When LSD use first became popular decades ago, many medical professionals began to notice that there was a trend that connected the drug to patients with schizophrenia. LSD-induced hallucinations resembled those of schizophrenic patients. As a result, a theory began that LSD use could lead to schizophrenia. Together with the fact that little scientific evidence supported any medical benefits to using LSD (or lysergic acid diethylamide), the hallucinatory drug was officially banned from use in the U.S. 1
Understanding What Schizophrenia Looks Like
Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that manifests itself in the breakdown of thought processes and poor emotional responsiveness. Auditory hallucinations (“hearing voices”), extreme agitation, delusions and disorganized speech and thinking are classic symptoms of schizophrenia. They are usually accompanied by social and occupational dysfunctionality as well.
Schizophrenia usually presents itself first between adolescence and early adulthood. Men tend to first display symptoms in their early 20s, while women more frequently begin to show signs of this condition in their early 30s.2
Finding the Link Between LSD Use and Schizophrenia
Genetics are believed to be a primary cause of schizophrenia. However, certain recreational and prescription drugs, like LSD, can magnify or intensify the symptoms of someone with a genetic vulnerability. One in 200 people are affected by this illness. To date, no cure is known for schizophrenia.
The effects from LSD use are bizarrely similar to the common symptoms of schizophrenia. Well-known for its association with the psychedelic subculture of the 1960s, LSD induces auditory and visual hallucinations, synesthesia, an altered sense of time and spirituality, and changes in thought processes.3
LSD Can Rapidly Advance Psychotic Symptoms
Not surprisingly, one of the drawbacks of LSD use is the frequent onset of panic and extreme anxiety, which constitutes part of what users commonly refer to as a “bad trip.” LSD can cause drug-induced psychosis, which mimics the symptoms of schizophrenia. With long-term use, the drug can make such a disease far worse than would likely otherwise occur.
While studies analyzing the connection between LSD use and schizophrenia screeching to a halt after LSD was made illegal, many believe that the two conditions are related simply by their common symptoms, as opposed to an actual direct connection for causality. Others consider LSD a catalyst or trigger to the onset of latent or mild schizophrenia.3
So, What Can We Conclude About LSD and Schizophrenia?
The fact is, there is no conclusive evidence showing that LSD use is or is not related to this disease. The actual connection between the two basically remains a mystery to this day.
However, we do know this: LSD abuse is most certainly a problem, whether it is coupled with schizophrenia or not. Both conditions should be taken seriously. Both of them should be handled by reputable and experienced medical professionals who have specialized in this area and have a proven track record of success. While no cure presently exists for schizophrenia, stopping LSD abuse will, in most cases, improve your drug-related symptoms and provide greater opportunity for health and happiness.1
Our track record of success in this field is supported by the findings of more than ten independent studies. When you call our 24/7 toll-free line, we will address your questions and concerns with straight-forward answers and information. We will not only offer you several positive treatment options, but we can even help you determine how much your personal insurance coverage will pay toward this essential care. Trust a name that stands for excellence in drug treatment and mental health conditions. We truly care…one person at a time.
1 “DrugFacts: Hallucinogens”, National Institute on Drug Abuse, https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/hallucinogens , (January 2016).
2“Schizophrenia”, National Institute of Mental Health, http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/schizophrenia/index.shtml , (February 2016).
3“Drug-Induced Psychosis: How to Avoid Star Gazing in Schizophrenia Research by Looking at More Obvious Sources of Light”, Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, National Center for Biotechnology Information, http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3024828/ , (January 17, 2011).