Long Term Effects of LSD

Lysergic acid diethylamide or LSD is a Class A drug, which means that it is illegal to possess, use, sell or give away. In 1967, LSD was banned with no acceptable medical use. LSD is a powerful hallucinogen that can make you experience distortions in perception like seeing or hearing things that are not really there. Taking LSD will make you experience a ‘trip’ that can be good or bad, but once you get hooked on it, you may not be able to stop using it. Learn more about the long term effects of LSD.

Effects of LSD

Short Term Effects of LSD

1. Mental Effects

LSD can cause hallucinations and affect your mental function by:

  • Altering your senses, thoughts, and moods
  • Distorting your self-perception and the world around you
  • Affecting what you see, hear, feel, taste, and smell
  • Creating confusion, so that you “hear” colors and “see” sounds
  • Making you feel, see, or hear things that aren’t really there

Other possible effects of LSD include:

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Feeling of heaviness or weightlessness
  • Feeling detached from your body
  • Impairment of judgment of time, speed, or distance
  • Alteration or impairment of memory
  • Extreme mood changes

LSD-associated deaths usually result from accidents that occur when a user senses something abnormally, leading to some error in judgment. A user may be convinced that he can fly or walk through streets unharmed.

2. Physical Effects

Some of the physical effects reported include:

  • Decreased coordination
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Elevations in heart rate and blood pressure 
  • Increases in body temperature
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Numbness
  • Sleeplessness
  • Sweating
  • Tremors
  • Weakness
  • Widened pupils

Long Term Effects of LSD

1. Physical Effects

  • Altered vision
  • Change in appetite
  • Altered levels of neurotransmitters (brain chemicals), particularly serotonin and dopamine
  • Significant changes in blood pressure and heart rate
  • Loss of coordination

There may be more long-term effects of LSD that have not been reported or thoroughly studied. Permanent changes in the brain may be caused by LSD, but people may experience these effects differently.

2. Psychological Effects

Psychologically, long-term effects of LSD may vary depending on how much and how long you have been using the drug. Among these psychological effects are:

  • Reduced capacity to think rationally
  • Reduced ability to communicate due to an effect of the drug on the speech center in the brain
  • Persistent psychosis
  • Increased risk of mental illness
  • Emergence of latent mental illness
  • Anxiety, depression, or panic attacks
  • Suicidal thoughts and feelings
  • Persistent psychosis and Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder(HPPD): Other visual disturbances such as seeing halos or trails attached to moving objects; symptoms sometimes mistaken for neurological disorders such as stroke or brain tumor.
  • Flashbacks – These are hallucinations that occur long after the actual drug has left the body. These hallucinations can occur without ingesting the drug again.This is the spontaneous and unpredictable re-occurrence of visual distortions or emotional experiences from a previous episode of LSD use. Frequent users of LSD are at greater risk of experiencing flashbacks. However, flashbacks can occur after only a single use. Not everyone who takes LSD experiences flashbacks. When people do have them, they may occur over and over. While flashbacks usually decrease over time, they can continue for years. There is currently no established treatment for this disorder.

Addiction and Withdrawal

Regular use of LSD may lead to tolerance of its effects, which means you need to take larger doses of the drug to obtain the same effects. Tolerance can develop quickly. If you keep using it for many days, you may not be able to get the desired effects no matter how much LSD you take. Sensitivity to its effects only returns if you stop using it for a few days.

Physical dependence is not among the long-term effects of LSD. Unlike other drugs, users are not physically obsessed to use it. However, some people can develop psychological dependence on LSD.

Watch this video to learn more about what LSD does to your brain to know more about long term effects of LSD:

Treatment for LSD Abuse

LSD users usually do not suffer from withdrawal symptoms upon cessation of use. Therefore, the treatment of drug abuse is different from the management of addiction from other drugs. Treatment for LSD abuse often involves management on a psychological level.

1. Supportive Care

Massive ingestion of LSD must be treated with supportive care, which includes respiratory support with endotracheal intubation if necessary. Symptomatic treatment of high blood pressure, rapid heart rates and increased body temperature may be necessary. Low blood pressure should be initially treated with fluid therapy and with medications if required.

2. Ergotism Therapy

Symptoms of headache, vomiting, and diarrhea (ergotism) is treated usually by drug discontinuation and supportive care. Administration of medications like vasodilators, anticoagulants, and sympatholytics might be beneficial. In severe cases, balloon percutaneous transluminal angioplasty may be considered.

3. Consultations

Simple intoxication with LSD can usually be managed without medical consultation. However, people who have a long history of substance abuse should seek drug treatment. Hospital admission may be required after consultation with a toxicologist or a poison control center.

4. Transfer

Transfer to another facility is rarely necessary because most patients only need a short period of observation. However, it may be justified when there are serious complications or when the patient’s behavior is beyond the capability of the facility.

5. Behavior Modification

Behavior modification may be required in the management of the long-term effects of LSD. This can be done through a local center or through other treatment facilities. This strategy teaches LSD abusers to learn to find other ways to relieve stress and do other activities. It also requires abusers to make a decision to stop using LSD, to avoid using it as an escape, and to recognize it as a dangerous drug.

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