LSD (LYSERIC ACID DIETHYLAMIDE)

LSD is an acronym for lysergic acid diethylamide, a potent hallucinogen created in the 1930s. Though the drug is made into a concentrated form synthetically, lysergic acid is found in ergot, a fungus that grows on grains. It is extremely strong, one doses is only about a microgram. People refer to being high on LSD, or “acid” as it is frequently called, as a “trip.” A trip can be pleasurable, but for many it is a terrifying experience. Bad experiences on LSD are colloquially called a “bad trip.” Effects of the drug normally take hold within 30 to 90 minutes of being administered and depending on the strength quantity of doses can last up to 12 hours. LSD may change one’s perception of time, make colors seem more vibrant, or cause confusion and worry. LSD effects all people differently. LSD is odorless, colorless and has a slightly bitter taste. It is most commonly found as a liquid but can also be found in paper-like tablets or sugar/candy that administer on your tongue.

SIGNS OF ABUSE

The most common sensory impact a person who is high on LSD will experience is visual hallucination. During a trip, shapes and colors become distorted with rippling effects, which cause objects to appear as though they are breathing or pulsing. Other sensory effects include audible echo-like hallucinations, which are less common, and a strong metallic taste in the user’s mouth. Psychologically, LSD can cause feelings of euphoria, but also trigger panic attacks or intrusive negative thoughts during “bad trips.” Physically, a person who is high on LSD will experience an increased bodily temperature causing dry mouth profuse sweating. One’s heart rate will also increase, and muscles are known to experience fits of numbness, weakness or tremors. As of 2018, there have been no documented incidents of death by overdose directly involving LSD. In incidents where LSD is part of someone’s death, it is usually because of an injury suffered during use.

PARAPHERNALIA

Man-Taking-LSD LSD doses are drops of liquid that are normally absorbed by small tablets of paper, or cubes of sugar. It can also be found as a powder or crystal, placed in pill capsule or laced on another drug, such as cannabis. LSD doses are normally chewed, swallowed or absorbed through the tongue, but can also be inhaled or injected intravenously.

WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS

Withdrawal from LSD is not known to cause physical pain. However, anxiety and depression can occur at the end of trips when the impact of the drug begins to subside.  For frequent LSD users, psychosis and flashbacks of trips are common, even when they are not under the influence of the drug. A person in LSD withdrawal may experience confusion and easily lose track of time or experience an impaired depth perception.

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Addicted to LSD? Now What?

The best way to treat LSD addiction is by seeking help.

Entering treatment allows medical professionals and clinical therapists to determine the severity of the addiction, find and treat any underlying co-occurring disorders and helps those addicted to LSD learn new coping skills. In treatment a patient can create a recovery community to help them finally end their addiction to LSD. Amatus Recovery Centers around the country can help make this process easier. Each facility evaluates patients and learns about their history with addiction to create a treatment plan specifically for you. Once a plan is created a team of dedicated professionals will determine the severity of the addiction and whether medical detox is needed. Detox from LSD can be quite uncomfortable,  but 24-hour medical professionals will help to ensure safety and comfort. After your withdrawal symptoms subside, you can continue the path of recovery during inpatient, residential, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient or outpatient programs.