LSD or “acid” is a potent psychedelic hallucinogen, known primarily for distorting perception and producing significant changes in time and space. Those that take LSD or “trip” will usually ingest the drug orally – it is commonly administered on small pieces of paper that are placed onto the tongue and dissolved. While taking a small dose of LSD may lead to auditory and visual hallucinations, taking large doses could lead to serious psychological side effects, like dissociation, paranoia, and psychosis.
Many assume that because LSD is a hallucinogenic drug that it doesn’t have the propensity to be abused (generally speaking, psychedelics are not physically habit-forming). This isn’t the case. Those with underlying mental health conditions or those with a greater predisposition to addiction can become dependent on the psychological effects of LSD. In short – yes, you can become addicted to LSD.
LSD Addiction Signs and Symptoms
LSD is a Schedule I drug, meaning it is highly illicit and is believed to have a high potential for abuse. Those who take a small dose of the drug will experience its effects for between 8 and 12 hours; significantly longer if a higher dose is taken. The short-term effects of an LSD trip include:
- Visual hallucinations.
- Feelings of alienation.
- Dissociation; an inability to connect with the world around you.
- Profuse sweating.
- Dehydration and dry mouth.
- Anxiety and/or panic attacks.
- Synesthesia (hearing colors, seeing sounds, etc.)
- Severe bouts of depression.
- Vivid flashbacks (especially common for those suffering from PTSD).
When it comes to LSD, tolerance builds extremely quickly. Those who have developed a tolerance to the drug and continue to take it in greater amounts are probably struggling with an addictive disorder. Those who take LSD daily can develop tolerance in as little as three days. The psychological implications of taking any hallucinogenic drug for more than three days in a row are huge and can be devastating.
The chances of having a “bad trip” increase, meaning that the user is likely to be extremely emotionally uncomfortable for the duration of the “high.” Serious psychological side effects can occur, leading to diminished inhibitions and engagement in risk-taking behaviors. This, in turn, can lead to serious physical injuries, legal consequences, strained interpersonal relationships and problems at work and school.
While people tend to think that experimenting with LSD is safe because it “isn’t addictive,” the facts prove otherwise. A 2014 study found that roughly 4 percent of all high school seniors had experimented with the drug at least once. Another 2014 study reported that nearly 30 percent of American adults had experienced a “bad trip” at least once during their lives. A study conducted in 2008 found that 3.1 million U.S. citizens between the ages of 12-25 had used the drug at least once. LSD abuse is more common than some may think. If you or someone close to you has been abusing this hallucinogen or any other, there is help available.
LSD Addiction Treatment
While this specific psychedelic drug is not physically addictive, it can be psychologically addictive. If you or someone you know has been taking experimentation too far, there is treatment available. At Recreate Life Counseling we work closely with those who have developed LSD addictions. We understand that short or long-term psychological damage is common, and our team of professional and experienced psychologists and counselors works with each client to help them return to a state of normal mental functioning and emotional regulation.
If you would like to learn more about our LSD addiction treatment program or learn more about LSD addiction in general, please feel free to give us a call at any time. Our knowledgeable staff members are standing by to answer any and every question you may have. We look forward to speaking with you soon.