ADHD and LSD Abuse

ADHD and LSD Abuse

When LSD use occurs alongside ADHD, symptoms are more difficult to understand

For anyone managing the symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), the added concern of drug abuse is especially serious. Not only does a powerful hallucinogen like LSD dramatically affect a person’s psychological health, the drug interacts with any ADHD medications a person takes, putting his physical health at risk.

LSD abuse is a complex issue. When LSD use occurs alongside ADHD, symptoms are more difficult to understand. A person with a neurological issue like ADHD struggles to maintain normal functioning with attention and self-control. A person with ADHD, particularly untreated ADHD, may turn to LSD as a way to escape the stress of living with neurological symptoms or as a way to experience enhanced sensory perceptions.[1]

LSD does not provide relief for ADHD, and the drug actually makes ADHD symptoms potentially worse. A person with ADHD is more likely to be impulsive and practice poor judgment in stressful situations. These symptoms make it more likely a person with ADHD will try LSD and become psychologically dependent on the drug.1

A person who uses LSD puts himself at risk in a number of ways. The drug’s hallucinogenic properties produce visions and mood swings that intensify mental health disorders, including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Users may experience flashbacks, or sudden hallucinations and other mood disturbances, that occur days or more than a year after using the drug. In rare cases, they may develop hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD), which disrupts a person’s senses and thinking even when drugs are not in his system.[2]

Understanding ADHD

ADHD, sometimes known as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), describes a whole spectrum of symptoms that affect a person’s attention and impulse control. One of the most common childhood disorders, ADHD sometimes continues into adolescence and adulthood, although symptoms of hyperactivity are less noticeable. Researchers learn more about the disorder all the time, increasing awareness about the way a person with ADHD reacts to the world. Current treatments use a combination of stimulant or non-stimulant medications along with behavior therapy to manage symptoms. People with ADHD benefit from consistent routines to stay organized and avoid feeling overwhelmed and stressed.[3]

There are three primary symptoms of ADHD:

  • Trouble staying focused and paying attention
  • Difficulty controlling behavior
  • Hyperactivity (over-activity)

Most clinicians break the disorder down into three categories: predominantly hyperactive-impulsive, predominantly inattentive and combined hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive.3

Does ADHD Cause LSD Abuse?

ADHD does not cause LSD abuse, although someone with ADHD symptoms is more susceptible to LSD use. ADHD creates added pressure and stress in a person’s life, and stress is a primary reason some people abuse LSD. People who have trouble managing ADHD symptoms and experience social pressures, such as bullying or extreme disappointment from others may use LSD to self-medicate. Self-medicating to escape problems may exacerbate a person’s psychological dependence on LSD.

Treating ADHD and LSD Addiction

A person with both an LSD addiction and ADHD benefits from specialized treatment. People with multiple conditions, also known as co-occurring disorders, need an integrated treatment program that treats both conditions at the same time. Traditional addiction treatment does not offer treatment for ADHD, so this approach leaves a person with only half of the necessary treatment. On the other hand, dual diagnosis treatment addresses a person’s LSD addiction while offering strategies for managing ADHD symptoms. During dual diagnosis treatment, patients learn about the links between ADHD and LSD abuse, giving them a better understanding of the reasons they started using drugs in the first place. Patients also learn coping skills to manage both conditions, making it easier to avoid temptations to use drugs and deal with stress. Many patients find the strategies they learn in addiction treatment improve their overall quality of life, giving them a richer, fuller life than they previously lived.[4]

ADHD and LSD Abuse Help

If you are suffering from ADHD and LSD abuse, we want to help you live a better life. Call our toll-free helpline today and ask our admissions coordinators how they can help you heal from addiction and co-occurring ADHD. They can provide more details on dual diagnosis treatment and direct you to an effective treatment center. We are standing by 24 hours a day to answer your questions about LSD and ADHD treatment options, so pick up the phone and call now.


[1] Voeller, Kytja K. S. (2004). Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Journal of Child Neurology. Retrieved Sept. 5, 2016 from http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/495640_2.

[2] National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2016). What are hallucinogens? Drug Facts. Retrieved Sept.5, 2016 from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/hallucinogens.

[3] National Institute of Mental Health. (2016). Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Retrieved Sept. 5, 2016 from http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd/index.shtml#part_145444.

[4] Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2016). Co-occurring Disorders. Retrieved Sept. 5, 2016 from http://www.samhsa.gov/disorders/co-occurring.