LSD is one of the most potent mood-changing and mind-twisting chemicals around. Sold in a number of forms – tablets, capsules, liquid or on a blotter sheet of LSD-soaked paper squares that users take by mouth – this hallucinogen has been regaining popularity in recent years. While LSD is known by many names on the street, “acid” is one of the most commonly used; the term comes from this chemical’s scientific name: Lysergic acid diethylamide. Use of LSD is known as a “trip” – which can be highly pleasurable or terrifying.1
LSD’s “Wild Ride”: A Ticket That’s too Risky?
Albert Hofmann, who pioneered the invention of LSD, expressed many years ago that “psychedelics (like LSD) could see their way into the future through transpersonal psychology.” He added that this hallucinogen “seems to ‘open the gates of awareness’ to the mind-bending mystical or religious experiences and brings profound changes in the user.” Most professional opinions challenge this view.
Due to its unpredictable effects, LSD was banned from use in the world of medicine here in the U.S.While some LSD results can be expected – like experiencing hallucinogenic effects from the drug in less than 90 minutes and lasting about 12 hours – an acid trip “flashback” may occur many days or weeks later, even if drug use has stopped. These trip reoccurrences may visit the user again and again, especially if there has been extended use. Persistent psychosis – which consists of ongoing visual disturbances and disorganized thinking – is another possible long-term effect that may result from the use of hallucinogens.
While LSD is generally not considered to be physically addictive, a psychological addiction to the feeling experienced from taking this chemical can quickly and easily result.2
Treatment for LSD addiction typically involves several essential considerations.
A Cleansing Detoxification
LSD detox is a little different from other drug detox programs. With physically addictive drugs, the body and brain become dependent. Such treatment requires a period of medically managed elimination of the toxins, oftentimes supported by other medications. Detox from LSD is more about providing a safe place for users to come down from their trips and get clean.
It takes about 12 hours for the primary effects of LSD to wear off. Following that, there could be some adverse psychological effects. To date, there are no government-approved medications for treating actual addiction to LSD or other hallucinogenic drugs – only those medications for treating the mental disorders that may result.3
Once a person completes medically supervised detox, therapy is needed to get to the root of what caused the LSD addiction. Some people use LSD as an escape from reality or to cope with extreme stress. Others use hallucinogens at parties for social or recreational purposes. Still others seek a creative or spiritual awakening through this drug.