 minutes after taking it, peak at 2 to 4 hours, and may last 12 hours or longer.  The intravenous (IV) route will produce a much quicker action, usually within 10 minutes. 

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LSD Long Term Effects

LSD is a strong drug that may provide vivid sensations, although it is not considered addictive. There is proof that LSD’s profound impact on brain chemistry can have long-lasting consequences. Although they could become less noticeable over time, these long-term effects can last for years.

HPPD, or hallucinogen persistent perception disorder, is one of LSD’s long-term effects. Usually referred to as flashbacks, this occurs when an LSD user unexpectedly recalls the sensations or emotions of a previous trip. This might involve halo-like outlines surrounding lights or visual trails from light sources. [2]

While the long-term effects of LSD might not affect everyone who takes the drug, the consequences are potentially quite severe. Although LSD is not intrinsically addictive, if you or a loved one are struggling with substance abuse, learn more about treatment programs by connecting with us today at We Level Up.

LSD Effects Short Term

Extreme mood changes can occur.  The drug produces delusions and visual hallucinations if taken in large enough doses.  Can you overdose on LSD? Yes. Overdose can lead to severe psychosis.  Death is often due to a direct injury while under LSD influence; there is no known lethal dose of LSD.  The physical effects include nausea, loss of appetite, increased blood sugar, difficulty sleeping, dry mouth, tremors, and seizures. Other effects of addiction to LSD may include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Distorted visual perception of shapes, colors
  • Altered sounds
  • Anxiety and Depression
  • Flashbacks (a return of the “trip” experience) days or months later
  • Rapid Heart Rate, increased body temperature, and high blood pressure
  • Dilated Pupils

The user may experience impaired depth and time perception, with a distorted perception of the size and shape of objects, movements, color, sound, touch, and body image.  In addition, sensations may seem to “cross over,” giving the feeling of hearing colors and seeing sounds.  These changes can be frightening and can cause panic. 

Some LSD users also experience severe, terrifying thoughts and feelings, fear of losing control, and fear of insanity or death.  An experience with LSD is referred to as a “trip.” Acute, disturbing psychological effects are known as a “bad trip.”  These experiences are lengthy, with the effects of higher doses lasting for 6 to 12 hours, and it may take 24 hours to return to a normal state.

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LSD Side Effects

Can you be addicted to acid, and what are the effects? LSD can trigger a range of perceptual changes. These often relate to vision, touch, emotions, and thinking.

  • Visual effects: These include brightened, vivid colors, blurred vision, distorted shapes and colors of objects and faces, and halos of light.
  • Changes related to touch: These include shaking, pressure, and lightheadedness.
  • Mood changes: It can lead to a sense of euphoria, bliss, peacefulness, dreaminess, heightened awareness, despair, anxiety, and confusion. There may be rapid mood swings.
  • Impact on thinking: It can lead to a distorted perception of time, either fast or slow, accelerated thoughts, unusual insight or terrifying thoughts, and a sense of transcendence.

Is LSD Addictive? plus LSD Overdose Risks

An acid overdose occurs when a person takes a dangerous amount of the drug.  Overdoses require immediate medical attention.  Excessively high drug doses aren’t fatal but can cause psychosis and a more intense psychedelic experience.  In addition, some people experience a “bad trip,” which can cause confusion, panic, anxiety, or helplessness that lasts several minutes or hours.

Is LSD Addictive
Some people who take LSD enjoy and relish the unpredictable nature of the drug’s effects. 

LSD Overdose Symptoms

  • Violent or Hazardous Behavior
  • Psychosis
  • Seizures

Taking LSD can be dangerous, but combining it with other substances can lead to severe health consequences.  For example, mixing LSD with alcohol can exacerbate hallucinations and cause risky behavior that leads to injury or death.

Managing LSD Abuse & Addiction To LSD

Hallucinations can lead to violent behaviors.  Therefore, when assisting high on LSD, it is best to keep them in a safe environment under direct supervision.  This ensures that they do not harm themselves or others.

A low dose of a short- or intermediate-acting benzodiazepine may control anxiety and increase sedation in LSD users.  However, if they experience depressive symptoms, they may need antidepressant therapy.  Individuals experiencing psychotic episodes may require treatment with antipsychotic medication.

People who are psychologically dependent on acid should seek treatment for addiction to LSD or self-help support.  In addition, groups such as Narcotics Anonymous encourage people to participate in supportive discussions that teach ways to overcome substance abuse.

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Health Hazards And Flashbacks With LSD

Under the influence of addiction to LSD, the ability to make sensible judgments and see common dangers is impaired, making the user susceptible to personal injury or death.  After an LSD trip, the user may suffer acute anxiety or depression and may also experience flashbacks (also called hallucinogen persisting perception disorder), which are recurrences of the effects of LSD days or even months after taking the last dose.

  • A flashback occurs suddenly, often without warning, in people who chronically use hallucinogens or have an underlying personality problem.
  • Healthy people who only use LSD occasionally may also have flashbacks.
  • Bad trips and flashbacks are only part of the risks of LSD use. LSD users may also manifest relatively long-lasting psychoses, such as schizophrenia or severe depression.

Can you get addicted to acid? LSD produces tolerance, meaning the user needs greater doses of LSD to get the same high.  As a result, some users who take the drug must take progressively higher doses to achieve the state of intoxication they had previously achieved.  This is an unsafe practice, given the unpredictability of the drug.

LSD Addiction Treatment

Once a decision is made to obtain treatment for addiction to LSD, several steps must be taken.

  • Speak to a healthcare provider to help direct you to reliable sources of help and monitor your progress.
  • Talk therapy (behavioral counseling) and group counseling may be an option to help you understand your behaviors and why you continue to use LSD.
  • Keep your appointments and follow your provider’s treatment plan. Consider including trusted family or friends in your treatment plan.
  • Take care of yourself: Exercise, eat healthfully and control your stress. Surround yourself with supportive people.
  • Medical therapy may be needed to treat symptoms due to drug use, such as anxiety, depression, or schizophrenia.
  • Work to find new hobbies and interests that will take your mind off drug use. Consider a volunteer opportunity.
  • Each day makes an effort to stay away from people who abuse drugs, even if they are former friends.

Clearing LSD from the body and overcoming withdrawal symptoms is the goal of medical detox, which is the first step of treatment for addiction to LSD. The We Level Up rehab center comprehensive team may prescribe medications as appropriate under medical care that can alleviate your withdrawal pains. At the same time, monitoring patient health 24 hours during the detox. We prioritize patient safety and comfort because this is can be a fragile and challenging time for most patients.

Once detox is complete, a new doorway for treatment progression, referred to as a residential level of care, opens up. The residential rehab program slowly and effectively introduces the individual into an atmosphere of therapeutic growth, marked by master’s level therapists, clinicians, group counselors, psychiatrists, and a community of like-minded individuals with the same aim: to attain sobriety and live a great life.

Some of the many modalities applied and practiced within our residential treatment facility are:

Searched for “LSD Treatment Center?”

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Sources

[1] 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health: Detailed Tables – https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-DetTabs-2016/NSDUH-DetTabs-2016.pdfSubstance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration
[2] 4 Physical Detoxification Services for Withdrawal From Specific Substances – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK64116/National Center for Biotechnology Information