While the powerful hallucinations brought on by LSD use are always unpredictable, a person who suffers with stress or anxiety takes an even bigger risk when using the drug. “Bad trips” on LSD may leave a person more anxious or distressed for months or years after stopping the drug.
Psychological Symptoms of LSD Use
LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) is a semisynthetic hallucinogen manufactured in underground labs. It produces a variety of sensations and feelings, specifically out-of-body experiences that blur the lines between reality and fantasy. The drug’s effects on a person are closely connected to his emotional state, so a person who suffers with anxiety or chronic stress is more likely to experience terrifying hallucinations. With such a high likelihood of experiencing a “bad trip,” a person with anxiety issues also is at risk for developing ongoing paranoia or other psychological problems.
To people unfamiliar with the darker side of LSD, the drug may seem like the perfect outlet for someone dealing with stress or anxiety. Images of LSD in the media tie the drug to the psychedelic subculture of the 1960s and promote how the drug alters a person’s perception of reality and brings on creativity.The drug actually affects the mind by over stimulating serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin levels control how a person perceives his environment, including ideas about time and information coming from his five senses. Serotonin levels also affect mood, so a person may experience long-lasting mood alterations even when LSD leaves his system.1
Anxiety Disorders and Substance Use
For people who deal with more complex issues than passing feelings of stress and anxiety, LSD use may become a bigger problem. Around 20% of Americans suffer with an anxiety or mood disorder. The number of people who suffer with substance use problems and a co-occurring mood disorder is also around 20%. Someone who has an anxiety disorder is more likely to abuse substances than someone in the average population and the symptoms of LSD use may be more severe. There are several types of anxiety disorders strongly associated with substance use, including the following:
- Social anxiety
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Panic disorder
People who suffer with anxiety in social or public situations may turn to LSD as a way block out extreme worry or fear. It’s also common for someone with PTSD to use alcohol or other substances to deal with intrusive thoughts, trouble sleeping and shifting moods. Substances generally make anxiety disorder symptoms worse.2
Other Reasons for LSD Abuse?
Many people never examine why they use LSD. Some LSD users may use the drug because it’s fun or it brings on extreme creativity; everyone has his own reason. There are significant consequences that go along with drug abuse, however. LSD use takes away valuable time from a person dealing with anxiety and stress; this time is better spent finding healthy ways to handle emotional issues. Effective therapies for anxiety and drug abuse include counseling techniques that teach people how to manage behavior by understanding how their thoughts lead to actions. These therapies include cognitive behavioral therapy and dialectical behavior therapy. Therapy offered at a professional addiction treatment facility is specifically tailored to a patient’s unique cultural, behavioral and physical needs.Finding an effective way to handle stress and anxiety gives a person a more fulfilling life. Plus, stopping drug use creates more time to spend on career and school goals, easing financial strain and making it easier to be productive.
Dual Diagnosis Treatment for LSD Abuse and Anxiety
If you abuse LSD and suffer from stress and anxiety, dual diagnosis treatment for these co-occurring conditions is the best way to achieve sobriety. Call our toll-free helpline today and our admissions coordinators will offer information about viable treatment options to address your addiction and anxiety at the same time. Call us now; we are here for you 24 hours a day. We want to help you find the right type of treatment so you can fully heal from your addiction and anxiety.
 Davis, Kathleen. (2015). What is lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)? Effects and hazards of LSD. Medical News Today. Retrieved Oct. 10, 2016 from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/295966.php
 Anxiety and Depression Association of America. (2016). Substance Use Disorders. Retrieved Oct. 10, 2016 from https://www.adaa.org/understanding-anxiety/related-illnesses/substance-abuse.
 Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2016). Treatments for Substance Use Disorders. Retrieved Oct. 10, 2016 from http://www.samhsa.gov/treatment/substance-use-disorders.