Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), also known as “acid,” is a psychedelic drug usually sold in square-shaped tablets, paper blotters called “tabs,” and gelatin squares. One of the most powerful synthesized hallucinogens available, LSD contains extremely strong mood-changing chemicals that can also lead to altered awareness, perceptions and feelings.
The psychedelic soared to popularity in the early 1960s and is notorious for dramatic disconnect from reality, which can lead to terrifying “bad trips” of paranoia and unenjoyable distortion lasting up to 12 hours. Although it has a low addictive potential, LSD is abused for its escapist effects by users who often want to flee from reality.
LSD comes in many different forms, from a clear or white crystalline substance to tan or black, varying in purity. The drug is usually abused by crushing it into a fine powder and pressing it into the form of a tablet or on small gelatin squares. It can also be dissolved into a solution called blotter acid and soaked into tiny squares of paper called “tabs.”
Some of the common symptoms of LSD abuse are:
- Synesthesia – a sensory phenomenon where people can see smells or hear colors
- Intensified senses of sound or touch
- Visual hallucinations being abundantly vivid in color or geometric flashes of light in sync with other patterns, regardless of whether the eyes are open or shut
- Out-of-body sensations or that one’s body has changed shape
- Altered perception of time, space and speed
- Dilated pupils
- Higher or lower body temperature
- Sweating or chills (“goose bumps”)
- Loss of appetite
- Dry mouth
One of the most distinguishing effects of LSD compared to other drugs is the possibility of flashback of a previous trip, without warning and long after taking the drug.
When a person has a bad LSD trip, he/she is likely to experience severe effects from the drug. Some of these include:
- Rapid mood swings
- Fatal accidents
- Terror that he or she is disintegrating into nothing
Effects of LSD abuse
When a user takes LSD, brain regions once segregated talk to one another. Other brain regions that typically form a network will separate while high, creating a strong sentiment of oneness with the world. This loss of personal identity is called “ego dissolution.”
During acid trips, the formerly separate brain networks governing vision, attention, movement and hearing will further intertwine, leading to what looks like a more cohesive brain. At the same time, the communication between other networks – the parahippocampus and the adjacent retrosplenial cortex – break down. The former brain region is responsible for contextual processing and associations, while the latter governs navigation, special mapping and episodic memory.
Scientists are still testing and analyzing to understand the whole of what LSD does in the brain. We do know it can induce permanent hallucinations called hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD) or persistent psychosis depending on the severity.
Getting help for LSD Abuse
LSD highs are called “trips” for a reason, some people tend to take drastic steps to cope with past or present trauma, symptoms of mental disorders or have a genetic predisposition towards addiction. They tend to abuse such substances to escape reality since these tend to have dissociative effects. However, the dangerous side effects of LSD make effective treatments that much more essential.
This is where Mission Recovery can help, by providing complete LSD detoxification treatment and residential treatment that can fully address mental duress and other issues. Mission Recovery provides comprehensive treatment for recovery from addiction to LSD because we connect our holistic LSD detox treatment to cognitive modalities so as to restore brain wellness. What makes Mission Recovery a leader among LSD recovery programs is our dedication to healing from the inside out. Other LSD rehab centers address the external symptoms without helping the individual recover from mental issues that fuel substance abuse.