LSD (Acid) can be found on the street as tablets, capsules, blotter paper, and in liquid form. It is a clear or white substance with a mildly bitter taste. Acid is often absorbed into paper (blotter) that is divided into small decorated squares (tabs), with each square consisting of one dose referred to as a “hit.” These tabs may be colorful or have images imprinted on them. They are usually placed on the tongue where they dissolve.
Liquid LSD is clear and is customarily sold in a small tube or flask. It can also be found in flat squares of gelatin. LSD is usually consumed orally, but users may also place liquid drops and gelatin in the eye.
LSD can induce psychoactive effects at tiny doses of 20 mcg. Because users frequently administer LSD via small pieces of paper, it is difficult to determine what an average dose would be. Compounding this problem is the fact that different people respond to LSD in different ways.
It is essential to understand that using too much LSD can result in feelings of dissociation and isolation. Studies have shown, however, that for most people, 20 micrograms of LSD provides minimal euphoric effects.
Acid Effects and Abuse
Lysergic acid diethylamide, or LSD or acid, is currently classified as a Schedule I controlled substance by the Drug Enforcement Agency. This classification indicates that LSD is not considered to have any legitimate medical purpose and has a high potential for abuse.
Acid is a psychedelic hallucinogen that alters perception, sense of time and space, and emotions. There have been documented cases of heavy, prolonged use of acid resulting in adverse side effects such as paranoia and psychosis.
Although LSD is not believed to have the potential for producing chemical dependence, people can become psychologically addicted to the intense effects they experience while “tripping.” Moreover, users can develop both tolerance and emotional reliance on psychedelics like LSD.
LSD is known for inducing intense alterations in consciousness and perception. While tripping on acid, users may encounter a wide variety of effects, including the following:
- Changes in thought processes
- Profound emotions
- New insights and revelations
- Increase sense of spirituality or connectedness
- Visual/sensory distortions and hallucinations
- Synesthesia (e.g., “hearing” colors, “seeing” sounds)
LSD’s effects can last for some time, around 8-10 hours. Peak effects occur at roughly 4-6 hours after ingestion. Common side effects include the following:
- Dry mouth
- High blood pressure
- Impaired depth perception
- Panic attacks
- Flashbacks or HPPD
Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD)
HPPD is a condition in which a person sees odd things that are, in essence, remnants of the past use of hallucinogens. These may include geometric hallucinations, afterimages, flashes of color, and false perceptions of movement. To be considered diagnosable with HPPD, the type of visual phenomena that occurs during an acid trip must include the following three criteria:
1) Spontaneously reappear long after the hallucinogen use has stopped
2) Cause significant distress
3) Not be explainable by any other mental health disorder or medical condition
For many, HPPD is not so much a sudden “flashback” as it is more of a perpetual disturbance in vision.
Acid Tolerance and Overdose
Tolerance to LSD can develop rapidly. If a specific dose is taken each day for three days in a row, little or no reaction will be experienced by the third day. Users who routinely abuse the drug must use doses in increasing potency to achieve the desired effects. This practice is especially dangerous, as when the dosage increases, so does the risk of the user suffering from a “bad trip” and adverse psychological effects.
Experts believe that it is virtually impossible to overdose on LSD to the point of death. However, an “overdose” could entail effects that are extremely dangerous for the person using it and others around him or her. Users may experience lowered inhibitions and engage in risky behaviors. Keep in mind, trips can last for many hours and may lead to self-injury. As a result, the person may also incur social, legal, or other consequences.
LSD is even more dangerous when combined with other drugs, especially anti-depressants. The most severe effects of LSD are likely to happen only after excessive and frequent doses but may have the potential to be life-threatening. These include hyperthermia, suicidal thoughts, and psychosis.
Getting Treatment for Substance Abuse
Although LSD is not addictive on a chemical level, users can become emotionally addicted to the drug’s profound mild-altering effects. As a result, these individuals are at high risk for engaging in dangerous actions, and incurring severe, adverse consequences. If you or someone you love is abusing LSD, help is available.
Midwood Addiction Treatment offers comprehensive, evidence-based programs that feature services vital for the recovery process. Approaches such as psychotherapy help to provide insight into the reasons why people choose to abuse drugs in the first place. Another goal is to help clients develop the coping skills they need to achieve abstinence and prevent relapse long-term.
If you are ready to free yourself from addiction, contact a dedicated treatment specialist to learn about your options today!