LSD’s Effect on Serotonin

Disoriented woman on bed

LSD alters serotonin, the brain chemical that controls mood, appetite, sensory perception, sexuality, sleep and muscle control

LSD is a hallucinogen derived from a fungus that grows on rye and other types of grains.While often considered a party drug, LSD is the strongest hallucinogenic drug available. It causes extreme hallucinations. Users hear sounds, see images and experience sensations that are not real. These LSD highs are called “trips.” When the user reacts violently to the drug, the experience is very extreme it is referred to as a “bad trip.” LSD is found as tablets, gelatin squares, capsules or as small decorated squares of absorbent paper.

LSD is a drug that alters the user’s mind. This means it acts on your brain (central nervous system). This form of drug changes your mood, behavior, and the way you relate to the world around you. LSD affects the action of a brain chemical called serotonin. Serotonin helps control behavior, mood, the senses, and thinking.[1]

LSD and Serotonin

LSD interacts with the brain’s neural circuits that use the neurotransmitter serotonin.[2] Research is inconclusive as to how LSD specifically impacts the central nervous system. However, studies have shown that LSD mimics serotonin. When a drug mimics a chemical in the brain, the body begins to rely on the drug. Over time, the person believes the drug is required to function normally.

However, LSD is not considered a highly addictive drug. The reason for this is that it does not produce the intense physical cravings such as heroin or cocaine. Rather, those who use LSD become dependent on the feelings the drug produces. LSD is also thought to stay in the system at the cellular level long after the drug has been ingested. Some LSD users experience flashbacks years after drug use is discontinued.It is not fully understood why this is. It could be because there are traces of the substance still in the body. Perhaps the brain suddenly remembers the side effects and triggers a similar experience. In any case, LSD is a very unpredictable drug.Experimental use can result psychosis, depression, schizophrenia and many other issues.

LSD Addiction Treatment

LSD rehab usually begins with medically supervised detox. First, the individual is placed in a quiet and comfortable place. While there, the person waits for the effects of the drug wear off. After detox, rehab counselors and therapists help you or your loved one understand your addiction and how to make steps to end your drug abuse.

When the patient learns more about the specific reasons he or she struggles with addiction, it becomes easier to know what the specific triggers are for cravings. Individual, group and family counseling are tools used to help in the recovery process. These forms of treatment show the patient how to handle drug cravings. With continued treatment, the individual learnshow to live a life free of drugs.

Finding Help for LSD Abuse

LSD is the most powerful hallucinogenic drug available. LSD use is dangerous.Even casual LSD use can lead to serious consequences. If you or a loved one struggles with LSD abuse, please know we are here to help you. Call our toll-free helpline available 24 hours a day to speak to a trained counselor about treatment options. Start living the life you want today.

[1] Substance Use LSD.

[2] How Do Hallucinogens (LSD, Psilocybin, Peyote, DMT, and Ayahuasca) Affect the Brain and Body?


Free Assessment / Confidential Call: 877-345-3299
Send us an Email