Lysergic acid diethylamide, most commonly known as LSD, certainly isn’t new to the world of drug abuse. Initially synthesized back in the 1930s, the odorless, crystalline hallucinogen is diluted into water-soluble mixtures by abusers and recreational users to prepare for oral ingestion or mixed with other powder substances for a more intense high. The drug is typically swallowed as a pill, but it can be chewed via blotter paper, dabbed on the tongue from a vile, or ingested via sugar cubes, too. The high sensation experienced by LSD users can last up to 12 hours when larger doses are ingested. The LSD experience includes hallucinations, vivid colors and imagery, an elevated heart rate, extreme emotions, feeling disconnected from oneself, anxiety and/or panic attacks, muscular lethargy, trouble sleeping, fatigue, loss of appetite, perspiration, dry mouth, being in a confused state, shakiness, psychosis, and more.
Who Is Using LSD?
Chances are you know someone who currently uses LSD, also known as acid, or who has in the past. Often, we’re biased and believe the only drugs being widely used are those we hear about in crime reports in the pages of the local newspaper, but this drug is still booming in its own arena and doing a pretty good job at lying low beneath the legal radar.
While it isn’t the most commonly abused drug these days, LSD hasn’t lost its footing in the club scene. It’s growing popular with an even younger crowd as well. The National Institute on Drug Abuse notes that 1.1 percent of 8th graders and 3.7 percent of 12th graders reported lifetime use of the drug in 2014.
Mental illness is a huge factor for many who abuse this substance. According to the WHO, approximately 53 percent of drug addicts are suffering from a serious mental health disorder. Self-medication is a common practice among these individuals. Likewise, a great many addicts who are mentally ill have no idea that they have mental health issues. Often, drug abuse among those with underlying and undiagnosed illnesses opens the door for the relief of uncomfortable symptoms that the individual may not fully understand, but they recognize how the symptoms improve with drug use and keep up with the habit accordingly.
Addiction to LSD
Tolerance definitely develops in habitual users of LSD and so do the following patterns of behavior, which are all signs and symptoms of drug addiction:
- Using the drug to abstain from feeling withdrawal
- Inability to cut back or quit using
- An obsession with using that takes up a lot of your time, even if you’re just thinking about it
- Withdrawing from social activities you once enjoyed to use LSD instead
- Persistent use of the drug even though you’re struggling with consequences of its use that aren’t desirable
Even minor use of LSD can lead to serious consequences you never saw coming.
Dangers of LSD
The Psychedelic Library reports on one study in which 24 percent of participants using LSD reported experiencing a bad trip. These trips aren’t what LSD users are seeking and consist of feeling like you’re trapped in your own skin dying to crawl out of it, accompanied by severe anxiety and irrational fear and terror.One of the biggest drawbacks to using LSD is what comes after the infamous “trip” users experience with use. Upon withdrawal from the high, uncomfortable feelings of anxiousness and depression may set in and take a while to lift. Additionally, flashbacks are quite common among LSD users and abusers.
These episodes take the user back to the same feelings and experience they had while under the influence. Flashbacks can occur for several months following use of the drug and are more common in those who use LSD on a regular basis or those with extenuating mental health problems. Disorders from schizophrenia to major depression can stem from use of LSD, too.Of course, you can’t contemplate the use of any illicit substance without the worry of overdose coming to mind. Many don’t believe overdose on LSD is possible, but indeed it is. Doses higher than 10 mg are considered to be enough to overdose, per Erowid.
That being said, death via LSD has yet to ever be reported. Thus, the drug is not considered to carry a risk of fatality. However, there have been a few deaths linked to the psychological effects that stemmed from LSD use, including some suicides and other behaviors that led to death while under the influence of the drug.
Get Help for LSD Abuse
If you are addicted to more than one substance, as many LSD addicts are, you may want to consider inpatient treatment. With rehabilitation, detox is often the first step. During detox, you will be made as comfortable as possible via any medications and therapies your supervising physician deems appropriate and necessary. You may experience feelings of sadness, difficulty concentrating, flashbacks, intense hallucinations, anxiousness, and other symptoms during the withdrawal process. In some cases, antidepressants or benzodiazepines may be prescribed during treatment to mediate these symptoms until withdrawal is complete.
Following detox, comprehensive therapy will address the reasons that led to your LSD use in the first place. Your treatment plan will be tailored to your specific situation and may include individual therapy, group therapy, and other alternative treatments, such as art therapy, equine-assisted therapy, yoga, and meditation.
If you’re ready to leave LSD in your past and take the first step toward a sober, balanced life, call us today. We are here 24/7 to take your call and answer any questions you may have.