LSD, lysergic acid diethylamide, is a hallucinogenic drug. Although it is not considered addictive and the chances of overdosing on LSD is small compared to other addictive substances, it can become habit-forming and users may become psychologically dependent. When used often, acid may become a significant part of a person’s life, thereby creating a dependence on its effects to maintain the same lifestyle, social interactions, and results of taking the drug.
How Does It Feel?
The symptoms of acid use vary, depending on the person, the amount taken, and the frequency of use. There are a wide range of emotions experienced by the user when under the influence. These can range from euphoria or joy to anger, anxiety or panic (including mild-to-extreme paranoia) to laughter and giggling. A sensation frequently described is a blending of all sensation for users. This can often be described as “hearing colors” or “seeing music,” Heightened awareness was the common result for many in the 1960s, when LSD use became popular for those who were looking to “expand their consciousness.” Some persons have had what is termed a “bad trip,” experiencing various nightmarish consequences from taking the drug. Others experience a sense of relationship with the world at large, peacefulness, elevated mood, and awareness of spiritual relationships in all they see.
LSD produces a brain reaction by interruption of the normal functioning of brain cells and the neurotransmitter, serotonin. The exact interaction is not clear, but the effects of LSD can be powerful. Users sometimes report a new way of being in the world, seeing spiritual aspects of life for the first time, or experiencing connections to all of life.
The phenomena of “flashbacks” occur to some users of LSD. This is a recurrence of a memory, idea, or physical sensation during use that recurs randomly after the effects have worn off. There appears to be no trigger precipitating the episode of “flashback,” nor does the user have to take the drug again for this to happen. It can take place during sleep or waking, at work or at rest, during the day or evening, and seldom with any type of warning to the person experiencing the flashback. It may be a scary or pleasant sensation for the user.
LSD has a long-term effect when taken. Most users will experience the first effects of the drug between 30 to 60 minutes after ingestion. The effects may last for anywhere between six and twelve hours after use. The variance is wide, depending on amount taken, frequency of use, and the strength of the LSD being taken. Most common effects with use include decrease in appetite, tingling sensation in neck and face, dilated pupils, loss of sleep, higher heart rate, and perspiration
Users who experience pleasant symptoms may begin to use LSD more frequently, attempting to recreate the sensations of their initial highs with LSD. While habitual use may create a need for higher doses, this does not constitute an “addiction” to LSD. Most of the symptoms of use will wear off at the end of the dose. When users feel dependent on LSD and the effects it produces, professional acid addiction treatment can help break the addiction cycle.