LSD, or lysergic acid diethylamide, is a potent hallucinogenic drug commonly known as “acid.” It can have significant physical and psychological effects on users and carries the potential for dangerous habit-forming behaviour. In fact, the drug has become so popular that the police and border forces of England and Wales made 2,148 seizures of LSD in 2020/21. If you or someone you know is struggling with LSD addiction, hallucinogens addiction or any drug addiction, it’s important to know that help is available. With the right resources and support, you can embark on a journey towards wellness and recovery.
What is LSD addiction?
LSD addiction refers to a compulsive pattern of drug use, where someone feels an intense urge to take LSD despite negative consequences. While LSD addiction is relatively rare compared to other substances, it can still be a serious problem for those who become dependent on the drug. Individuals with an LSD addiction may experience cravings for the drug, difficulty controlling their drug use and continued use despite negative consequences.
How does LSD affect the user?
LSD can cause a range of effects on users by altering perceptions, thoughts and feelings. Some of the common effects of LSD include:
- Hallucinations: LSD can cause users to see, hear and feel things that are not actually there. These hallucinations can be vivid and intense and can last for several hours.
- Changes in mood: LSD can cause users to experience intense emotions, both positive and negative. Users may feel euphoric, anxious, paranoid or depressed.
- Altered perception of time and space: LSD can cause users to lose track of time or feel as though time is passing more slowly or quickly than usual. Users may also experience a distorted sense of space, such as feeling as though they are floating or shrinking.
- Physical effects: LSD can cause a range of physical effects, including dilated pupils, increased heart rate and blood pressure and changes in body temperature.
- Spiritual experiences: Some users report having profound spiritual experiences while under the influence of LSD, such as feeling a sense of oneness with the universe or experiencing a deep sense of peace and interconnectedness.
It’s worth noting that the effects of LSD can vary widely depending on factors such as the user’s dose, their mood and surroundings and their past experiences with the drug.
How does LSD addiction develop?
When LSD is consumed, it binds to specific cell receptors in the brain, resulting in significant alterations in the way the brain processes serotonin – a neurotransmitter responsible for regulating mood, emotions and perception. This leads to intense changes in sensory perception, including visual and auditory hallucinations, as well as altered emotions and mood.
Although LSD is not considered physically addictive in the same way as other drugs, it can lead to psychological dependence. This is because LSD’s effect can cause users to develop a strong desire to experience the drug’s unique effects repeatedly.
As a result, individuals may become psychologically dependent on LSD, feeling the need to chase or recreate a previous high, even in the face of negative consequences. This cycle of compulsive use and the desire to experience the drug’s effects can lead to the development of addiction over time.
How can I tell if I am addicted to LSD?
Given that LSD is typically not classified as a physically addictive drug, identifying signs of addiction can be challenging. However, it’s essential to be aware of any potential indications that may point to a problem. Consider the following statements to determine whether any of them apply to you:
- I require increasingly larger doses of LSD to achieve the same effects as before.
- I find myself frequently preoccupied with thoughts about LSD and have a strong urge to use the drug.
- My LSD use has led to psychological difficulties, such as paranoia, anxiety and difficulty distinguishing reality from fantasy.
- I try to replicate past “good trips” and constantly seek to recreate those experiences.
- I use LSD as a coping mechanism for negative emotions or as a way to avoid reality.
- I experience “flashbacks” or hallucinations even when I am not currently using LSD.
If any of these statements reflect your current situation, seeking help can be a crucial step in guiding you towards a healthier and more balanced life. Remember, you don’t have to face recovery alone. With the right support and resources, you can understand your addiction to LSD and develop effective management strategies to implement in your daily life.
Short-term and long-term effects of LSD abuse
LSD use poses numerous risks that can result in both short-term and long-term damage to your mental and physical health.
- Dilated pupils
- High blood pressure
- Increased heart rate
- Confusion and disorientation
- Stomach cramps
- Increased temperature
- Sweating and chills
- Impulsive or dangerous behaviour
The risk of accidents, injuries and even fatalities increases significantly when using LSD. The drug’s effects on perception and sensory processing can distort your senses and lead you to perceive things that aren’t real, potentially putting you in harm’s way. The lack of coordination and slowed reflexes associated with LSD use can also exacerbate the risk of accidents and injuries.
Getting help for LSD addiction
Help for LSD addiction starts by addressing your physical dependence with LSD detox. This is the process of removing LSD from your body so you can begin to heal. Alongside that, you will also undergo a range of different evidence-based therapies in LSD rehab which will help to address the underlying causes of your LSD addiction so you can systematically overcome them.
How to recognise LSD addiction
Recognising the signs of LSD addiction in a loved one can be difficult as the drug does not produce physical dependence like other substances such as opioids or alcohol. However, there are some behavioural and psychological signs that may indicate a problem with LSD use. Here are some potential signs to look out for:
- Changes in mood and behaviour: A loved one who is struggling with LSD addiction may display sudden and unexplained mood swings, irritability or agitation. They may also become more secretive, avoid social situations or exhibit uncharacteristic behaviour.
- Neglecting responsibilities: LSD addiction can lead to a decrease in motivation and productivity, causing a person to neglect important responsibilities such as work or school.
- Disinterest in hobbies or activities: Someone with an LSD addiction may lose interest in activities or hobbies that they once enjoyed.
- Changes in sleep patterns: LSD use can disrupt a person’s sleep patterns, causing them to have difficulty falling or staying asleep or to sleep excessively.
- Withdrawal from friends and family: A loved one who is struggling with LSD addiction may withdraw from close relationships and social activities.
- Changes in physical appearance: Someone with an LSD addiction may neglect their personal hygiene, leading to changes in physical appearance such as dishevelled hair, body odour or weight loss.
It’s important to keep in mind that these signs could be indicative of other issues as well so it’s important to approach your loved one with empathy and concern and encourage them to seek professional help.
How do I help a loved one with an LSD addiction?
Helping a loved one with an LSD addiction can be a challenging and emotional process but there are steps you can take to support them through their recovery journey:
- Express concern: Express your concern for your loved one’s well-being and let them know that you are there for them. Avoid using judgmental language or blame.
- Educate yourself: Learn about LSD addiction, its effects and the recovery process. This will help you better understand what your loved one is going through and how you can support them.
- Offer support: Offer your support throughout the recovery process. This can include attending therapy sessions with your loved one, helping them with daily tasks or simply being there to listen.
- Encourage professional help: Encourage your loved one to seek support.
- Set boundaries: It’s important to set boundaries to protect your own mental and emotional well-being. This may mean setting limits on the amount of time you spend with your loved one or refusing to enable their drug use.
Remember that recovery from LSD addiction is a journey and it may take time for your loved one to achieve sobriety. Continue to support them and encourage them to seek professional help when needed.
Can LSD addiction be cured?
Banbury Lodge provides a comprehensive and tailored treatment programme for individuals struggling with LSD addiction so they can manage their cravings and develop the skills and strategies necessary to live a fulfilling life without LSD. If you or a loved one is struggling with LSD addiction, please do not hesitate to contact us at Banbury Lodge.