What is LSD (lysergic acid)?

LSD (lysergic acid) is best known as Acid on the streets. It belongs to a class of drugs known as hallucinogens that distort perceptions of reality. LSD is the most potent mood and perception altering drug known to man. It is a commonly abused drug among teens and young adults as a “club drug” making its way to parties and raves. The manufacturing, sale and use of LSD is illegal throughout the United States.

How LSD Works

LSD is produced synthetically from a fungus that grows on rye grass. LSD is an odorless, colorless, and a bitter-tasting chemical that is generally ingested orally as a “hit” and absorbed from the gastrointestinal system an causes major changes in brain chemicals. LSD alters perceptions by disrupting the action of the neurotransmitter serotonin.

The effects of LSD begin within one hour of taking the drug and last for up to 12 hours, the user experiences emotional and sensory changes during this time known as “tripping”. The user will experience feelings of euphoria; colors, smells, and sounds may be highly intensified; time may appear to move very slowly; synesthesia occurs, where the person sees sounds, or smells colors; out-of-body sensations; or they may perceive their body has changed shape or merged with another person or object. LSD also decreases the persons appetite, increases blood pressure and causes sleeplessness along with many other physical effects.

LSD (lysergic acid) Use

LSD was initially used as an experimental medication in the treatment of neuroses, narcotic addiction, autism, alcoholism, and terminally ill cancer patients. It was also used to study the mechanisms of psychotic diseases like schizophrenia. The effects of LSD were too great and the drug was made illegal under the Drug Abuse Control Amendment of 1965. Today is production, sale and use is illegal throughout the United States and is no longer used in medical treatment.

LSD, a Club Drug

Illegally teens and young adults tend to use LSD for its euphoric and hallucinogenic effects. It is considered a “club drug” being used at parties and raves throughout the US. There is no telling how much LSD is in each hit the person takes, making the trip they experience different each time, risking a “bad trip”. Just as with many other drugs the continuous use of LSD results in the person developing a tolerance, requiring larger doses to acheive the desired effects. When stopping the use of LSD the person can crash from exhaustion, become irritable, violent and experience flash backs.

Signs of LSD Abuse

A person abusing LSD may experience the following physical and psychological changes:

  • Anxiety.
  • Delusions
  • Dilated pupils
  • Disorientation
  • Fear and paranoia
  • Increase in saliva and drooling
  • Profuse sweating
  • Rise in pulse rate
  • Rise in temperature
  • Rise in blood pressure
  • Sleeplessness
  • Visual disturbances and hallucinations

There may also be many behavioral changes with regular use of LSD such as:

  • Change of friends
  • Lack of interest in usual activities
  • Aggressive Behaviors
  • Legal Troubles
  • Problems at work or school
  • Problems within personal relationships
  • Financial difficulties

Symptoms of LSD Withdrawal

LSD is no considered to be physically addictive, however this does not mean that users do no develop a dependency. Many are psychologically dependent on LSD, typically experiencing;

  • strong cravings
  • agitation
  • Aggression
  • Paranoia
  • Depression

LSD (lysergic acid) Addiction Treatment

While LSD is not considered to be physically addictive it can be psychologically addictive, resulting in psychological changes when stopping its use. People with an addiction to LSD will crave the drug and continue its use despite the dangers it poses to their health. Most will require the help of an addiction treatment center to overcome an LSD addiction and prevent relapse.

With an psychological addiction to LSD the patient is recommended to enter into cognitive therapy that will allow them to recognize the dysfunctional behaviors, routines and thoughts associated with its use. This will allow them to change to ones that promote sober living. They will learn key tools that will be needed to overcome cravings and prevent relapse. Other therapy and counseling will help the patient to work through the underlying cause of their addiction as well as other psychological issues they may have as a result of its use.