Addiction to LSD
Although LSD is considered to be a non-addictive drug, people can become addicted to the sights, sounds, and revelations they experience while “tripping.” Users can develop both a tolerance and a psychological dependence to psychedelics like LSD. There have been documented cases of prolonged, intense use causing negative side effects such as paranoia or psychosis.
Lysergic acid diethylamide, commonly referred to as “acid” or LSD, is a psychedelic hallucinogen that produces changes in perception, sense of time and space, and emotions. LSD is active at very small doses (around 20 micrograms) and is taken orally, either as tablets, droplets, or on blotter paper that is absorbed on the tongue and swallowed.
LSD is in the Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, the most criminalized category for drugs. Schedule I drugs are considered to have a “high potential for abuse” and no currently accepted medical use; however, LSD has been used in many therapies and shown some success in treating depression and anxiety. Although LSD has been known to have some positive side effects, the drug affects everyone differently and can produce serious physical and psychological effects.
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LSD Effects and Abuse
LSD is known for its profound changes in consciousness and perception. During a “trip,” users experience a wide variety of effects, most often visual and other sensory distortions, changes to thought processes, intense emotions, and for some people, surprising new insights and life revelations. LSD’s effects typically last around 8-10 hours, with peak effects occurring 4-6 hours after ingestion. Common side effects include:
- Sensory enhancement
- Dry mouth
- Visual hallucinations
- Synesthesia (i.e. “hearing” colors, “seeing” sounds)
- Impaired depth perception
- Panic attacks
Tolerance to LSD develops quickly; if a specific dose is taken every day for 3 consecutive days, no reaction will occur by the third day. Users who abuse the drug regularly must take progressively higher doses to achieve the same state of intoxication that they have previously experienced. This practice is particularly dangerous, as when the dose amount increases, so do the chances of the user experiencing a “bad trip” and negative psychological side effects.
Risk of fatal overdose is essentially nonexistent with LSD, but risky behaviors and side effects can occur. The most serious effects of LSD are likely to only happen after large and frequent doses, but can potentially be life-threatening, including: hyperthermia, suicidal thoughts, and psychosis.
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LSD Abuse Statistics
A 2008 study reported that about 3.1 million people in the US between the ages of 12-25 have experimented with LSD.
According to the 2014 Monitoring the Future Study, 3.7% of 12th graders have used LSD at least once.
The 2014 Global Drug Survey reported that 27.22% of Americans that have used LSD have experienced a “bad trip.”
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Getting Treatment for LSD
Although LSD is physically non-addictive, users can become psychologically addicted to the drug’s hallucinogenic effects and suffer numerous consequences because of it. If you or someone you love is abusing LSD, there are multiple inpatient and outpatient treatment centers that can help. Behavioral and comprehensive therapy have been proven to help hallucinogenic dependency. Don’t wait any longer, contact a dedicated treatment specialist to learn about your options today.
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