LSD Drug addiction is difficult to identify quickly, the drug is very easy to conceal, and very little is needed for a user to get the high or trip that they seek. Lysergic Acid Diethylamide is the formal chemical name of LSD, generally a colorless tasteless substance, it can be placed by syringe or eyedropper on a piece of what is called “blotter” paper, and it is found in capsule or tablet form as well. The most popular or commonly available preparation of the drug is the blotter paper version because it is less likely to be detected if the dealer or user is searched.
Generally speaking there is extremely little risk of physical addiction to LSD. Usually, an individual will take a tab (a drop on blotter paper) or two, and then not require the use of the drug for quite sometime thereafter. There is no withdrawal after taking an initial dose and then allowing time to pass, even an extremely significant length of time between uses. There is, however, a very strong psychological pull on the user from the drug, and therefore LSD Drug addiction becomes more and more likely as more of the drug is consumed, and the user wants to re-experience the alternate psycho-physical world to which the LSD allows them access.
The Origins of LSD
Albert Hofmann was the creator of LSD in 1938. Due to lack of research funding, the discovery was shelved for 5 years until 1943. The famous incident when Hofmann inadvertently took a dose of LCD just by handling it, and a minute amount was absorbed through the skin on his fingertips has passed into popular folklore, but it is not a myth, it did happen, and Hofmann became intimately aware of the drug’s powerful effects.
Beginning in1960, Dr. Timothy Leary of Harvard University began testing the drug on his graduate students. The drug gained popularity very quickly, and with the political or rather anti-political sentiment of the day, continued to gain popularity in young people steadily.
Psychological LSD Addiction
The psychological world that the ingestion of LSD creates is an alternate “reality” that the user will never experience, from any other drug, at any other time in their life. Once the user enters that world, unless they have what is referred to as a “bad trip” meaning that the drug simply does not agree with their system, or amplifies a “bad place” emotionally or mentally that they happen to be in at the time the drug is consumed, they have a deep desire to return to that “alternate” world as soon as possible.
Generally speaking LSD or Acid addiction begins out of curiosity on the part of the user. LSD is introduced to them as a clean, non-addictive alternative to other drugs. Peer pressure can play a part as well, and so they ask themselves, “what will one time hurt?” They may be right, that one time, may hurt nothing at all, the experience may be enjoyable, the hallucinations pleasant. But on the other hand, that first foray into LSD experimentation could just as easily turn bad and be the user’s last experience, ever.
LSD Drug addiction occurs when the user finds the escape of the drug to be so enjoyable that it becomes an escape from their entire reality. If they are bored – they take the drug, or if they feel a need for “inspiration’ out it comes again, if the real world is not to their liking an LSD addict just has to pop another dose and replace their world with something else. LSD addiction begins when the abuser begins to favor an alternate reality of the “trip” to the relatively mundane situations and experiences available in the real world.
LSD Addiction and Tolerance
Tolerance builds quite rapidly with LSD Drug addiction. Unlike drugs such as marijuana, where tolerance builds, only much more slowly, with LSD a dose is taken the next day will have a greatly lessened effect on the abuser. This nearly immediate tolerance causes the addict to need more and more, and due to the relatively unpredictable outcome of a trip, can open the addict up to a world of psychological danger.
The Dangers of LSD Addiction
Essentially there are two types of experiences, which are known as “trips” when it comes to the use of LSD. The first of these experiences are good, usually when the addict is in a good headspace, not weighed down with the weight of the world on their shoulders, takes the LSD with friends, and uses the drug in a safe and secure location for them. Without external stresses and problems, the whole experience can be exactly what the user begins to crave.
The dark side though, a so-called bad trip, can be immensely destructive. The effects of external factors can have a disastrous result, although even in a secure and safe environment an LSD addict can never predict if their trip will be good or not. A bad trip can prompt feelings of intense paranoia and discomfort, a living nightmare that is so distressing that the addict never returns to reality. Basically for the addict who has such a severely bad trip, that particular trip never ends. Usually, the effects of LSD last for between 10 to 12 hours, but a bad trip can last forever.
Flashbacks are a major long-term concern for users and addicts. Completely unpredictable as to when a flashback might occur, how long it will last – an LSD addict is at the mercy of the drug and its toxic side-effects. Flashbacks can be good or bad, depending again on the circumstances and mental state of the individual at the time, and of course, when they happen so unexpectedly they can be devastating. Imagine operating a piece of heavy machinery or driving and suddenly the real world is gone, the user is in another reality entirely…
Some users never get a flashback; others can have them occasionally, or frequently. Ceasing to use LSD Drug is no guarantee that flashbacks will not happen either. They can occur and reoccur for years after the addict stops and the LSD addiction subsides, or they can last on and off, forever.
Although LSD is not strictly considered to be an addictive drug, according to NIDA (the National Institute of Drug Awareness) it can be extremely psychologically addictive. And while most individuals afflicted with psychological LSD addiction eventually taper off or completely discontinue use on their own, often, the damage that is done to their brain chemistries is irreversible, and they do require some sort of long term assisted living program.
LSD Treatment and Recovery
People often ask how they can identify LSD addiction. This is not easy to answer, although there are pronounced signs when a person is tripping such as profuse sweating, lowered or raised body temperature, an elevated heart rate, dilated pupils, and impaired or altered judgment and perception. The conversation may be impossible, and often responses are complete nonsense. But this is only the physical presence of a user on a trip, and similar symptoms will present in flashbacks. LSD addiction could be identified by increased and regular use of LSD, a withdrawal from reality when the addict is sober, and a general state of confusion with memory gaps impaired speech.
LSD Drug addiction treatment is generally a combination of CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) and medication, when necessary. Also, some programs can assist the addict in staying sober long term, mainly through giving them time to readjust to reality as it truly is, and helping them re-learn to live life on life’s terms. Residential and outpatient programs are available, and guidance for the most appropriate treatment path from professionals is the best approach to beginning the process.
It may be useful to consider why an individual has experimented with such a dangerous drug, CBT, and psychiatric or psychological assessments and evaluations may be part of a good treatment program. Often previously hidden anxieties and problems can be dealt with during a rehab program, and this can make the difference to success or failure long-term.
Above so many other things though, the addict must realize that recovery is a process and that if they decide to be active participants, that they want to reclaim the life they left behind, the results can and often are outstanding.