LSD Rehab 101

LSD Rehab 101

Specialized therapy requires special therapy

Getting clean from the psychological effects of LSD requires specialized talk therapy. Protocols that encourage goal setting with the cooperation of the patient and therapist offer better outcomes and give LSD users rational ways to manage their thoughts.

LSD use is relatively new in the world. The drug was invented in a Swiss lab in 1938 and later became associated with the counterculture movement of the 1960s. After widespread use in the 1960s made the dangerous consequences of the drug apparent, the Drug Enforcement Agency placed the drug on schedule I, along with other drugs considered to have no medical value and a strong risk for abuse and addiction.[1]

People who use LSD experience hallucinations that alter perceptions of time and space. The drug interferes with a person’s mood, sensory perceptions, memory, pain perception, muscle control and sleep.[2]

Typically less than one milligram of LSD is needed to produce hallucinations. Known as a “trip,” one dose of the drug may last between 8 to 12 hours, making it one of the most powerful hallucinogens. Along with the perceptions of awe and wonder some people may experience on a trip, there is the danger of experiencing extreme fear and paranoia. Some people undergo such intense feelings of anxiety and fear; they must be taken to a medical professional to receive a tranquilizer. Researchers don’t fully understand the reasons behind a bad trip, but they believe it is a connection between the drug, the user’s personality and his environment. For some people, there are extremely serious consequences. A person with a pre-existing psychiatric disorder, such as schizophrenia, may experience a complete psychotic breakdown from taking one dose of LSD.[3]

Elements of LSD Abuse Treatment

The primary treatment for LSD abuse is psychological counseling. A patient who abuses more than one drug also may need to go through detoxification to remove all drugs from his system. Patients who are polydrug users usually need the more intense treatment provided by an inpatient facility. They spend time in detox preparing for other stages of treatment, including individual and group counseling. Detox refers to removing toxins from the body. A well-planned detoxification helps restore balance to a person’s system and eliminate chemicals in an effort to increase energy, emotional health, physical health and mental health.[4]

Counseling for LSD Abuse

Treatment for LSD abuse may happen in an outpatient setting or an inpatient setting. Some people with a less severe problem may benefit from the flexibility of outpatient treatment, which offers therapy sessions at night or on the weekends. Outpatient programs also allow people to maintain regular schedules and keep up with any childcare responsibilities. For a patient with a more severe abuse problem, inpatient treatment may offer the best outcomes. Inpatient programs give patients a controlled environment to attend counseling sessions. Inpatient care allows patients to discuss psychological and personal problems in a safe environment and spend 24 hours a day free from the stress and pressure of outside friends, family and day-to-day responsibilities.4

Inpatient and outpatient programs offer psychological counseling services. Talk therapy protocols, such as cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy, give patients strategies for managing stress and cravings to use drugs. The relationship between therapist and patient also gives the patient the ability to practice new skills to make sure they will be effective. Not every approach works for every person. Instead, patients must find an individual strategy that works. Some people rely on daily journals and calendars to manage emotions, others turn to exercise, yoga or meditation as a way to cope with each day. Patients learn new skills in a variety of ways, including the following:

  • Individual therapy — during these one-on-one sessions, the therapist works with the patient to identify the underlying causes of addiction and the barriers that impede recovery; once identified, the therapist provides the patient with the opportunity to explore and resolve these issues
  • Group therapy — during these sessions with a group of people experiencing similar issues, patients talk about addiction and recovery; the process of learning how other people manage stress and cravings is valuable; patients also share information and ideas to enhance the recovery process4

Patients struggling with the psychological effects of LSD abuse benefit from the expertise and compassion of a trained therapist. Making the decision to get help is the first step to learning how to live a richer, healthier life.

Get Help for LSD Abuse

If you or a loved one is struggling with the negative affects of LSD abuse, call our admissions coordinators today. We offer assistance on finding the right treatment program and our toll-free helpline is available 24 hours a day. We are here to help.


[1] Drug Enforcement Administration. (2016). Drug Scheduling. Retrieved July 12, 2016 from https://www.dea.gov/druginfo/ds.shtml.

[2] National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2016). What are hallucinogens? DrugFacts: Hallucinogens. Retrieved July 12, 2016 from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/hallucinogens.

[3] Olive, M. Foster. (2008). Drugs: The Straight Facts: LSD. Retrieved July 12, 2016 from https://books.google.com/books?id=t5F20qtRfEsC&printsec=frontcover&source=gbs_atb#v=onepage&q&f=false.

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