LSD, which is the shorthand name for lysergic acid diethylamide, is an hallucinogen that can cause a broad range of effects on different users. It can also affect a regular user in different ways each time that user takes the drug.
LSD is not considered to be an addictive substance in that LSD users do not experience physical cravings for more of the drug when they stop using it. Users can develop a tolerance to LSD over a period of regular use of the drug, requiring them to ingest larger quantities of it to achieve similar hallucinogenic effects. This non-addictive characteristic of LSD and other hallucinogens does not mean that LSD is safe to use.
How LSD Works
The mechanism of how LSD works in a user’s brain is not fully understood. LSD’s chemical structure is similar to the structures of other biochemical neurotransmitters in a person’s brain. In particular, the drug’s structure is similar to serotonin, which transmits visual and other messages between brain cells. LSD is believed to be a better neurotransmitter than serotonin, which causes the drug to supplant serotonin neurotransmitters in a user’s brain and to accelerate the volume and speed of information passing through his brain cells. Neurobiologists believe that this increased flow of information causes the visual and other sensory hallucinations that are associated with LSD.
Regular users of LSD have reported experiencing hallucinatory flashbacks at random times after they have stopped using the drug. Some LSD hallucinations can be so real that a person who is experiencing an LSD “trip” will have difficulty distinguishing between the hallucination and reality. These experiences can be extremely dangerous, for example, if the user’s depth perception is altered or he is unable to distinguish the dangers of routine activities, such as crossing a busy street. LSD flashbacks can occur at random times, exposing a regular LSD user to heightened risks during activities such as driving a car and in other situations when the user’s ability to perceive matters as they are will be critical for his safety and the safety of people around him.
Although LSD is not generally considered to be addictive, regular LSD use can be habit forming. LSD users are known to form communities in which users regularly take LSD together. If those communities are unable to find alternate activities that they all enjoy, their sole common thread will be LSD, and they will use LSD every time members of that community get together. LSD’s effects on a user’s sensory perception can also alter any innate reluctance he or she may have to using other drugs, particularly within a regular community of LSD users.
Hallucinogens like LSD have also been associated with corollary health problems, including mood and sleep disruptions, alterations of pain perception and muscle control, and long-term memory loss and cognitive impairment. The lore of LSD is rich with tales of scientists and celebrities that have used LSD and with shadowy stories of CIA and U.S. military investigations into LSD. No consensus has emerged from that lore and, to date, LSD has no accepted clinical use or purpose.
If you are using LSD, you are placing yourself and the people around you at an elevated risk of injury due to the sensory distortions that LSD will cause.
Please call the Last Resort Recovery Center near Austin, Texas, at 512-360-3600 for more information and for answers to your questions about how LSD is affecting you in the short- and long-term. You may not be addicted to LSD, but your use of this drug is exposing you to serious dangers.