Can My Brain Heal after LSD Use?

LSD’s effects can range from “pleasant” to unpleasant and unpredictable. Any and all of these effects result from the drug’s impact on the brain. While some changes are temporary, others are more lasting.

So can these be reversed, and can your brain heal after LSD use? Read on to learn how LSD works, how it changes the brain and what treatment and recovery can do for you.

What Is LSD?

LSD is a complex drug synthesized from a seemingly simple fungus. This fungus, called ergot, grows on rye. Ergot is a poison and can cause serious mental and physical health effects. While LSD is often seen as harmless, it has negative effects on health as well.

Users can take LSD in many ways. It can be injected, snorted and taken as a pill. However the most common way to use the drug is to ingest small pieces of paper that have been soaked in the drug. These “blotter papers” may be colorful, perforated or just simple-looking pieces of paper.

The drug begins affecting users within the first hour or two after taking the drug. It continues to have lasting effects for several hours afterward. These effects are unpredictable. The same dose of the same batch of LSD can affect one person completely differently than another. One user can be affected differently between one trip to the next taking the same amount and the same kind of LSD.

How Does LSD Use Harm and Affect the Brain?

LSD changes how we think about and perceive the world. Time explains that users may experience the following:

  • Visual distortion
  • Ego dissolution
  • Loss of self-identity
  • Feeling of connection to the world around us1

LSD causes profound distortions for the user’s perception of reality, or hallucinations. LSD users see images, hear sounds and feel sensations that seem real. Users often report experiences of crossover sensations in which they may hear colors or see sounds. These hallucinations can be paired with rapid and intense emotional swings. Pleasant feelings can quickly become unpleasant or even terrifying.

These effects happen because LSD changes the brain.

It changes how we process visual information. It causes certain areas of the brain to communicate more or differently. And even when we’re not using LSD, some of these changes remain or appear at unexpected times. The National Institute on Drug Abuse explains that some users may even develop persistent psychosis or hallucinogen persisting perception disorder. These involve recurring visual disturbances, hallucinations, paranoia and other mental health and mood disorder symptoms.2

Protecting Your Mental Health

Older woman talking in group therapy settingProtecting your health and healing your brain begins with treatment. LSD is not physically addictive, so mental health recovery can begin right away. You have options when it comes to treatment and depending on your individual recovery needs, you can choose one of the following:

  • Inpatient treatment
  • Outpatient treatment
  • Community programs

Inpatient treatment offers a safe, drug-free environment so that you can focus on recovery. Outpatient treatment involves group and individual counseling. Community programs can supplement either or both of these treatment options. As you pursue recovery, you give your brain a chance to heal. You give yourself a fresh new start at life.


Sources

1 Oaklander, Mandy. “Here’s What LSD Does to the Brain.” Time. 13 Apr. 2016.

2 How Do Hallucinogens Affect the Brain and Body?” National Institute on Drug Abuse. Feb. 2015.


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Dear Friends,

On November 10, 2018, the Woolsey Fire destroyed The Canyon at Peace Park’s treatment facility. At this time, The Canyon at Peace Park is not accepting patients for any services. We arranged for the safe and seamless discharge or transition of all patients when we were forced to evacuate due to the fire.

For over 12 years, The Canyon at Peace Park has been privileged to provide integrated treatment for addiction and co-occurring disorders to patients across the nation. Our main focus has always been on our patients and their success. We have served hundreds of patients and their families, providing exclusive treatment and services for a wide range of behavioral health and addiction issues.

Our trained, compassionate staff has been committed to delivering quality patient care with dignity and respect, with the goal of helping our patients return to their communities as healthier individuals. We are extremely proud of the sacrifices of those who worked every day, often under challenging circumstances, to positively impact our patients’ lives.

We thank the physicians and staff for their expertise and dedication in providing high quality, compassionate treatment and care to the patients we have served.

We look forward to carrying on The Canyon at Peace Park’s legacy through our outpatient locations in Santa Monica and Encino. Foundations Recovery Network also has other residential and outpatient facilities around the country offering the same high quality of service you’ve come to expect from us.

If you need help finding treatment, please visit foundationsrecoverynetwork.com or call for more information.

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The Canyon at Peace Park Leadership Team

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