How to Manage LSD Withdrawal Symptoms

People who regularly use LSD experience varied psychological symptoms. The drug affects people even when LSD leaves their system in the form of flashbacks, or persistent hallucinations.

Understanding LSD

How to Manage LSD Withdrawal Symptoms

While there are no serious physical withdrawal symptoms for LSD, there can be serious psychological symptoms

LSD is a man-made drug used for hallucinogenic properties. Classified as a Schedule 1 drug by the Drug Enforcement Administration, LSD is illegal with no current accepted medical use and a severe potential for psychological or physical abuse.Since it is a hallucinogen,it brings on unrealistic sensations and users see, hear and feel things that do not really exist.[1]

Though the drug is not physically addictive, users form a psychological dependence on LSD. A dependence forms for many reasons. LSD users often take the drug in a certain setting or around certain people. This familiar setting may bring on a psychological habit of using the drug whenever a person is in these situations or around these people. Users also take the drug as a way of experiencing spiritual enlightenment, tapping into creativity or escaping reality. A person may become addicted to the sensations brought by LSD and rely on it more and more to feel a certain way.[2]

LSD Withdrawal Symptoms

Unlike other drugs that affect a person’s physical system, such as alcohol or heroin, LSD mostly has psychological effects. The drug changes a person’s perception of his surroundings and time as well as altering mood and thoughts. Someone under the influence of the drug experiences certain physical sensations, such as dilated pupils and higher blood pressure, heart rate and temperature. A person coming off the effects of LSD does not usually require medical intervention; it’s just necessary to observe the person to keep her from doing something to harm herself or others. In rare cases, it may be necessary to give a person a benzodiazepine, such as Valium, to reduce severe agitation.[3],[4]

While there are no serious physical withdrawal symptoms for LSD, there can be serious psychological symptoms. A person who stops using LSD may experience long-lasting problems, including flashbacks, or sudden hallucinations and other mood disturbances, occurring days or more than a year after using the drug. In rare cases, people who use LSD develop hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD). This condition alters a person’s senses and thinking even long after drugs leave his system. HPPD may continue for months and disrupt a person’s day-to-day life. LSD also may bring on persistent psychosis, which creates visual distortions, paranoia, mood changes and disorganized thinking.2

A person who develops psychological problems after using LSD needs addiction treatment and counseling. Chronic LSD users may believe they do not function well without the drug in their systems. Counseling protocols such as cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy help patients see the connection between unrealistic thoughts and actions. This process gives LSD users the ability to see how healthy, imaginative living is possible without the drug. For users who develop serious psychological problems, including anxiety, depression, schizophrenia or suicidal thoughts, counseling also offers relief and direction.[5]

The Benefits of Attending Drug Addiction Rehab

Psychological problems that occur after LSD use require immediate attention. The best way to manage symptoms is to enroll in an addiction recovery program. Treatment programs help LSD users navigate the disorientation and confusion of stopping use safely and easily. Because LSD withdrawal symptoms can include HPPD, it is essential to consult a medical professional or addiction specialist for options on managing ongoing hallucinations and mental health problems. Medication may be necessary to alleviate symptoms and manage mental health disorders, such as depression and anxiety.

Addiction treatment centers that offer treatment for addiction along with treatment for mental health disorders offer the best outcomes for LSD users. Known as dual diagnosis treatment, facilities that treat co-occurring disorders give patients the skills to address all their symptoms. Plus, these facilities use an integrated treatment plan, which ensures a patient receives any needed medication for mental health disorders and specialized are for all of his symptoms.[6]

Help for LSD Addicts

If you are suffering from an addiction to LSD, call our toll-free helpline today. Our addiction coordinators are available 24 hours a day to answer your questions about LSD addiction and treatment. Call us today, and let us help you begin your recovery.


[1] U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. (2016). Drug Schedules. Retrieved Sept. 12, 2016 from https://www.dea.gov/druginfo/ds.shtml.

[2] National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2014). What is Drug Addiction? Drugs, Brains, and Behavior: The Science of Addiction. Retrieved Sept. 12, 2016 from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugs-brains-behavior-science-addiction/drug-abuse-addiction.

[3] Davis, Kathleen. (2015). What is lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)? Effects and hazards of LSD. Medical News Today. Retrieved Sept. 12, 2016 from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/295966.php.

[4]Rega, Paul P. (2015). LSD Toxicity Treatment & Management: Approach Considerations. Medscape. Retrieved Sept. 12, 2016 from http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1011615-treatment?pa=v1Cr3OnVk8L92zF7637qqSi0blFXjs%2Fz3nLJJPazNGKKnEaZNY%2BbO9kmcckBJ2T%2Felhz3rLl0c%2FtNCPPKdxspCwhCTQq25Ki1mL6i64Z7Vg%3D#showall.

[5]Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2015). Treatments for Substance Use Disorders. Retrieved Sept. 12, 2016 from http://www.samhsa.gov/treatment/substance-use-disorders.

[6]Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). (2016). Co-occurring Disorders. Retrieved Sept. 12, 2016 from http://www.samhsa.gov/disorders/co-occurring.