The rate at which hallucinogenic drugs are abused is on the rise. In fact, there are over 3 million people in the U.S. aged 12 to 25 that have reported to use one very popular hallucinogenic drug, LSD. Because many young adults and teenagers are increasingly experimenting with hallucinogens in order to experience a mind-altering effect, it is, therefore, vital that there is a greater awareness of what exactly the side-effects of hallucinogens are.
For the sake of this article, we will be examining one of the most popular choices of hallucinogenic drugs, LSD, and what the side effects of using LSD are, along with how to get help if one is currently abusing this hallucinogenic drug.
What is LSD and is it Addictive?
LSD, short for lysergic acid diethylamide, is an extremely potent hallucinogen. As a hallucinogenic drug, LSD alters perceptions and senses and is, in fact, one of the most powerful psychedelic, mood-altering chemicals abused in the world. LSD is taken by mouth and causes what is often referred to as a “trip”, which can be stimulating, pleasurable, and mind-altering or can lead to an unpleasant, even terrifying, experience referred to as a “bad trip”. Beyond causing a mind-altering experience, LSD is known to increase the user’s heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature, along with causing distortions in the person’s perception of time and sensory perception (especially sight and auditory perceptions). This could even open up the user to “seeing” sounds and “hearing” colors. Essentially, LSD creates a dissociation and detachment from reality though changing the way that the brain perceives external circumstances.
Synthetically made, LSD is an illegal drug in which there are no legal, accepted medical uses for in the United States. Because LSD is illegal and classified as a Schedule 1 Drug by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), LSD has an extremely high risk of abuse. As such, when a user takes LSD repeatedly, the person abusing the drug can develop a tolerance for the drug, requiring them to take higher doses in order to achieve a desired effect. Although LSD is not technically considered to be an addictive drug, as it is less common to create a physical dependence or cause someone to engage in compulsive, drug-seeking behavior, it does cause many long-term side-effects if abused regularly. Furthermore, taking LSD can cause a higher risk of developing an addiction to other drugs in order to achieve similar euphoric experiences. As such, it could greatly benefit someone who abuses LSD regularly to seek help through a holistic, comprehensive drug rehab facility that can safely and appropriately treat the drug abuse at its core.
Side Effects of the Addictive Drug LSD
Because LSD is made in illicit laboratories, a person can never be certain of what exactly the drug may contain. While some people may experience euphoria when taking the drug, others may become extremely paranoid, have a panic attack, or have an intense fear of death when taking LSD. These types of unpleasant experiences are labeled as a “bad trip.”
Because LSD causes changes in perception, individuals who take LSD may experience the inability to make good decisions and control motor functions or may suffer from poor judgement and impulse control. As such, an overdose from LSD may cause psychological problems that could cause general life-threatening issues that could be a danger to themselves or others when under the influence. Some additional side-effects from LSD overdose include:
- Mood swings
- Intense fear of losing control or death
- Feelings or thoughts of terror
Furthermore, taking LSD with other substances or alcohol can make side-effects more intense and can increase the likelihood of an overdose. In fact, if the individual is taking a medication for depression in which it changes the serotonin levels in their body, they could be at risk of a life-threatening reaction occurring when taking LSD. This fatal condition, called serotonin syndrome, happens when the levels of serotonin in one’s body reaches toxic levels, causing death.
Additionally, LSD can cause some serious long-term side effects, which can occur even if someone is micro-dosing. In fact, the individual may experience “flashbacks” for days, months, or years after their last dose of LSD. This means that the individual may re-experience the drug’s effects suddenly and without warning even when they are not under the influence. These flashbacks can be quite negative and disruptive for the individual. Furthermore, LSD can cause hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD), which can cause disturbances to the individual’s visual perception that make it hard for them to function in everyday life.
In addition, LSD affects the levels of serotonin in the brain, which may cause possible disruptions to the way the brain functions long-term. Because serotonin is responsible for the pleasure centers in the brain, LSD may change the way the brain processes rewards and how it feels pleasure. As such, withdrawing off LSD may cause depression, as levels of serotonin may drop significantly after taking the drug.
How to Get Help to Break The Addictive Cycle of LSD
While it was mentioned previously that LSD is not technically addictive in nature, it is possible to become addicted to the effects it has on one’s mind and body. Furthermore, because one can become tolerant to the effects LSD has on the body, there is a greater possibility of increasingly taking more of the drug and abusing LSD long-term in order to achieve the original, desired effects. Lastly, many people who abuse LSD may end up taking more addictive drugs to satisfy their need to feel “euphoria”. This can lead to serious addiction issues for the user long-term.
In order to mitigate the possibility of an addiction from rising, it is, therefore, essential that one seek help at the first signs of drug abuse or addiction. Getting help from an all-comprehensive drug rehab facility is one of the best ways to ensure a person suffering from substance abuse lives a life of sobriety and fulfillment for the long-run.
Reach out today to get the help you, or a loved one, needs and deserves. Your sobriety, well-being, and future self are worth the investment you make today.