Side Effects of LSD Abuse
A recent study showed that LSD use increased by more than 56% in a three-year period. Users often take the psychedelic drug to experience a “trip.” However, with the trip can come long-term effects of LSD, which can have a long-lasting impact on a person’s health. Although LSD isn’t considered an addictive drug, people can still develop substance use disorders relating to psychedelics.
Learn about the short- and long-term side effects of LSD abuse, and how to seek help for addiction.
What Is LSD?
LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) is a psychedelic drug that can temporarily alter a person’s reality. Hallucinogenic drugs such as LSD can change a person’s perceptions, including their sense of time and awareness of their surroundings.
LSD users normally take the drug orally, either in a tablet form or by placing blotter paper containing the substance on the tongue. Most users feel the desired effects when taking approximately 1 to 3 micrograms per kilo of body weight. The hallucinogen’s effect typically begins within 30-60 minutes.
Although most users take the hallucinogen to experience positive psychedelic effects, “bad trips” often happen. The DEA considers LSD to have a high potential for abuse, and as such, it is classified as a Schedule I substance.
What Are the Effects of LSD?
Whether a person experiences a good or bad trip after using LSD usually determines its effects. Someone having a good trip will likely experience positive psychedelic effects.
These can include:
- Seeing colors
- Hearing sounds that aren’t there
- Perceiving the world in a different way
- See things moving differently
- Changed perceptions of depth, time, and touch
If a person is experiencing a bad trip, they will feel more negative effects, including panic attacks and unpleasant hallucinations.
Short-Term Side Effects of LSD Use
Regardless of whether someone has a good or bad trip after taking LSD, the drug affects the body in the same way. Consuming lysergic acid diethylamide results in physiological effects on the body.
This means LSD users will often experience the following common side effects:
- High body temperature
- High blood pressure
- A dry mouth
- Loss of appetite
- Dilated pupils
- Fast heart rate
The danger of overdose is often a potential short-term effect of drug use. However, LSD overdoses are rare. However, users should be aware of the potential dangers of taking hallucinogens. The nature of LSD and its effect on the body mean it can provoke a sense of temporary psychosis.
Long-Term Side Effects of LSD Use
Continued substance use often results in long-term effects, including experiencing flashbacks. NIH NIDA describes how LSD users may experience disturbing flashbacks due to LSD use. These flashbacks can happen a few days after LSD use or may occur more than 12 months after taking LSD.
The phenomenon of flashbacks related to LSD use is called hallucinogen-persisting perception disorder and can be very unpleasant for the user.
Other long-term effects of LSD include the possibility of creating false memories or false beliefs caused by an LSD trip.
Although LSD is not considered to be an addictive drug, there is a potential for developing a substance use disorder based on its effects. For example, an individual may begin to crave the effects of LSD. Additionally, it is possible to build a tolerance to hallucinogens such as LSD. This means someone will need to take more of the drug to feel the same effects. Building tolerance is often a factor in developing an addiction.
If you think you or a loved one has an addiction/substance use disorder, contact us today for information on our treatment options.
Behavioral and Mental Health Impact of LSD Use
LSD can have an impact on a person’s behavior and mental health. This occurs because LSD alters the interaction between brain cells and serotonin. Someone who has taken LSD may appear to be losing control of their mind and suffer severe mental health effects. They may begin to fear death, become anxious, and have terrifying thoughts and feelings.
The mental health effects of LSD are usually temporary and associated with a bad trip. However, hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD) can negatively impact a person’s long-term mental health.
Interactions Between LSD and Other Substances
Taking LSD while drinking alcohol is not recommended. This is because the two substances interact and reduce the efficiency of each other. This can be dangerous, as it may cause someone to drink more alcohol to feel the effects. By doing so, they may drink more than their body can tolerate.
Disclaimer: LSD may also interact with certain prescription medications. This can affect their efficiency. If you have concerns about this, talk to a medical professional.
LSD Addiction Treatment
Although LSD generally isn’t an addictive drug, it is possible to have an LSD addiction. Addiction isn’t as simple as physical dependence; it is much more complex. For many addicts, the psychological side of addiction can be more challenging to conquer than the physical.
Addiction is based on a selection of behaviors and habits created in relation to a particular substance. Often, a substance can trigger positive feelings, and as such, the brain associates these positive feelings with the consumption of the substance.
Although someone may not experience physical cravings for a substance, they may crave the effects of it. Because of this, it’s possible to have a substance use disorder related to LSD.
Get Treatment Today
If you think you have an LSD addiction or substance use disorder relating to another substance, we’re here for you. We offer a range of therapy and addiction treatment options to help people overcome their substance use disorders. We provide therapies such as CBT and DBT for anyone looking for substance abuse treatment.