January 3, 2024

LSD Addiction: Signs, Symptoms, & Treatment

image of woman representing What is polysubstance abuse

LSD, a powerful hallucinogen, belongs to a class of psychoactive substances used for recreational purposes to modify perception. Despite its reputation as a non-addictive substance, some people may develop a fascination with the auditory and visual effects from LSD, altering their perception of reality and prompting deep insights about life. Read on to discover how to connect with LSD addiction treatment if you have developed problematic patterns of hallucinogen intake.

Is LSD Addictive?

Need Help Getting
Addiction Treatment?

While LSD is typically classified as a non-addictive substance, some people can form an addiction to the sensory and cognitive experiences they encounter during a psychedelic trip. Individuals may develop both a tolerance and a psychological dependence on psychedelics like LSD. Prolonged and intense use of the substance can lead to adverse side effects, including paranoia or psychosis.

What Makes LSD Addictive?

While LSD is generally not associated with the development of addiction due to its lack of compulsive drug-seeking behaviors and the absence of withdrawal symptoms, persistent and uncontrolled LSD use can manifest. Clinically, this type of LSD addiction is categorized as hallucinogen use disorder in DSM-5-TR (fifth revised edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders). 

Diagnostic criteria for hallucinogen addiction include factors such as an enduring desire for the drug, unsuccessful attempts to reduce or control use, spending lots of time using or recovering from LSD, sacrificing important activities due to substance use, and engaging in dangerous behaviors while under the drug’s influence.

Dangers of LSD

LSD, known for its hallucinogenic properties, has inherent dangers, especially with the development of tolerance. Tolerance to LSD forms rapidly, and a concerning pattern emerges if someone consumes a dose of LSD daily for three consecutive days. By the third day, the absence of observable reactions prompts the need for higher doses to achieve the desired state of intoxication.

People who misuse LSD, then, often face the challenge of requiring progressively higher doses to replicate the effects they had previously experienced. This escalating dosage pattern intensifies the dangers associated with LSD use, increasing the likelihood of negative psychological side effects.

One of the significant dangers of escalating LSD dosage is the elevated risk of experiencing a bad trip. As some people seek higher levels of intoxication, the chances of encountering overwhelming and distressing psychological effects become more pronounced. This can include heightened anxiety, paranoia, and a loss of connection with reality.

The habit of regularly abusing LSD not only poses risks of a bad trip but also heightens the potential for enduring negative psychological effects. These may manifest as persistent anxiety, mood disturbances, and even more severe conditions like psychosis.

While LSD is not typically associated with physical dependence or severe withdrawal symptoms, escalating doses may contribute to physical health concerns. Chronic use can impact overall well-being, potentially leading to issues such as insomnia, decreased motivation for physical activity, and respiratory problems.

image of man representing lsd withdrawal symptoms

LSD Withdrawal Symptoms

Unlike substances that induce physical dependence – opioids or alcohol, for instance – LSD is not known to cause severe withdrawal symptoms. However, individuals who have developed a psychological dependence on the drug may experience certain effects upon discontinuation. Common withdrawal symptoms of LSD include:

  • Irritability: Some people may experience heightened irritability during the initial stages of abstinence from LSD. This could manifest as increased sensitivity to stimuli or emotional responses.
  • Insomnia: Difficulty in sleeping or disruptions to the normal sleep cycle may occur as a withdrawal symptom. People may find it challenging to achieve restful and uninterrupted sleep.
  • Changes in appetite: Withdrawal from LSD may lead to alterations in appetite, with some individuals experiencing changes such as increased or decreased hunger.
  • Mood swings: Fluctuations in mood, ranging from euphoria to dysphoria, may be observed as the individual adjusts to the absence of LSD. These mood swings can be more pronounced during the early stages of withdrawal.

While LSD withdrawal symptoms are generally considered less severe than those associated with physically addictive substances, the psychological impact of the drug should not be underestimated. Seeking professional support during the withdrawal process can assist individuals in managing these symptoms and addressing the underlying factors contributing to LSD dependence.

FAQs

How is LSD abused?

LSD is typically abused by individuals taking it recreationally in higher doses than those used for therapeutic or medical purposes, seeking intense hallucinogenic experiences. Although LSD does not lead to physical dependence, misuse can result in psychological distress and adverse reactions.

Can you get addicted to LSD?

LSD itself is not considered addictive, as it does not produce compulsive drug-seeking behavior or physical withdrawal symptoms. However, some people may develop a psychological dependence on the hallucinogenic experiences, leading to a pattern of regular use.

How addictive is LSD?

LSD’s lack of addictive properties is attributed to its unique pharmacological effects, as it mainly acts on serotonin receptors without causing the release of dopamine associated with traditional addictive substances. While there is no risk of physical addiction of LSD, its use requires caution due to potential psychological and perceptual side effects.

An image of a woman using addiction hotline's to find lsd addiction treatment

Call Addiction Hotline Today for Help for Drug Addiction

Whether you have developed an addiction to prescription medications, alcohol, or illicit narcotics, it can be challenging to determine how to engage with treatment. Data from SAMHSA (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) show that over 1 million U.S. over-18s failed to get addiction treatment in 2022 because they were unaware of how to connect with help.

Call Addiction Hotline at any time and speak with trained professionals who can help you locate detox centers, inpatient rehabs, outpatient programs, and peer support groups near you. Staff can also help you by answering queries related to any aspect of addiction and recovery.

If you are grappling with substance abuse and don’t know where to turn, call 855-701-0479 right away to engage with LSD addiction treatment near you.

Want to learn more?

Table of Contents

Compassionate Care for Substance Abuse Treatment

Read More Blogs

image representing how does addiction start
February 27, 2024

How Does Addiction Start?

Addiction, clinically described as substance use disorder, is a condition that impairs a person’s brain function and behavior, resulting in

image representing xanax and alcohol
February 26, 2024

Dangers of Mixing Xanax and Alcohol

Mixing Xanax and alcohol is a common yet dangerous practice. While abusing either substance independently carries significant risks, combined Xanax

image representing learning about the opioid epidemic
February 20, 2024

Understanding The Opioid Epidemic

The opioid epidemic in the United States is a major and critical public health issue. Its impact is seen not

image representing fentanyl overdose
February 16, 2024

Fentanyl Overdose: Signs, Symptoms, & Treatment

In 2021, the United States witnessed a tragic milestone, with overdose fatalities exceeding 100,000 for the first time. This alarming

February 13, 2024

The Deadly Effects of Fentanyl and Xylazine

Xylazine, known as tranq, is increasingly being found as a contaminant in illegal drugs and has been linked to a

image representing side effects of painkillers
February 9, 2024

Side Effects of Painkillers

Painkillers (analgesics) are medications designed to alleviate various types of pain, ranging from headaches and injuries to arthritis discomfort. There

Recent Articles

image representing how does addiction start
February 27, 2024

How Does Addiction Start?

Addiction, clinically described as substance use disorder, is a condition that impairs a person’s brain function and behavior, resulting in

image representing xanax and alcohol
February 26, 2024

Dangers of Mixing Xanax and Alcohol

Mixing Xanax and alcohol is a common yet dangerous practice. While abusing either substance independently carries significant risks, combined Xanax

image representing learning about the opioid epidemic
February 20, 2024

Understanding The Opioid Epidemic

The opioid epidemic in the United States is a major and critical public health issue. Its impact is seen not

image representing fentanyl overdose
February 16, 2024

Fentanyl Overdose: Signs, Symptoms, & Treatment

In 2021, the United States witnessed a tragic milestone, with overdose fatalities exceeding 100,000 for the first time. This alarming

February 13, 2024

The Deadly Effects of Fentanyl and Xylazine

Xylazine, known as tranq, is increasingly being found as a contaminant in illegal drugs and has been linked to a

image representing side effects of painkillers
February 9, 2024

Side Effects of Painkillers

Painkillers (analgesics) are medications designed to alleviate various types of pain, ranging from headaches and injuries to arthritis discomfort. There