The nature of the hallucinogenic class of drugs is different from that of other classes of popularly abused drugs. While drugs such as opiates and sedatives produce a euphoric effect in the brain, their effects are primarily physical, acting on the central nervous system to produce a state of numbed relaxation. While LSD may produce some physical effects, its effects are primarily psychological since LSD alters the user’s perception.
While LSD does not produce physical dependence, it still differs from other recreational drugs that do not produce dependence. For instance, while marijuana does not produce physical dependence, it can nonetheless be psychologically addictive, as regular users come to rely on the euphoric effects of excess dopamine in the brain. LSD does not produce euphoria and its use does not generally lead to addictive, drug seeking behavior.
The intense nature of the LSD experience also causes many users to go for long periods of time between doses. Many people who use LSD do so in an attempt to achieve intellectual or spiritual enlightenment and are not seeking escape, release or a high, as abusers of other drugs may be. LSD also produces tolerance rapidly, so that those who do use the drug regularly may not get the same results, even at higher doses. For these reasons, many people who use LSD do so on an occasional basis.
Relapsing into LSD Use
Given the unique nature of psychedelics, the term relapse in connection with LSD does not mean what it means in relation to other drugs. The few individuals who do use LSD regularly may do so for different and more complex reasons than typical drug addicts. LSD causes intense introspection and tends to amplify whatever the user is feeling, so people would not commonly seek LSD as a way to escape from pressure or emotional pain.
Nonetheless, there are cases of individuals who have become habitual users of LSD. A person who goes through treatment for LSD use, stops using the drug for a time and then relapses may do so for a variety of reasons, including the following:
- Situational proximity to or availability of the drug
- Social surroundings in which LSD is being used
- Fond memories of the heightened perception of the LSD trip
- A gratifying sense of rebellion that may come to some people who use LSD
- A desire to emulate artists or musicians who are associated with LSD use
Preventing or Dealing with LSD Relapse
As with any drug, preventing relapse in someone who has a problem with LSD is a matter of staying focused on the recovery and being connected to a support network. It is important to remember the problems caused by drug use and the reasons treatment and recovery were necessary in the first place. Maintaining a relationship with drug counselors can help to maintain focus on recovery and cope with relapse if it happens.
Finding Help for LSD Abuse
If you or someone you know has a problem with LSD and would like help finding treatment, please call our toll-free helpline now. Our counselors are available 24 hours to answer any questions about LSD use, treatment or relapse.