Why LSD? – The ‘trip’
If you have ever asked someone to describe their acid trip before, you may get a very abstract answer. The intense psychedelic trip has been experienced by many and written about by few. However, in Timothy Leary’s book ‘The Psychedelic Experience’, he hits the nail on the head.
Those who usually take acid love the drugs ability to unlock the unexplored potential of the mind but are unaware of the long term effects of lsd. As Timothy describes, one taps into heightened sensory experiences as they enter ‘new realms of consciousness’ and transcend verbal concepts, spacetime dimensions, and the ego’. Furthermore, the nervous system becomes liberated from its normal structured way of thinking promoting a sense of oneness with the world.
How’s LSD used?
LSD goes by several street names so you may also hear LSD being called: Acid, Window, Tab, Lucy, Liquid Acid, Dots, Acid, Paper Mushrooms, Golden Dragon, Heavenly Blue and Smilies. It is one of the most popular hallucinogens and is usually taken orally. Coming in a capsule, liquid or paper form, an LSD trip can last longer than 12 hours!
After swallowing a tab or pellet, the effects can start kicking in anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours after. The trip can be unpredictable and largely depend on someone’s current mood, disposition or how comfortable they feel in the setting they’re in.
For a high to be worth it, someone just needs a small amount, literally a millionth of a gram to change one’s perception of reality. It’s also more affordable then other street drugs, costing anywhere between $5-$20 in the US.
Despite the psychological alteration, LSD doesn’t usually bring the individual into a danger zone with their physical health. However, it doesn’t mean there are no long term effects of lsd on the mind and psyche.
What are some of the prominent short-term effects of LSD:
- A change in the perception of time and space as everything seems to get slower or faster. There is a distortion in colors, sounds and things the person is viewing. They may even start seeing double.
- The changes in sensory experiences can be enjoyable but they can turn sour. This is what’s known as a ‘bad trip’ amongst LSD users.
- Other short term effects include hallucinations from the senses which means smelling, hearing, seeing or feeling things in a way that differs from reality.
- A cross wiring of the senses (like the condition synesthesia where one hears colors instead of seeing them)
- Heightened feelings and senses
There are also negative short-term impacts such as:
- spike in blood pressure, heartbeat or body temperature
- Becoming drowsy or dizzy
- Sweating profusely, dry mouth and losing the will to eat
- Experiencing tremors or numbness
- Jumping from one extreme emotion or mood to another. For example, someone during an LSD trip may be blissfully euphoric and then extremely paranoid concurrently.
Long term effects of LSD
These are just a few of the short-term impacts LSD can have on someone. We will now discuss long term effects of lsd and how abusing the substance over a prolonged period can affect someone’s physical, psychological and emotional well being.
Building tolerance to LSD
It doesn’t take long for those taking LSD to build a high level of tolerance to the substances effects. This means they will need higher doses to reach the same high. If a tolerance builds in this class of hallucinogens, then the person may also become more tolerant to psilocybin and peyote. Other drugs that don’t affect brain cell receptors directly are not included so the individual won’t be cross-tolerant for drugs such as weed and PCP.
This tolerance however isn’t long-term and can disappear within a few days of the individual not taking LSD. Additionally, the physical withdrawal symptoms usually aren’t extreme when someone’s stopped taking it. This doesn’t mean however, there are no long-term impacts on someone’s overall health.
Long term physical impacts of LSD
Like every other intoxicating drug, LSD can produce physical, irreversible changes within the body. If someone is taking high doses over an extended time-frame they may experience:
- Loss of coordination
- Negative impact on eyesight
- Unhealthy appetite
- Permanent changes in the structural/neurochemistry of the brain such as: neurotransmitters, rectors and hormone levels such as dopamine and serotonin.
- Irreversible damage to blood pressure and heart rate
These are just the physical long term effects of lsd and by no means does it end here. However, many of the bodily aspects have not been extensively researched.
There may be permanent changes in the brain that are not attributed to the use of LSD but are in fact caused by LSD. The fact that LSD affects everyone differently makes it difficult to pin point what physical symptoms are due to ordinary genetics and aging and what is attributable to the LSD use.
Long term psychological effects of LSD use
The long term effects of lsd can vary depending on the amount and length of use. Counted among the identified long term psychological effects of LSD are:
- Flashbacks or HPPD (Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder)
LSD flashbacks are can be both pleasant and unpleasant. They may be mild and random reoccurring sessions but they may also be HPPD, a scary and harmful condition. An episode can be highly disturbing and happen constantly again and again. It’s one of the most chronic effects of long-term LSD use and usually comes with a sense of dissatisfaction, unease and depression. This can also be classified as Dysphoria.
- Struggling to communicate and reason
Long term use may affect one’s ability to communicate effectively as its thought the substance interferes with parts of the brain responsible for speech. It also lessens people’s capability to reason and think rationally by impairing mental functioning.
- Possible psychosis and mental illness
Persistent psychosis as well as the progression of a latent mental disease may be triggered from LSD use. Psychosis is a serious mental disorder similar to schizophrenia where someone is in a psychotic state with a distorted sense of reality. According to California Courts Juvenile Justice Centre, LSD use can increase the likelihood of this occurring.
- Can cause anxiety and depression
Symptoms of anxiety such as: shaking, tremors, increase in blood pressure and heart rate, may occur. As well as feeling this sense of danger, a person using LSD may also develop depression. In extreme cases, they may also feel suicidal thoughts as this can be one of the long term effects of lsd, as well as other drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamine and weed.
Indirect consequences of long-term LSD use
The more in-direct effects impact on the social and political scope of things, but are still long-term consequences of LSD abuse.
- Legal troubles if caught: if the police catch someone with the illicit drug, potential fines or jail time could result.
- Financial troubles: the dependence and tolerance a regular user builds up requires more money.
- Relationship hardships: the quality of family, friend and working relationships may be strained due to the persistent psychosis, flashbacks or HPPD.
- Decrease in social skills: it gets harder to integrate socially with long-term LSD use as users lack ability to deal with stress and communicate well.
Do you need help withdrawing from LSD?
In cases where someone has become dependent on LSD, it’s best to turn to a dedicated and experienced rehabilitation centre for help. Individuals commonly experience psychological, as well as physical changes when going through detox and may need to combine their therapy with psychological treatment.
Several rehabilitation centres will have services and facilities to help treat tramadol overdose. Withdrawal from LSD or other hallucinogens can be tough but you don’t have to go it alone. Get support every step of the way with our dedicated counsellors at BLVD.
The residential and outpatient services offered at BLVD Treatment Centers are a great option. Tailored to fit your specific needs, you can seek solace in the undivided attention of our experienced counsellors.
When opting for the residential rehab option, you can take advantage of:
- Individualized Detox Treatments
- Chef-Prepared Gourmet Meals
- Medically-Assisted Detox
- A Comprehensive Aftercare Plan
- Convenient Transport Services