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LSD Dependence – Signs of LSD Use Vs. Abuse, Tolerance

LSD, which stands for lysergic acid diethylamide, is a hallucinogenic drug manufactured from lysergic acid, a chemical derived from a specific type of fungus. It is often sold on blotter paper, although it can also be found in tablet form, made into thin gelatin squares, or soaked into sugar cubes. LSD has no legitimate medical use, so all use is considered illicit.

Is LSD Addictive?

How addictive is LSD? LSD is not considered a highly addictive drug because it does not produce the cravings associated with physical addiction. Many people successfully stop using LSD on their own. However, if you or someone you know needs help decreasing or halting LSD use, fill out our short information form or call 1-888-803-9961 Who Answers? to find support.

Understanding LSD Dependency and Tolerance

LSD dependence is typically psychological, not physical. While the drug does not cause physical cravings, individuals who take it often associate it with particular people and circumstances and make a habit out of using the drug whenever they are in social situations. This can make quitting difficult, since it may require that the user stop associating with friends who use LSD in order to break the habit of using it as a social ritual. Users may become tolerant to LSD, which means that they require more and more of the drug each time to achieve the same effect. Higher doses carry a higher risk of bad side effects, so increasing the dose can quickly become dangerous.

Effects/Side Effects

Different people experience different effects from taking LSD, depending on the dose and the person’s individual body chemistry. Even the same individual may experience different effects from using LSD at different times. Most people experience some form of mood change when taking LSD. This can include feelings of euphoria, depression, anxiety, or peacefulness. The user might also cycle between different moods. A high dose of LSD can produce hallucinations, delusions, or changes in the way the user perceives sound, color, movement, and touch. Some users experience “crossing over,” a state in which senses are confused, such as when color is perceived as sound or taste. In some cases, the user may experience feelings of terror or panic. Physical effects include dilated pupils, nausea, loss of appetite, a rise in body temperature, sweating, a rise in blood sugar, an increased heart rate, a rise in blood pressure, dry mouth, sleeplessness, and tremors. These effects typically begin within 30 to 60 minutes after taking LSD, and they can last for up to 12 hours.

The effects of LSD are the result of the drug interrupting the normal interaction between brain cells and the neurotransmitter serotonin. The full interaction between the drug and the serotonin system in the brain is not completely understood. Coming down from LSD is typically a gradual process as the drug filters out of the body. There is no hard crash after using LSD. The user’s perceptions of the world just gradually return to normal. LSD can create long-lasting after effects in some people. Users may experience flashbacks days or months after the initial use. These flashbacks come on without warning, so a user may experience them at school, work, or during routine activities. There is no way to predict, prevent, or stop a flashback. Long-term users of LSD may also develop depression or schizophrenia. Another problem with LSD use is that users may put themselves into dangerous situations while in an altered or hallucinatory state. For example, the user may perceive a flat walking surface when faced with what is actually a steep incline or stairwell, a situation that could easily lead to serious injury.

Withdrawal and Detoxification

Withdrawal from LSD does not cause physical withdrawal symptoms. Because of this, the user can stop using LSD abruptly without experiencing negative physical effects, such as drug cravings or physical discomfort. However, the user may become depressed or unhappy upon quitting LSD because of a psychological addiction. If you would like to learn more about how to stop using LSD, contact us at 1-888-803-9961 Who Answers? or fill out our quick information form.

Treatment for LSD Addiction

LSD abuse treatment typically involves addressing the social and psychological factors that led to the use of this drug by the patient. Because there is no physical addiction, no specific period of detoxification is necessary. Treatment can be done on an inpatient or outpatient basis and may include a combination of individual counseling, behavioral therapy, and family counseling. The patient may be monitored during treatment and may undergo drug tests to detect whether he or she is truly abstaining from LSD.