LSD and Physical Distress

LSD and Physical Distress

LSD’s powerful hallucinatory effects often cause psychological addictions

One of the most potent mood-changing chemicals available, LSD, is a semi-synthetic psychedelic drug that gained popularity during the 1960’s counterculture movement. It is most often sold on small pieces of white paper soaks in the substances with colorful designs on it to be ingested. However, it comes in the following forms:

  • Tablet
  • Capsule
  • Liquid[i]

When this drug enters the brain, LSD, which is also called acid, disrupts nerve cell communication and serotonin production. Hallucinations and other distortions of reality often result from drug use, which is why people under the influence of it see, hear and feel stimuli that do not exist. However, LSD can cause also cause the following symptoms:

  • Mood swings
  • Anxiety
  • Paranoia
  • Terrifying thoughts
  • Feelings of despair
  • Intense fear of losing control
  • Fear of insanity[ii]

Physical problems of LSD abuse include the following issues:

  • Elevated body temperature
  • Raised heart rate
  • Hypertension
  • Insomnia
  • Decreased appetite

Tripping, the term commonly used to describe an LSD high, lasts up to 12 hours. During that time, problematic brain changes can occur that trigger the flashbacks often associated with this drug. Flashbacks are remembering times of drug use that strike without warning, even after all traces of LSD have left the body. In some people, these disruptions persist to the extent that they cause social and occupational impairment. In flashbacks, people remember what it was like to feel a certain way while on the drug, and if the initial trip was bad, then flashbacks can also cause similar terror as previously experienced. Concerning the etiology of this condition, or hallucinogen-induced persisting perceptual disorder, the following theories have formed:

  • The drug causes the brain to misfire and send faulty signals.
  • It changes how the brain functions and processes information, which increases sensitivity to light and creates visual halos and trails that can spontaneously occur.
  • The body stores portions of LSD and releases them later.

Combining LSD with other substances also causes health problems. When amphetamines and LSD are taken together, they produce euphoria so frenetic that drug users can injure themselves and others. Combining cocaine with LSD can trigger paranoia, delusional thinking and hallucinations. One of the most dangerous of all combinations occurs from mixing antidepressants and LSD, a mixture that can be lethal.

LSD is not physically addictive, so users do not experience withdrawal symptoms or cravings when they go long enough without a dose. However, LSD’s powerful hallucinatory effects often cause psychological addictions. Users who struggle to cope with normal life may compulsively use this drug to escape reality. Although these drug users do not need to detox from the drug, they frequently need help learning how to cope with stress and how to manage difficult circumstances, two skills often taught in therapy at professional treatment centers.

Help for LSD Abuse

If you or someone you love is struggling with LSD abuse, help is available. Admissions coordinators at our toll-free, 24 hour helpline can guide you to wellness. We can even check your insurance coverage to see what mental health benefits you are entitles to that may aid your recovery efforts.You don’t have to feel alone when support is just one phone call away. Start your recovery today by calling our helpline now.


[i] http://www.druginfo.adf.org.au/drug-facts/lsd

[ii] https://www.drugs.com/illicit/lsd.html