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RECO Intensive
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LSD Addiction Treatment

What Is Lysergic Acid Diethylamide?

LSD, also simply called acid, is a powerful mind-altering chemical. It alters a person’s thoughts and feelings and can cause surreal or realistic hallucinations—sights, sounds, or other sensations of things that aren’t really there. It only takes very small doses of the drugs to create these experiences, which are known as an “acid trip.”

LSD gets its name because it is made from lysergic acid, which is extracted from a fungus that grows on certain grains. It can be sold in a tablet form as well as in a liquid form, and street names for the substance include acid, yellow mellow, and dots.

LSD was first synthesized in the late 1930s by a chemist who accidentally discovered it in an attempt to create a blood stimulant. But widespread recreational usage surged only over a decade later after the treatment provider Sandoz Pharmaceuticals began providing free samples of the drug.

Though the use of LSD and similar drugs has decreased since its height of popularity as part of the sixties counterculture scene, the National Institute on Drug Abuse states that 7.3 percent of adults 18-25 used LSD or other hallucinogens in 2020, a not insignificant percentage.

Is LSD Addictive?

Generally, LSD is not considered a physically addictive drug. However, one may develop tolerance to the drug, a somewhat related phenomenon. This means that someone may need progressively higher doses to achieve the same high that they did initially.

In fact, tolerance to LSD develops quickly, after just a few days of consistent use of LSD. Habitual hallucinogen users may also notice that they may require higher doses of other hallucinogens to feel the same effect, a phenomenon known as cross-tolerance.

But just because someone isn’t physically dependent doesn’t mean abusing LSD isn’t a problem for them. Some LSD users find LSD addictive enough to develop a significant psychological dependence on the drug, and psychological addiction can still be extremely detrimental to an addicted person and those around them.

If LSD use is interfering with your life or hurting your relationships, treatment in an outpatient program for acid and LSD addiction can help. Treatment options offered for LSD addiction in American addiction centers are actually quite similar to those suggested for other addictive drugs, such as time in a drug or alcohol rehab center, ongoing therapy, and attendance at support groups like Narcotics Anonymous.

Behavioral Symptoms of Acid and LSD Drug Abuse

LSD doesn’t typically create the same kind of physical dependence or withdrawal symptoms as drugs like alcohol or heroin, but it’s still possible to develop a hallucinogen use disorder if your compulsive use of the drug leads to significant impairment or distress.

People who abuse LSD compulsively may show the following behavioral signs and symptoms:

  • Using more frequent doses or higher amounts than they intended
  • Feeling unable to cut down or quit using LSD
  • Having problems at work or school because of LSD use
  • Quitting activities or hobbies they once enjoyed to use LSD
  • Using LSD when it is unsafe to do so—when driving a car, for example
  • Spending a lot of time trying to get and use LSD or recover from its effects
  • Developing a tolerance to the drug
  • Continuing to use LSD even though it’s causing problems in their life

Side Effects of LSD

Short-term effects of using LSD can range from euphoria to extreme distress. While good LSD trips may be subjectively spiritually enlightening and have lasting positive psychological effects, LSD users may also experience traumatic “bad trips” that, in the worst-case scenario, can scar them for life.

A bad trip is defined by negative intense emotions accompanying the effects of LSD, such as anxiety, confusion, agitation, or even psychosis. In the extreme, a bad trip may even result in suicidal thoughts.

Thus, though a fatal overdose on LSD is rare, hallucinogenic drugs can still be extremely dangerous since they can impair normal functioning and judgment enough to cause someone to harm themselves or engage in unusually risky behaviors.

Mixing LSD with other drugs may also amplify LSD effects, leading to even greater impairment, or, in the case of antidepressants, potentially to a life-threatening condition called serotonin syndrome. LSD may also mask the effects of other drugs like alcohol, leading people to consume dangerous amounts of those other drugs because they are less aware that they are going overboard.

Along with these negative psychological side effects, LSD usage may cause unpleasant physical reactions as well, as you can see from this list of the following effects of LSD abuse:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Lack of coordination
  • Dilated pupils
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating
  • Panic
  • Dry mouth
  • Paranoia
  • Nausea
  • High body temperature
  • Psychosis
  • Loss of appetite
  • Changes in time perception
  • Weakness
  • Visual hallucinations

While rare, it’s possible to develop long-term problems after persistent LSD abuse. These include persistent psychosis, a serious disorder that causes long-term mental health problems, such as visual disturbances, paranoia, mood changes, and disorganized thinking.

Another long-term problem associated with persistent LSD and acid abuse is hallucinogen persisting perception disorder, which causes flashbacks to hallucinations experienced while high that can be distressing. These flashbacks can come on without warning for up to a year after the person last used the drug. Those who have pre-existing mental disorders may be at higher risk of developing ongoing mental health problems after hallucinogenic drug use.

Getting Substance Abuse Treatment At Reco Intensive

If you or someone you care about is struggling with LSD addiction, you’re not alone. Since many people use hallucinogens to relieve stress or escape reality, addressing the underlying reasons for the substance abuse is often the most vital step toward wellness.

Reco Intensive is a Delray Beach treatment provider known as one of the best American addiction centers. We offer our clients comprehensive drug addiction treatment services and accept most forms of insurance coverage. A core part of our program is helping clients find better ways to manage stress, anxiety, and negative thoughts.

Our intensive outpatient program (IOP) is ideal for people struggling with LSD addiction who don’t need detox or who have already completed detox. We also offer residential inpatient programs and partial hospitalization programs, which provide an even greater level of support.

RECO’s interdisciplinary team includes certified addiction professional doctors, nurse practitioners, board-certified psychiatrists, therapists, and others who will work together to create a personalized treatment plan for you or your loved one.

Contact us to learn more about our LSD and acid recovery programs and schedule a tour of our luxury properties in Delray Beach, FL. There’s no time like the present to get back on the road to a brighter future.

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