“A demon had invaded me, had taken possession of my body, mind and soul. I jumped up and screamed, trying to free myself from him, but then sank down again and lay helpless on the sofa. The substance, with which I had wanted to experiment, had vanquished me. It was the demon that scornfully triumphed over my will,” creator Albert Hofmann once wrote about his experience in taking LSD.
Much of What LSD Does to Users Remains a Mystery
Despite many years of scientific study, we still don’t know a lot about how hallucinogenic drugs, such as LSD, work in the brain and body. Some researchers have used functional magnetic resonance imaging to study the live brain activity of hallucinogen users. In those studies, they found that hallucinogens turned off the brain regions responsible for constraining consciousness, giving birth to a free flow of thought. An increase in brain activity, which stimulates the overactive imagination that many users report, is caused by the serotonin receptors – the brain’s key chemical messengers.1
Known for its unpredictability, its potential for creating hallucinations (distortions of reality) and, in many cases, “bad trips” (horrific sensations), this psychedelic drug is considered to be free of physical dependence and withdrawal symptoms; however, its powerful psychological influence can, in essence, have much the same basic effect on a user as a physical addiction.
Hearing colors, seeing sounds and other dream-like fabrications are only a small part of what’s happening to you when you take LSD. Some experts believe that the chemicals from even one use can lodge deep within a user’s body – possibly tormenting the user time and again, long after use has stopped.2
With so much at stake in using LSD – since much about its effects on humans is not fully understood – it should be worth our time to take a long, hard look at how LSD might steal more than just an accurate view of reality from its user.
LSD Can Rob You of a Healthy Body and Brain
Some of the immediate effects from taking LSD commonly include: nausea, tremors, accelerated heart rate, increased blood pressure, rapid breathing rate, elevated body temperature, loss of appetite and disrupted sleep.3
Users may also experience feelings of panic, paranoia (extreme and unreasonable distrust of others), psychosis (disordered, reality-detached thinking), depression and suicidal thoughts.4
LSD Can Rob You of Your Peace of Mind
Long-term use of LSD will increase the risk of additional symptoms and disorders including:
- Flashbacks– recurrences of past acid trips. They happen without warning and may occur within a few days or more than a year after drug use. For some users, flashbacks persist and affect daily functioning, a condition known as hallucinogen persisting perceptual disorder (HPPD). These people continue to have hallucinations and other disturbances, such as visual trails following moving objects.
- Persistent psychosis – a series of continuing mental issues, including visual disturbances, disorganized thinking, paranoia and mood changes.
- Mock indicators – symptoms that are sometimes mistaken for other disorders, such as a stroke or brain tumor.
LSD has a similar structure to a chemical in the brain that mimics psychosis, which is responsible for the altered sensory and perception, uncontrolled memory retrieval, and other indescribable images and emotions. If lodged within the spinal cord, this psychedelic drug may activate effects indefinitely.
Anywhere, without warning, another hallucinatory trip could happen – lasting from a few minutes to a few hours. That ominous threat lingers over users like a dark cloud, robbing them of life’s sunshine – their future independence, security and peace of mind.2
LSD Can Rob You of Your Dignity in Public
Besides possible speech and memory problems, an LSD user may experience mixed senses, uncoordinated movements, excessive sweating, or detachment from self or environment.
Some bizarre behaviors resulting from LSD use could end up being on display in public places, and this might prompt public health or law enforcement personnel to intervene, possibly leading to a fine or even an arrest.2
LSD Can Rob You of Having a Healthy Baby
While hallucinogens’ effects on developing fetuses are still inconclusive, researchers seem to be getting close to tying hallucinogen useto negative effects on fetuses of pregnant women who are using these drugs. So,appropriate precautions should be taken, especially in such formative life-stage situations.2
Maybe Even Rob You of Your Life
While deaths exclusively from acute overdose of LSD are rare, death may occur due to drug-influenced suicide, accidents and dangerous behavior, or due to the person inadvertently eating poisonous plant material.5
One Thing LSD Won’t Take Away Is Life’s Problems
Escaping life’s problems through LSD use instead of seeking help means that those issues will go untreated and continue to exist. Underlying issues should be effectively dealt with as part of the healing process.
Use of LSD may also lead to any number of indirect consequences. It can cause difficulties in every aspect of someone’s life. The growing disassociation with reality can hamper an individual’s ability to concentrate in school or perform a job safely and effectively. That person is also likely to have difficulty relating to others, so interpersonal relationships can suffer as a result. The possible negative consequences of ongoing LSD use are virtually limitless.4
Take Your Life Back by Getting the Help You Need
Treatment for LSD abuse consists primarily of counseling. Such therapy addresses behavioral aspects of drug abuse, as well as any related psychological or emotional issues. This care helps the patient cope with stress and other triggers of drug use in ways that are healthier, more positive and drug-free. Treatment for co-occurring disorders – such as depression or bipolar disorder – can resolve issues that may have contributed to initiating LSD and other drug use in the first place.2
If you or someone you know is using LSD and needs help, we are here for you. Our 24/7 toll-free line is open to you. We will end a caring ear, address your concerns and answer your questions.We can suggest several positive options for you to choose from. Abuse and addictions are not something to be taken lightly; they should be dealt with as soon as possible for the best outcomes and least amount of complications. Thank you for considering us as your recovery partner. We care…one person at a time.
1“This Is Your Brain on Drugs: The Truth About Where LSD Trips Take Your Mind and Body”, Medical Daily, http://www.medicaldaily.com/your-brain-drugs-truth-about-where-lsd-trips-take-your-mind-and-body-287852, (June 12, 2014).
2“DrugFacts: Hallucinogens”, National Institute on Drug Abuse, https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/hallucinogens, (January 2016).
3 “Drug Addiction”, Mayo Clinic, http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/drug-addiction/basics/symptoms/con-20020970 .
4 “Hallucinogens and Dissociative Drugs”, National Institute on Drug Abuse, https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/hallucinogens-dissociative-drugs/where-can-i-get-more-scientific-information-hallucinogens-diss , (February 2015).
5 “Drug Fact Sheet”, Drug Enforcement Administration, https://www.dea.gov/druginfo/all_fact_sheets.pdf.