Most of us have heard of LSD and acid by now. Both can be incredibly dangerous to use and abuse and can cause serious health risks. So what are the differences between LSD vs acid? Well, you might be surprised to learn that they are the exact same thing. 

D-lysergic acid diethylamide, or LSD, goes by a number of names on the street, such as blotter, Lucy, tabs, dots, gels, or simply “acid”.  It was first discovered while scientists were conducting research into lysergic acid, which was found in a very dangerous and potentially deadly mold that grows on rye and other grain. LSD is a pure white, crystalline compound that has no taste or smell, and is completely synthetic. LSD is not found to occur anywhere in nature.

Acid is one of the most popular and longest abused hallucinogens in the US. Hallucinogens are a class of drugs that alter the user’s perception of reality, sounds, time, and even thoughts and feelings. They can also produce very intense visual hallucinations, as well as dramatic shifts in mood. 

LSD or acid is one of the most potent recreational drugs that is commonly used in the US. It is so powerful that the average doses are measured out in micrograms. LSD is most commonly stored for transport and administration suspended in an alcohol solution. This solution can be applied with an eyedropper to sugar cubes, or injected into gummy bears for immediate consumption. 

In most cases, it is allowed to saturate a sheet of perforated “blotter paper” and the alcohol evaporates leaving the LSD on the paper. These papers are then separated along the perforations into “hits” and then placed on the tongue to absorb into the bloodstream. 

Another common route of administration is to mix the acid-alcohol solution with gelatin and to press that into a mold to firm up. These “gel tabs” are then able to be stored for a longer period of time since they are more stable, and they often contain a significantly higher dose than blotters. They are often referred to by their color, and a vague reference to their shape, such as “yellow sunshine” for simple yellow circles.

Side-Effects of Using LSD or Acid

The effects of LSD or acid can present as both short-term effects as well as long-term. The short-term effects are the ones that are felt during the “trip”, while the long-term effects are those that can linger for months or years after the last use. Short term effects include:

  • A sense of euphoria
  • Altered perception
  • Blood pressure and body temperature rises
  • High levels of confusion
  • Visual and auditory hallucinations and delusions
  • Feeling like they are leaving their body
  • Questioning the current reality

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The long-term effects of using LSD can be as different and varied in nature as the short-term. Many of those who use heavier doses or for longer periods have more “bad trips”, and as a result experience more traumatic flashbacks. These bad trips can be so traumatic that the user suffers lasting psychological damage. These flashbacks can be incredibly frightening, can cause the user to dissociate, and usually must simply be endured for the few minutes that they last. There is also the possibility of obtaining an infection from any number of sources, during risky sexual behavior.

How to Tell if Addicted to LSD or Acid

While LSD or acid does not create any significant or noticeable chemical dependency like many other drugs, it can create its own unique challenges to healthy daily life. Drugs that cause a chemical dependency do so by forcing a serious degree of chemical adaptations that the brain must make in order to function properly. 

The challenge that acid creates for the users is the noticeable amount of psychological dependence that it can generate. The users frequently report that they love the experiences and desire them more and more.

LSD or acid withdrawals are going to be largely unique to the user that is stopping use. With this in mind, the symptoms that may be encountered are often difficult to predict in variation as well as intensity. Meaning some individuals may only get one or two symptoms and may feel them in any range of severity, while others may feel all of the symptoms slightly, and some may feel none. The issues that could present include:

  • Insomnia, or the inability to sleep for significant lengths of time
  • Sleeping too much, also known as hypersomnia
  • Persistent discomfort or irritability
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Depression or general malaise

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When someone stops taking LSD after a history of use, they often find that they become relatively uncomfortable both physically and psychologically, for some time following the cessation. It is not uncommon to become more anxious or nervous than normal, with no explanation for it. 

Also worth noting is that those with mental health concerns, either diagnosed or undiagnosed, such as depression, schizophrenia, or chronic anxiety may experience significant triggering during withdrawal from addiction to LSD. In situations where this may be the case, individuals are urged to seek professional treatment options rather than going it alone.

Treatment Options if Addicted to LSD, Acid, or Other Hallucinogens

There is a growing number of people who used to be addicted to LSD or acid that are finding success in quitting these substances, and living healthier lives in recovery. If you think you might be addicted to acid, or know someone who might be, the most important thing you can do is to speak up and let them know they aren’t alone. There is help available if they want it.

A great many people not only leverage their friends and family to help with personal accountability, but they also seek out experienced professional help. By working with a local treatment center that offers both inpatient treatments for intensive detox needs as well as flexible outpatient programs recovery is closer than ever.

Speak to an enrollment advisor about treatment so that you can get on the path to a healthier, more satisfying future, free from drugs, starting today.

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