How LSD Use Can Affect Emotional Health

How LSD Use Can Affect Emotional Health

LSD has the potential of danger to a person’s long-term emotional health

LSD users never know what a hit of the drug will bring, making the unpredictable hallucinogen dangerous to a person’s long-term emotional health. In rare instances, LSD brings on serious psychotic episodes or early-onset schizophrenia, forcing a person to seek care in a psychiatric ward.

Understanding LSD

LSD is a powerful hallucinogen that profoundly affects a user’s mind and emotions. Relatively small doses of the drug, usually 25 to 80 mcg, bring on sensory alterations and visual hallucinations. Some people experience sensory distortion, such as seeing sound or hearing colors. An acid trip can last up to 12 hours, but usually lasts 6 to 12 hours. During the trip users may experience the following:

  • Potentially terrifying hallucinations
  • Extreme bouts of anxiety and panic
  • Limited communication
  • Temporary drop in brain function
  • Increase in heart rate and blood pressure
  • Significant mood swings
  • Insomnia or drowsiness
  • Body temperature increase or decrease
  • Sweating or chills

The power of a single LSD trip may stay with a person for days or months, altering how they feel about themselves or others. For some, this alteration may be positive but others experience bouts of depression or anxiety.[1]

A person on LSD may experience such an altered idea of reality she becomes a danger to herself or others. Such extremes, known as behavior toxicity, may lead to a level of heightened agitation brought on by hallucinations. People in this state may commit suicide or end up dying in an accident.[2]

Moreover, LSD causes flashbacks and hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD). Flashbacks are hallucinations that occur days, months or a year after the original drug use. These involuntary flashbacks appear suddenly and users may be unsure whether the events are happening in real time. HPPD is an even longer-term condition, which disrupts a person’s senses on a regular basis. It may include visual disruptions, such as flashes of color, or feelings of depression and worry. Naturally, any one of these effects has an emotional toll on the user.2

Emotional Effects of LSD

LSD does not pose a real threat of overdose, but it is one of the most powerful recreational drugs available today. It strongly impacts a person’s mental and emotional state as the drug produces the following results:

  • Lost touch with reality
  • Mood disorder onset, like depression, anxiety or mania
  • State of extreme paranoia
  • Intensified mental health problems
  • Increased risk for a dangerous accident

If a person already suffers from emotional problems, LSD intensifies the severity of symptoms. It can unlock personality disorders, panic attacks and depression as well as schizophrenia.[3]

LSD Abuse Treatment

Unlike most drugs, LSD is not physically addictive and does not require a specific period for detoxification or management of withdrawal symptoms. However, if it brings on emotional problems, integrated treatment is the best way to help a person recover. Professional integrated addiction treatment addresses a person’s substance abuse issues along with mental health disorders. For a person with co-occurring conditions, such as LSD abuse along with depression, integrated treatment gives a patient the best chance at recovery.

Fewer facilities offer integrated treatment programs, so it’s important to find out the available treatments before seeking treatment. The most comprehensive programs offer individualized plans that take into account a patient’s unique cultural heritage and work with him to set goals along the way. Integrated treatment gives patients help with the following:

  • Techniques to breaka psychological addiction to LSD
  • Mental health screenings to identify mood disorders and emotional problems
  • Dual diagnosis treatment for depression, anxiety, psychosis, panic attacks or mania
  • Determining any additional factors contributing to emotional instability
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy to eliminate unhealthy habits
  • New life skills that promote a healthy drug-free state
  • Ongoing group therapy and aftercare counseling[4]

LSD has a commanding effect on a person’s emotional state. The best rehab centers treat any emotional or psychological damage the drug creates.

LSD Abuse Help

Has LSD abuse created emotional turmoil for you or a loved one? We can help. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer questions about LSD use and its many side effects. We also explain the various options for integrated treatment and rehab facilities. Since many health insurance companies cover treatment, we can check your policy for benefits. Call our toll-free helpline today and let us help make a difference.


[1] Davis, Kathleen. (2015). What is lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)? Effects and hazards of LSD. Medical News Today. Retrieved Oct. 10, 2016 from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/295966.php

[2] Rega, Paul P. (2015). LSD Toxicity. MedScape. Retrieved Oct. 10, 2016 from http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1011615-overview#a7

[3] National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2016). DrugFacts: Treatment Approaches for Drug Addiction. Retrieved Oct. 10, 2016 from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/treatment-approaches-drug-addiction.

[4] Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2016). Treatments for Substance Use Disorders. Retrieved Oct. 10, 2016 from http://www.samhsa.gov/treatment/substance-use-disorders.