LSD Addiction

LSD is classified as a psychedelic drug. This means that if you abuse it, you are going to experience drastic behavioral changes, delusions, and hallucinations. Even so, this drug is not exactly physically addictive but can still cause you to suffer various psychological dependence, long term health issues, and even death. Read on to find out more:

What Is It?

Also known as D-lysergic acid diethylamide, LSD is referred to by many other names. These include but are not limited to blotter and acid. The drug is a hallucinogen in the sense that taking it will produce sounds, images, and other sensations that could seek to be real but are simple figments of your imagination. In particular, taking this drug will produce changes in your sense of space and time, in your emotions, and in your perception. Even in small doses, it can still be quite active.

If you abuse LSD, you will most likely take it orally in the form of droplets or tablets. However, you can also find in on blotter paper that you absorb on the tongue before ingesting it into your system.

These blotter papers are mostly small in size. As a result, it might be difficult for you to assess the dose on the papers that you have. Further, people tend to react to the drug in different ways. This is why you may suffer more than another person even though you used papers from the same batch.

That said, the DEA - the Drug Enforcement Administration - now classifies LSD as a schedule 1 drug under the Controlled Substances Act passed by the federal government. This effectively means that it comes with a relatively high potential for misuse and abuse and it has no accepted medical uses.

However, LSD is sometimes used therapeutically in the treatment of anxiety and depression. Even so, these uses have not yet been allowed by the DEA or by the FDA - the Food and Drug Administration.

The important thing to keep in mind is that this drug is a powerful synthetic hallucinogenic substance. As a result, taking it will cause you to experience changes in your perceptions, emotions, and mood, as well as hallucinations.

What Are The Effects?

But what happens when you take LSD? Essentially, this substance is unlike many other illicit drugs in the sense that you may not always experience withdrawal symptoms when you stop taking it.

Even so, it can still cause you to suffer some unpredictable effects. Although you may enjoy the pleasurable effects that it causes, there will always be a risk that you could endure feelings of despair and terrifying fear. LSD can also alter your mood, perception of time, and personality.

Although these effects are likely to last anywhere between a couple of minutes to about 12 hours, the drug will still remain lodged in your system for around 5 days. Some of these effects include:

  • Alienation
  • Anxiety
  • Delusions
  • Depression
  • Dilated pupils
  • Dissociation
  • Distorted sense of time
  • Dry mouth
  • Flashbacks
  • Impaired depth perception
  • Mood swings
  • Panic attacks
  • Sensory enhancement
  • Strong sensory and visual hallucinations
  • Sweating
  • Synesthesia (or seeing sounds and hearing colors)
  • Tremors
  • Visual hallucinations

LSD can also cause you to experience many other reactions. Additionally, it will definitely affect your judgment. As a result of these additional effects, there is a high risk that you could experience an accident that could turn out to be fatal while intoxicated on this drug.

The drug can also create psychiatric effects that could remain in the long term. This means that you will continue experiencing visual disturbances and hallucinations even after giving it up. Among these long standing effects is hallucinogen persisting perception disorder or HPPD, which is also known as flashbacks.

Although the causes of this condition are not yet known, it is important to keep in mind that there is no treatment for it. It can also last anywhere from a couple of months to one or more years.

Signs to Look For If Someone Is Abusing LSD

But how can you tell if someone has been abusing LSD? Essentially, you need to look out for some of the common signs and symptoms of LSD abuse. In particular, the psychological effects that arise while someone is intoxicated on this substance will last anywhere from 6 to 10 hours. However, the drug can also produce overwhelming and intense negative psychological experiences. This is particularly true if your loved one has taken LSD in high doses.

Some of the signs that you should look for if you suspect that someone might be abusing this drug include:

  • Altered perception
  • Anxiety
  • Blurred vision
  • Chills
  • Convulsions
  • Decreased appetite
  • Delusions
  • Depression
  • Diaphoresis (or increased sweating)
  • Dilated pupils
  • Disorientation
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Emotional distress
  • Extreme anxiety
  • Fear of dying
  • Fear of losing their personal identity
  • Hallucinations
  • Hypertension (or raised blood pressure)
  • Impulsive behavior
  • Inability to perform some complex tasks, such as operating machinery and driving
  • Increased body temperature
  • Insomnia
  • Nausea
  • Panic
  • Paranoia
  • Quickly shifting mood
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Reckless behaviors
  • Salivation
  • Seizures
  • Shifting emotions
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Sweating
  • Tingling fingers
  • Tingling toes
  • Tremors
  • Violent behavior
  • Weakness

Short and Long Term Symptoms of LSD Addiction

The typical signs and symptoms of LSD addiction will largely depend on the stage that you have reached in your drug abuse. That said, there is a high risk that you could start displaying any of the following short term symptoms while struggling with this type of substance use disorder:

  • Anxiety
  • Blurred vision
  • Chills
  • Dilated pupils
  • Disruption in your daily functioning and life
  • Dry mouth
  • Extreme sweating
  • Impaired coordination
  • Inability to operate machinery or drive
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased body temperature
  • Increased heart rate
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Raised body temperature
  • Restlessness
  • Vomiting
  • Weakness

Although these symptoms will appear in the short term, there are many others that you may find yourself struggling with if you continue struggling with a long term addiction to LSD. Some of these additional symptoms include:

  • Anxiety attacks
  • Behavioral changes
  • Being highly emotional
  • Being overly empathetic
  • Changes in mood, including anxiety and depression
  • Developing other additional psychiatric problems
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Elated emotions
  • Emotional issues from bad trips
  • Extremely distressing emotions
  • Fear
  • Flashbacks to past trips
  • Frequent trancelike states
  • Getting harmed due to the accidents you were in while intoxicated on LSD
  • Impacted sense of space and time
  • Lack of motivation
  • Loss of memory
  • Mood changes
  • Panic attacks
  • Paranoia
  • Poor decision making skills and abilities
  • Poor judgment

LSD Overdose Risks

If you ingest LSD in high doses, there is a high risk that you could suffer a bad trip marked by profoundly disorienting and painful psychological symptoms. However, you may also experience dangerous physical symptoms.

For instance, experiments conducted in animals show that LSD in high doses could lead to the development of stopped breathing or respiratory arrest. This condition may turn out to be fatal.

Some of the additional symptoms of a LSD overdose include:

  • Anxiety
  • Coma
  • Confusion
  • Hazardous behavior
  • Helplessness
  • Hyperthermia (or extremely high body temperature)
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Panic
  • Psychosis
  • Seizures
  • Violent behavior
  • Vomiting

As you can see, it is dangerous to use this drug. However, your risk of suffering an overdose and many other adverse health consequences would be doubled if you mixed it with any other addictive substance.

For instance, if you drink alcohol while you are on LSD, your hallucinations could be exacerbated. This could lead you to engage in risky behavior that may cause you certain injury or sudden death.

Best Options for Recovery

While struggling with a LSD use disorder, the only way you can get help for this addiction is through a professional drug rehabilitation and treatment program. It is important to keep in mind that the hallucinations caused by the substance can cause you to turn violent.

To this end, if you check into an addiction treatment program while intoxicated on this substance, you will be kept in a safe environment. You will also be provided with direct supervision while the substance starts leaving your system. By so doing, the treatment center will ensure you do not harm yourself or other people around you.

The center could also provide you with other medications to manage your LSD abuse. According to the CSAT - the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment - low doses of benzodiazepines could prove useful in controlling the anxiety that you may be feeling as a result of your LSD intake. These drugs may also help increase sedation in you. Additionally, an antidepressant might be prescribed if you experience depressive symptoms during your treatment. Similarly, antipsychotic medications may be used if you are experiencing psychotic episodes.

The important thing is that you continue seeking help for your substance use disorder and LSD abuse until you get to a point where you no longer need to take this drug. This help is only available through professional addiction treatment and rehabilitation centers, and this is why it is recommended that you check into one as soon as you realize that you have a LSD related problem.

CITATIONS

http://www.cesar.umd.edu/cesar/drugs/lsd.asp

http://www.cesar.umd.edu/cesar/drugs/lsd.asp

http://www.dea.gov/druginfo/drug_data_sheets/LSD.pdf

http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/hallucinogens-lsd-peyote-psilocybin-pcp/

http://www.monitoringthefuture.org/pubs/monographs/mtf-vol1_2015.pdf

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/j.1755-5949.2008.00059.x

https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/drug_chem_info/lsd.pdf#search=D-Lysergic%20Acid%20Diethylamide

https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/hallucinogens-dissociative-drugs/how-do-hallucinogens-lsd-psilocybin-peyote-dmt-ayahuasca-affect-brain-body

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/drug-addiction/symptoms-causes/syc-20365112

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/4816396

https://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUH-FRR1-2014/NSDUH-FRR1-2014.pdf

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