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LSD: Losing Touch with Reality

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LSD: Losing Touch with Reality

lsd-losing-touch-with-realityLSD, commonly known as acid, is a synthetic drug derived from a fungus that grows on rye and other grains. It is classified as a hallucinogen that can distort a user’s perception of reality, causing hallucinations. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, approximately 779,000 Americans over the age of 12 have used LSD at least once in 2009. Although LSD is not considered physically addictive, it may have permanent consequences. It is suggested that users seek treatment at a drug rehab center to prevent further damage from LSD use.

A Closer Look at LSD

The DEA classifies LSD as a Schedule I substance—it has a high potential for abuse and no legitimate medical use, making LSD illegal. This drug is taken orally, and usually applied to blotter or stamp paper. Just like a sheet of stamps, blotters come in perforated sheets divided into squares or “tabs”. Each tab may be decorated with a colorful design or depict “trippy” characters such as the White Rabbit from Disney’s Alice in Wonderland. LSD also comes in liquid form or in thin gelatin squares. Many LSD users are drawn to the drug for its psychedelic effects. It is reported that the drug creates an altered reality, allowing users to escape their lives or numb themselves from actual reality. Other users chase the spiritual experience that can be associated with the drug or are triggered to use LSD because of boredom, curiosity or peer pressure. After repeated use, a LSD user may require a larger dose to achieve the initial desired effect. LSD use may lead to frightening negative physical and psychological changes in the user.

The Effects of LSD

The effects of LSD are unpredictable. Factors such as the drug abuser’s personality, mood, expectations and surroundings and the dosage he or she takes may impact the effects of the drug, also known as the “trip.” Some common physical effects of LSD are:

  • Dilated pupils
  • High body temperature
  • Increased heart rate
  • High blood pressure
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sleeplessness
  • Dry mouth
  • Tremors
LSD also has strange and sometimes frightening psychological effect such as:
  • Sense distortion
  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Rapid change in emotions
  • Distortion of time
  • Distorted thoughts
  • Terrifying thoughts and feelings
  • Despair

Once a person ingests LSD, the effects of the drug are felt within 20 to 30 minutes and peaks between 2 and 4 hours. A trip can last anywhere from 6 to 12 hours. When a person is on a LSD trip, he or she functions as if in a different state of mind. The current state of mind that the LSD user is experiencing is much different from their actual reality. This makes working, communicating, interacting with others or completing tasks impossible. LSD may also exacerbate existing mental health disorders. Furthermore, it has been reported that some users’ perception or thinking does not return to the way it was before using LSD. This can be detrimental and alter a person irreversibly. Even after a LSD trip is over, a user may experience effects of the drug in what is called a “flashback”. A flashback, reoccurrence of a LSD user’s past trips or experiences, may occur without warning a few days or over a year after use.


Due to the intense and sometimes irreversible changes that LSD causes, it is imperative that LSD users seek treatment at a drug rehab center for their drug use. The psychotic symptoms of LSD use may require medication management. Receiving therapy from a substance abuse facility will address the underlying issues that cause the drug user to engage in risky behavior. Attending a drug rehab program may also allow the drug user to reconnect with reality.

Call Now and Make the Best Choice of Your Life

If you or a loved one is suffering from drug addiction and would like more information about a quality drug rehab, please call a Stepping Stone Center coordinator now at 866-957-4960. Our coordinators are able to answer any questions that you may have regarding addiction treatment, as many of them are in recovery themselves.

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