What Makes LSD Different from Other Substances?

What Makes LSD Different from Other Substances?

LSD’s strength separates it from other drugs

LSD is a strong hallucinogenic drug that profoundly affects the user’s mind and emotions. This drug is also known as acid and was created in 1938 by chemist Albert Hoffman. Most commonly this drug is found on small tabs of paper soaked in the drug or in sugar cubes. After the drug is absorbed in the body, users typically feel some something within 30 to 90 minutes of ingestion. In some cases, the effects may last as long as 12 hours.[1]

Several characteristics of LSD separate it from other drugs. One of the primary differences is in the drug’s strength. According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, LSD is one of the most potent mood and perception-altering hallucinogenic drugs.[2]

Effects of LSD

LSD acts on specific groups of serotonin receptors in the brain and spinal cord. While most other drugs produce a euphoric high, LSD is associated with more sensory effects. Some of the side effects include the following:

  • LSD distorts the user’s perceptions of reality
  • This drug creates hyper-sensitivity to all modalities of sensory stimuli
  • LSD induces images, noises, and sensations that do not exist
  • This drug gives the impression of hearing colors or seeing sounds
  • LSD may produce sudden and drastic mood swings

The psychedelic effects create trippy and surreal experiences for the user.However, there are also several risks to consider. The visual hallucinations can be terrifying.There can be mood swings that trigger psychosis and/or extreme anxiety. The user’s heart rate and blood pressure can spike.The truth is LSD trips are very unpredictable. Users can also struggle with insomnia or sleepiness, sweating or chills, and an increase or decrease in body temperature. Recurring memories of the hallucinations can occur many months after the trip. When a hallucination takes place, the person often cannot tell if the memory is a flashback or if it is a real-time experience.

LSD Addiction

Opiates and cannabis are examples of drugs that have dedicated receptors in the brain. Under the influence of those drugs, they change the brain’s chemistry and this produces a physical dependence. However, LSD addiction is different in several ways, including the following:

  • LSD does not cause a physical addiction or compulsive drug-seeking behavior.
  • Tolerance occurs within days but dissipates quickly without cravings or withdrawal.
  • Consecutive days of use generally require higher doses to overcome the tolerance.
  • Some people may experience a psychological addiction to taking LSD.

There is also little risk of LSD overdose, since it would require taking 100 to 200 doses at the same time. However, the potential for an accident increases during a hallucinatory trip.

LSD Abuse Rehabilitation

Professional rehabilitation for LSD does not involve detoxification. Rather, it provides screenings, diagnosis, and treatment for co-occurring mental and personality disorders. Strategies are used to identify and neutralize triggers that spark LSD cravings. Treatment also includes counseling for unresolved trauma, unconscious conflicts, and emotional issues.

LSD Help

If you need assistance, our professional counselors can provide you with help 24 hours a day for any substance abuse issue. Our counselors can also discuss any addiction warning signs and the various treatment options available. If you would like, we can even check your health insurance policy to see what benefits are covered. If you do not have insurance, don’t worry. We can help you find affordable options that fit all budgets. Don’t wait any longer; please call our toll-free helpline now.


[1] https://www.psychologytoday.com/conditions/hallucinogens Hallucinogens.

[2] https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/hallucinogens-dissociative-drugs/what-are-dissociative-drugs Common Hallucinogens and Dissociative Drugs.