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D-lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) is a powerful hallucinogen available in the form of a clear, odorless liquid. It is often put on sugar cubes or blotter paper, or sold as a pill or capsule. It is also known by a variety of street names, including “acid,” “blotter acid,” “window pane,” “microdots,” “loony toons,” “sunshine,” and “zen.” The drug was discovered by Swiss chemist Albert Hoffman in 1938. He absorbed traces of the drug in 1943 and found its hallucinogenic properties. He believed it would have significant use in the treatment of psychiatric disorders, particularly schizophrenia. In the 1950s, researchers studied the drug to find potential applications. The CIA believed the drug could be used as a truth serum on prisoners of war. In the early 1960s, author Ken Kesey volunteered to take LSD as part of a study funded by the agency. Kesey came to believe that LSD was consciousness expanding and could produce spiritual experiences in its users.

Around this time, Timothy Leary, a psychology professor at the Harvard University, was researching on LSD. After consuming the drug, he, too, was convinced that LSD could open the window to spiritual enlightenment. Both Leary and Kesey extolled these qualities and helped make it an integral part of the 1960s counterculture.

After the 1960s, LSD use waned until the drug again became popular as part of the rave scene in the 1990s. When some people hear the name of the drug today, they may think of tie-dye, acid rock and the counterculture of the 1960s. However, LSD is popular today among young people as a club drug used at raves, nightclubs and concerts. Prolonged LSD use can lead to addiction for which the user would need LSD addiction treatment.

LSD abuse

Sold in capsules, tablets and occasionally liquid form, LSD is usually taken orally and often added to the absorbent paper. The paper is then divided into decorated pieces, each equivalent to a single dose. The experiences, often referred to as trips, usually end after about 12 hours.

High doses of LSD can also result in a “bad trip” or a negative reaction to the drug, leading one to experience extreme anxiety, confusion, psychosis and paranoia. Additionally, a negative reaction to the drug can also lead to disturbing hallucinations, sadness, poor judgment and out-of-control behavior that may result in self-injury or hurting someone in the vicinity.

Though not associated with uncontrollable drug-seeking behavior, LSD’s unique psychoactive effects can give rise to a number of potentially dangerous situations, including visual and auditory hallucinations, changes in sense of time or sensory experiences, among others.

LSD abuse: side effects

LSD is an extremely powerful mood-altering compound, classified as a Schedule I drug with no current acceptance for medical use. It produces hallucinatory effects by influencing the action of the brain’s neurotransmitters. Users experience visual and aural distortions as well as an altered sense of space and time when they consume the drug more than once.

Following are some of the acute effects of LSD abuse:

  • Greatly reduced perception of reality, for example, interpreting input from one of your senses as another, such as hearing colors
  • Impulsive behavior
  • Hallucinations
  • Distorted perception of time
  • Depersonalization
  • Hypertension
  • Rapid shifts in emotions
  • Permanent mental changes in perception
  • Rapid heart rate and high blood pressure
  • Tremors

When taken in excess, LSD can result in hyperthermia, respiratory arrest and bleeding disorders, among others.

The potential long-term consequences of LSD use provide ample reasons for people to seek LSD addiction treatment. For example, some people experience a phenomenon known as hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD), when they get to re-experience hallucinations even years after consumption of the drug.

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Treatment for LSD addiction

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), LSD produces tolerance; hence, some users who take the drug repeatedly end up consuming higher doses to achieve the same effect as before. This is an extremely dangerous practice, given the unpredictability of the drug. In addition, LSD produces tolerance to other hallucinogens, including psilocybin. When this happens, it may be time to seek help from LSD treatment centers, else the consequences can be troubling and at times, even fatal.

Treatment for LSD abuse should normally consist of LSD detox treatment and therapeutic forms of treatment to help address the reasons for the addiction and to put the individual on the path to a long-lasting recovery. A supervised detox program helps in getting rid of any remaining LSD in the system, and in managing the withdrawal symptoms, whereas, therapies or counseling sessions prepare the users for managing the triggers and provides him/her the necessary life skills to cope with daily life stressors.

Why choose Sovereign Health

Sovereign Health of Texas provides effective and comprehensive treatment to all individuals in need. A leader in providing addiction-related treatments, Sovereign Health recognizes that a “one size fits all” approach to treatment is not the most effective way to achieve lasting recovery, and therefore, offers a tailor-made treatment to every patient basis the severity of his/her symptoms.

Upon admission, our patients undergo a detailed physical and psychological evaluation that allows our treatment team to identify any underlying co-occurring conditions and design the best treatment basis the existing symptoms. Offering individualized and evidence-based treatment provides structured and holistic treatment that facilitates a smooth recovery.

In addition to medically supervised detoxification treatment, experienced professionals at our El Paso, Texas facility employ a range of evidence-based treatment modalities to give our patients a lasting chance at recovery. Some of the evidence-based methodologies offered at our centers include:

  • Individual and process group therapy
  • Stress and anger management groups
  • Schema treatment
  • Narrative treatment
  • Mindfulness training
  • Biopsychosocial assessment
  • Life skills education
  • Experiential outings
  • Couple therapy
  • Continuing care program

For more information about the LSD addiction treatment offered at our state-of-the-art treatment facilities or to locate the finest LSD detox centers near you, contact our 24/7 helpline and speak with our admissions specialists. You can even chat online with our trained representatives for further assistance.

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“The therapy here helped me really look at myself and find that I am a strong individual that can deal with this and move forward in my life.”- Katie