For many people, LSD is a drug that you don’t hear too much about; it has not caused a public health crisis, very few people overdose on LSD, and you probably have not met anyone who is physically dependent upon it. LSD is still, however, a Schedule 1 controlled substance. So what is LSD, how does it affect users, and is LSD addictive? LSD is a drug that is frequently used because of its hallucinogenic properties. It affects every user differently and can cause very serious and lasting damage. Continue reading to learn more about LSD.
What is LSD and What Are Its Effects?
LSD, or Lysergic acid diethylamide, is a commonly used drug that significantly alters the state of your mind and perception of reality. Many people use LSD because it causes hallucinations, a feeling of euphoria, and sensory enhancement. The effects of LSD can last for up to 12 hours. Perhaps the most unsettling fact about LSD is that it affects everyone very differently, and you don’t know how you will react to it until after you have ingested it.
Common negative side effects include:
- Scary hallucinations
- Anxiety & Panic Attacks
The intensely altered state of mind can have lasting negative impacts on LSD users. The hallucinations often seem very real, and often cause users to act erratically and dangerously. These actions frequently lead to injury and other negative social consequences.
When used for prolonged periods of time, LSD has been known to cause persistent psychosis and Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder. 
Persistent psychosis includes:
- Visual disturbances, such as blurred or tunnel vision
- Disorganized thinking
- Mood changes
Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder is the repeated occurrence of certain drug-related experiences such as specific hallucinations or flashbacks, even when the drug is not being used.
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Is LSD Addictive?
LSD is addictive, but not in the traditional sense. When we typically think of substances being addictive, we think of physical dependence on the drug. That is, that the body comes to rely on the drug and there are negative effects of not using it, such as nausea, headaches, or even seizures.
SD is not physically addictive, and the body does not typically develop a dependence on it. In fact, the body actually develops a tolerance to LSD very quickly. If someone takes the same dose of LSD for 3 consecutive days, they will not feel its effects on the third day. This combined with the long-lasting effects of LSD makes it difficult to continue using on a daily basis.
Instead of physical addiction, LSD users can develop a psychological addiction. Many people use LSD to chase the feelings of euphoria it can cause. When the drug wears off, these feelings wane, often causing people to use again or take higher doses to achieve the same effects. Additionally, the altered state of mind often acts as a reprieve for many people who are struggling with emotional issues. This break from reality seems like a good way to escape difficult emotions and can lead to frequent or even daily use.
Lastly, many people experience social pressures to use LSD frequently and often use LSD every time they are with their friends. This type of addiction is difficult to overcome, but, unlike with other drugs, quitting does not cause uncomfortable or dangerous withdrawal symptoms. Overcoming addiction to LSD is possible with the help of experienced addiction counselors
LSD Addiction Treatment
Ocean Hills Recovery is experienced in treating the psychological addiction to LSD. Since LSD can have long-lasting negative impacts on the brain, it is important to take a multi-faceted and holistic approach to treatment. This can include individual therapy with a compassionate and experienced counselor, group counseling with others who understand your experiences, as well as medications to treat mood disorders. Since everyone’s experience is different, everyone’s approach to recovery will be slightly different. The experts at Ocean Hills will work with you to create a plan that fits your specific needs.
If you or a loved one is suffering from an addiction to LSD, contact Ocean Hills Recovery today. We are ready to help you overcome your addiction and get your life back.
Sources:https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4910402/ https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/hallucinogens https://www.drugpolicy.org/drug-facts/is-lsd-addictive
About the author:
Nicole earned her doctoral degree in Psychology with an emphasis on marriage and family therapy at California School of Professional Psychology. Her doctoral thesis was a grounded theory study exploring the role of alienation and connectedness in the life course of addiction. She specializes in treating addiction and trauma. She is certified in DBT and EMDR, two of the most highly regarded evidence-based methods in psychotherapy. Dr. Doss is a strong LGBT advocate and provides open and affirming support to her LGBT clients.
Dr. Doss’s earlier education included graduating cum laude from the University of California, Irvine in June of 2007 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. While there, she received honors recognition by Psi Chi and Golden Key honor societies.
Nicole has been working with alcoholics and addicts in our California drug and alcohol rehab center as an advisor and counselor for many years. She is passionate about providing quality counseling and care to her clients. Her main focus is on integrating the 12 Step and disease models of addiction with experiential therapeutic theory. She is married to Greg; they have two adorable sons together and an energetic yellow Labrador Retriever.