LSD Abuse in Asian Countries

LSD Abuse in Asian Countries

Eastern Europe, Africa and many parts of Asia report an increase of drug usage

LSD (d-lysergic acid diethylamide) is a drug manufactured from lysergic acid, a component found in ergot, a fungus that grows on rye and other grains. It is a hallucinogen, which means taking the drug can distort perceptions of reality, creating a “trip” that lasts about 12 hours.

While on an LSD trip, people report seeing images, hearing sounds and experiencing sensations that feel real but are not. Physically, taking LSD increases body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure. It also causes sleeplessness and loss of appetite.

LSD users can also experience flashbacks, or recurrences of certain parts of the trip, long after using this drug.These flashbacks occur suddenly and usually without warning. These can also occur during the recovery process, which underscores the importance of seeking professional help when overcoming an LSD addiction.

Prevalence of Drug Addictions in Asia

CBS News reports that between 149 million and 271 million people worldwide used an illicit drug at least once in 2009. That translates into 1 in 20 people aged 15 to 64 taking an illegal drug across the globe. The rate of illicit drug consumption in the U.S. has been increasing since 1992. Eastern Europe, Africa and many parts of Asia also report an increase of usage. According to an article in Drug and Alcohol Review the following countries report illicit drug rates higher than 2 percent of their total population:

  • Cambodia
  • Hong Kong
  • Philippines
  • Thailand
  • Indonesia
  • Laos
  • Malaysia.

The article also indicates lower percentages (less than 2 percent of the total population) of illicit drug rates in China, Myanmar and Vietnam. Keep in mind that these are only the reported numbers, and they may be underreported.

Japan reported that 2.76 million people (2.9 percent of the population) use illegal drugs, according to Facts and Details. The Philippines reported 1.7 million people use illegal drugs, according to Asia One News.  According to the Australian National Council on Drugs, China reported between 6 to 12 million drug users in 2004 to 2005. For the same time period, Indonesia, Thailand and Laos reported over two million people as using illicit drugs.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, the highest level of illicit drug use was seen in the wealthiest countries or in those areas closest to the drugs’ productions. Laboratories manufacturing LSD have sprung up in Asia, the United States, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

What makes tracking hallucinogen usage and addiction difficult is that LSD can be hidden almost anywhere. It is a small drug that can be added to other substances. This drug can be hidden on flat surfaces, such as pages of a book, and may be hard to detect. Often, a similar hallucinogen, mushrooms, are easier for authorities to find.

Treatment for LSD

Unlike some other drugs, LSD does not create compulsive drug-seeking behavior. However, with increased tolerance to LSD comes the danger of worsened trips that last longer, up to 12 hours. A small percentage of former LSD users suffer from hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD). This disorder results in flashback experiences that are persistent and associated with distress and significant impairment of abilities.2

In addition, LSD can create psychological addiction, especially if a person has positive experiences or enjoyable trips. Because of this potential for psychological addiction and the negative experiences associated with LSD, it is important to seek professional help when stopping LSD use.

Getting Help for LSD Addiction

If you are struggling with an LSD addiction, you are not alone in your struggle. We are here to help. You can call our toll-free number any time; we are available 24 hours a day. You can talk with an addiction recovery specialist who will be able to explain the best treatment options for your unique situation. Your life and your freedom matters too much to have it cut short by LSD use. Call us today and get the help you need.


  1. CESAR (29 October 2013), LSD, Center for Substance Abuse Research, University of Maryland, retrieved 14 July 2016.
  2. Strassman RJ (1984). “Adverse reactions to psychedelic drugs. A review of the literature”. J NervMent Dis172(10): 577–95.