LSD Addiction

LSD (“Lysergic Acid Diethylamide”) is one of the most widely used of a class of drug commonly identified as a “hallucinogen.”

Hallucinogens are drugs which cause hallucinations and a profound distortion in the user’s perception of reality. Images, sounds and sensations, such as bleeding or melting walls and shimmering effects seem to be real and the user may also experience rapid, intense emotional swings.

Some users experience severe, terrifying thoughts and feelings of despair. A fear of losing control may also cause the user to panic or feel they are losing their minds.

Disruption of nerve cells

The effects are caused by the disruption of nerve cells communicating with the neurotransmitter, serotonin, a chemical found throughout the brain and spinal cord involved in the control of behaviour and sensory perception.

LSD is a synthetic psychedelic, which was first produced in the late 1930s and gained popularity during the 1960s. Manufactured from lysergic acid found in ergot, a fungus that grows on rye and other grains, the compound is sold as tablets, capsules or in liquid form. LSD is also often added to tiny squares of absorbent paper, known as ‘tabs’ and taken orally.

The effects start after 20 minutes and can last for between 6 and 12 hours. The “trip” can be either good or bad, and is affected by how the user is feeling and who they’re with. Once the trip has begun, nothing can stop it and users lose their sense of time.

Symptoms and Warning Signs

Symptoms of LSD abuse use can include a wide range of physical behaviour, including:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Dry mouth
  • Loss of appetite
  • Numbness
  • Tingling fingers or toes
  • Muscle weakness
  • Dizziness, nausea
  • Sweating or chills
  • Heavy perspiration
  • Blurred vision
  • Rapid heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Palpitations
  • Poor coordination
  • Sleeplessness

Long-term Effects

LSD is considered psychologically addictive and users can experience “flashbacks” - experiencing a short “trip” long after the effects of the drug have worn off, which can be days, months or years after using the drug. Flashback trips can be triggered by stress, sleepiness, or other drugs, such as cannabis.

LSD addiction can lead to...
  • Mood swings / Erratic behaviour
  • Anxiety, severe depression
  • Disorientation
  • Permanent changes in perception
  • Psychological dependence
  • Consuming increasing dosages to feel effects, including other hallucinogens
  • Increased risk of developing schizophrenia or psychotic episodes
  • Miscarriages
  • Birth defects
  • Fatal liver damage
  • Schizophrenia

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