People who suffer from psychological distress and personal problems due to chronic LSD use benefit from professional addiction treatment. Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), one of the most powerful psychedelic hallucinogens, is an illegal drug linked to mental health disorders and ongoing psychological disorders. While some people benefit the most from therapeutic counseling, others may require a combination of medication and counseling to live successfully in recovery.
LSD Abuse or Addiction?
LSD is a commonly abused drug. On average, a person tries LSD for the first time around age 20. Overall use of the drug remained relatively steady over the past decade, although 482,000 people used LSD for the first time in 2013, a higher number than in many years since 2002. One factor limiting higher LSD use is a lack of availability. LSD use was high in the 1960s and 1970s, but then use declined after the Drug Enforcement Administration placed it on Schedule 1 (illegal drugs with no accepted medical use).
People who use LSD do not develop a physical addiction to it and do not experience withdrawal symptoms when they stop taking it. The drug does bring on psychological problems, however, and users may become dependent on it. Since LSD does not produce compulsive drug-seeking behaviors, many experts do not consider it addictive. Other factors associated with its use do make it dangerous. People who abuse LSD regularly can become tolerant to the effects of the drug. In order to continue getting a “high,” an increased amount of LSD is necessary.
Since LSD is a hallucinogen, it’s impossible to predict what will happen during a “trip.” LSD is a long-lasting drug, especially compared to other drugs. Users experience symptoms for as long as 12 hours, although most trips last 6 to 8 hours. The intensity varies depending on multiple factors, including age, environment and mood. Another factor that greatly affects LSD use is the composition of the drug. There is no guarantee LSD is in a pure state. On the black market, it may be laced with other chemicals or include substitutions such as amphetamines, PCP (phencyclidine) or strychnine (a strong stimulant used in rat poison). People who use LSD may develop mental health disorders, including persistent psychosis, or experience serious injury due to actions they take while hallucinating. Users who develop persistent psychosis experience paranoia, mood changes, visual disturbances and disorganized thinking.
Dangers of LSD Abuse
On the whole, chronic LSD abuse affects all aspects of a person’s life. The mood swings and cognitive disturbances produced by LSD affect a person in the following ways:
LSD abuse is a dangerous habit. The drug mainly affects an individual’s psychological well-being more than his physical well-being. However, some physical side effects do accompany LSD abuse and may include the following:
- Decreased appetite
- Dilated pupils
- Increased body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure
The psychological effects of LSD are the most devastating and include the following:
- Major mood swings
- Psychological addiction
- Visual/auditory distortions
The psychological effects of LSD may prompt a person to make poor choices leading to harmful situations. Treatment for LSD abuse is available and prevents many of the harmful effects of LSD use.
LSD Rehabilitation Programs
The most successful way to end LSD use is to enter an evidence-based addiction treatment program. LSD treatment programs are widely available and offer inpatient or outpatient services. These services may include the following forms of therapy:
- Group therapy
- Behavioral therapy
- Individual therapy
- Family therapy
Therapy helps people learn the factors that trigger drug use and how to avoid such situations for long-term recovery success.
Help for LSD Abuse
If you or a loved one is struggling with LSD abuse, please don’t wait to get the help needed. Call our toll-free helpline today to learn more about LSD and abuse treatment programs. We are available 24 hours a day, so now is the time to get help and make the change.
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National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2016). What are hallucinogens? Drug Facts. Retrieved Oct. 10, 2016 from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/hallucinogens.
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Rega, Paul P. (2015). LSD Toxicity. MedScape. Retrieved Oct. 10, 2016 from http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1011615-overview#a7