Why Equine Therapy Is Useful in an LSD Addiction Treatment Program

Why Equine Therapy Is Useful in an LSD Addiction Treatment Program

Equine therapy utilizes horses to help addicts overcome a variety of issues

LSD, or “acid”, is one of the most commonly abused psychedelic drugs in the world. First commercially popularity in the 1960’s, it is used as a method for detaching from reality.

People who crave the escape brought by LSD open themselves to a number of serious risks. For those who use the drug repeatedly, equine therapy offers help, especially when used as part of a comprehensive addiction treatment plan. Equine therapy utilizes horses to help drug users build trusting relationships, connect to others and care for others.

While hallucinogens such as LSD are not addictive in the traditional sense, they are dangerous.  LSD use causes several negative side effects including visual and auditory hallucinations, distortion of time, impaired perception, panic attacks, loss of control, flashbacks, depression, psychosis, and more. In addition, LSD creates physical side effects including tremors and drastic changes in body temperature. Because of these risks, it’s crucial for people who abuse LSD to get the help they need; for some, help comes in the form of equine therapy.[1]

How Equine Therapy Can Help Individuals Recovering from LSD Addiction

Historically, people use hallucinogenic drugs for religious ceremonies or to achieve spiritual enlightenment. Modern use is varied. Since LSD is a relatively new drug, created in a lab in 1938, more people use the drug for fun, to relieve stress or to enhance creativity. Some fledgling research shows hallucinogens may treat depression or even alcoholism when used in controlled lab settings. For people who abuse LSD, treatment is important to help them reduce their dependence on avoiding reality. It’s also common for people to abuse several drugs along with LSD, which requires an integrated treatment program to address all the reasons behind drug use.[2]

Research shows equine therapy encourages patients to stay in treatment longer

An LSD drug treatment program exposes patients to different therapies, ranging from traditional psychotherapy to behavioral therapy. One beneficial yet less well-known form of treatment is equine therapy. Advocates of equine therapy point to horse behavior as the main benefit; they say horses mirror the emotions of addiction patients and offer immediate feedback about actions. This feedback is free of the judgment of human and social interactions, and it gives patients the ability to trust others again. Research shows equine therapy encourages patients to stay in treatment longer and complete recommended lengths of stay, which is associated with better recovery outcomes.[3] Some of the many ways in which equine therapy can be useful LSD addiction treatment include:

  • Improved communication: some people use LSD to cope with past negative experiences;these users may turn to LSD to escape their emotions and in turn, make it impossible to process or communicate their feelings; equine therapy helps recovering addicts improve communication and facilitate both positive verbal and non-verbal communication with the horses in their care
  • Self-control: one of the biggest side effects of LSD abuse is feeling out of control; patients who work with horses must learn positive self-control to have a successful session; in turn, the calming presence of a horse takes away enough feelings of insecurity to allow patients to focus on improving their own self-control
  • Setting boundaries: equine therapy helps addicts understand the benefits of setting boundaries; by working with both a horse and an equine therapist, an LSD user can learn how boundaries provide success in an equine setting, and apply that learned behavior to his own personal life3

When used as part of an addiction treatment program, equine therapy helps recovering LSD users improve their communication, develop positive self-control and learn how and why to set boundaries in their lives.

The Importance of Experiential Therapies in Addiction Recovery

While equine therapy may not be the best fit for every person recovering from LSD abuse, other forms of experiential therapy offer similar results. Therapies that include body movements tied to sensory input, such as art therapy, wilderness therapy or rock climbing,are other excellent ways for LSD users to address personal issues and develop new methods of coping without using drugs.

Do You Need Treatment for LSD Addiction

Our admissions coordinators are available seven-days-a-week, 24-hours a day to answer questions about treatment options and offer advice about facilities. They offer information about insurance coverage and assistance finding the best option for a patient’s individual needs. Do not waste one more day abusing LSD. Call our toll-free, 24-hour helpline right now.


[1] Davis, Kathleen. (2015). What is lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)? Effects and hazards of LSD. Medical News Today. Retrieved July 5, 2016 from http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/295966.php.

[2] National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2015). Hallucinogens and Dissociative Drugs

Why Do People Take Hallucinogenic or Dissociative Drugs? Retrieved July 5, 2016 from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/hallucinogens-dissociative-drugs/what-are-facts-about-dissociative-drugs.

[3] Kern-Godal, Ann; Arnevik, Espen Ajo; Walderhaug, Espen and Ravndal, Edle. (2015). Substance use disorder treatment retention and completion: a prospective study of horse-assisted therapy (HAT) for young adults. Addiction Science & Clinical Practice. Retrieved July 5, 2016 from https://ascpjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13722-015-0043-4.