Is LSD Addiction Chronic?

Is LSD Addiction Chronic?

LSD abuse can lead to psychological addiction, which can cause users to think tha they cannot survive without it

Addiction is a serious mental health concern. It has physical, social and spiritual ramifications. It disrupts individual lives, families and communities. But is it a disease? And is it chronic? The public has misunderstood addiction for as long as the concept has been in use. As science progresses, stigma wanes. We are beginning to understand just what addiction is. With this understanding comes changing public opinion, effective treatment and hope for individuals and their families.

Is Addiction a Chronic Disease?

Addiction is a mental health concern and a real disease. It has reached epidemic levels in our country. Addiction cannot be ignored or mislabeled if we are to make progress in treating it. It cannot be misunderstood if we are to offer compassion and support to individuals attempting to make positive changes. When we know what addiction is, we learn how to approach it. We learn how to make a difference in our lives or in the lives of loved ones.

Public opinion clouds the issue, but addiction’s nature and definition are clear. The American Society of Addiction Medicine[1] (ASAM) labels addiction as, “A primary, chronic disease of brain reward, motivation, memory and related circuitry.” The National Institute on Drug Abuse[2] (NIDA) states, “Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences.” These and many other respected institutions use the term “chronic disease” to describe addiction. The medical community recognizes addiction as a disease. It defines behavioral and substance addictions as chronic.

What Does Chronic Mean?

Understanding the definition of addiction involves understanding chronic diseases. MedicineNet[3] describes a chronic disease: “A chronic disease is one lasting 3 months or more. Chronic diseases generally cannot be prevented by vaccines or cured by medication, nor do they just disappear.” Addiction is a lifelong disease. Treatment is not a “cure.” Treatment offers options for moving forward. It offers relief from active drug use and establishes a healthy, drug-free life. Addiction can be managed, and you can move forward in life. Addiction cannot be “cured” or solved with a quick fix or medication. Programs or professionals that suggest otherwise do not offer science-based care or information. Drugs that promise answers are not solutions to addiction. Medication can help some individuals manage cravings and other addiction-related symptoms. These medications are effective when used under medical supervision and as part of an overall treatment plan that includes therapy and other proven methods for recovery. They are tools. They are not cures. Chronic diseases are long-term diseases. However they are not life sentences. With long-term treatment and support, addiction is completely manageable. There is no reason you cannot live a full, healthy life after active addiction. Professional care will help you do so.

Co-Occurring Chronic Conditions

Addiction is often complicated by co-occurring chronic conditions. The World Health Organization[4] recognizes the increasingly common overlap between addiction, mental health and other chronic conditions. They suggest that “Solutions arise from recognizing and acting upon the commonalities between mental disorders and other chronic diseases, not only in terms of their shared determinants and consequences, but also in terms of common health-care strategies for their prevention and management.” Co-occurring conditions may include mental or physical health concerns. They may contribute to addiction development, or they may be the result of addiction. Answers come from integrated care that recognizes and addresses all concerns involved.

Addiction can contribute to chronic disease development. MedicineNet shares, “Health damaging behaviors – particularly tobacco use, lack of physical activity, and poor eating habits – are major contributors to the leading chronic diseases.” Using drugs like LSD is a health damaging behavior. Individuals consumed by addiction rarely maintain any balanced schedule, much less one that incorporates regular physical activity. LSD can cause nausea and loss of appetite. Users may lose touch with hunger cues. They won’t have the time or interest in cooking balanced, healthy meals. These issues all contribute to poor eating habits. Malnutrition in turn contributes to chronic disease development.

Other chronic conditions may preexist addiction. Chronic pain and mental health disorders such as depression may lead to attempts to “escape” through LSD or other drug use. Using drugs rather than developing positive coping skills and exploring alternative strategies for stress and pain management contributes to addiction. No chronic condition goes away on its own, and most get worse if ignored. A chronic disease is more likely to cause the development of another the longer it goes untreated.

Integrated Treatment and Recovery

You cannot cure a chronic disease. You can move past it and on with life. Find recovery. Find hope and health. Call our toll-free helpline for more information about addiction, chronic diseases and effective treatment. No question or concern is too big or small. We are here for you 24 hours a day.


[1]    http://www.asam.org/quality-practice/definition-of-addiction. “Definition of Addiction.” American Society of Addiction Medicine. 19 Apr 2011. Web. 29 Aug 2016.

[2]    https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/media-guide/science-drug-abuse-addiction-basics. “The Science of Drug Abuse and Addiction: The Basics.” National Institute on Drug Abuse. Sep 2014. Web. 29 Aug 2016.

[3]    http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=33490. “Definition of Chronic Disease.” MedicineNet. 13 May 2016. Web. 30 Aug 2016.

[4]    http://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/10665/112830/1/9789241506793_eng.pdf?ua=1. “Integrating the Response to Mental Health Disorders and Other Chronic Conditions in Health Care Systems.” World Health Organization. 2014. Web. 31 Aug 2016.