LSD Treatment and Rehab
Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) is a hallucinogen. Synthetically made from lysergic acid, LSD is a drug used for its stimulating, mind-altering effects. However, LSD also has negative effects that can cause terror, also known as “a bad trip.”
LSD is a schedule I controlled substance in the United States. Based on this classification, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) deems it a dangerous, illegal drug with a high potential for abuse. There are no current medical uses accepted for LSD in the United States.
LSD is used in different forms. Commonly, it’s added to blotter paper. There are also thin squares of gelatin, tablets and sometimes the LSD liquid is added to sugar cubes.
If someone uses LSD recreationally, they may require professional LSD treatment. This treatment should take into account not just the habit-forming nature of the drug, but also the fact that LSD flashbacks can occur, as well as conditions such as Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder.
Dealing with LSD Flashbacks
When someone uses LSD, flashbacks can occur. A flashback related to past or current use of LSD or other hallucinogens isn’t just a memory. Instead, these flashbacks lead to changes in perception, distorted sensory experiences and more. When someone has flashbacks, dealing with LSD flashbacks can feel like they’re using the drug again.
Dealing with LSD flashbacks can cause extreme distress and it can cause someone to act erratically in inappropriate situations.
Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder Treatment
When someone has significant LSD flashbacks, there is a diagnosable condition called Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder. This diagnosis is in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th edition (DSM-5), which is the most recent edition of the manual. Symptoms of Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder can include:
- Hallucinations — often geometric shapes
- False perception of movement occurring in the peripheral vision
- Inanimate objects appearing to come alive — such as trees appearing to breathe
- Color flashes or more intense perception of color
- Halos appear around objects
- The perception that objects are larger than they really are or smaller
When someone has the LSD flashbacks, they usually only last a few minutes, and unlike being on LSD itself, someone having flashbacks can often tell they aren’t real or they know what’s happening. However, in severe cases of Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder, symptoms and flashbacks may last for weeks, months or years. The symptoms may still be episodic, in that they’re not occurring constantly, but it can happen suddenly and without warning or a way to predict the occurrence.
There are two forms of Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPDD). There is Type 1, where the flashbacks occur quickly and are brief and random. Type 2 forms involve continual changes to vision, although these changes might come and go.
Some conditions may occur along with HPDD including depression, anxiety, panic attacks and depersonalization disorder. Depersonalization disorder causes a person to feel disconnected from their body, and they aren’t living their life but are instead observing it.
Certain medications may help when someone is experiencing these symptoms. One is lamotrigine, which is a mood stabilizer, and the other is the tranquilizer clonazepam. Lifestyle changes can be beneficial also. For example, avoiding drugs including LSD and other illicit or psychoactive drugs can help, as can managing the other conditions that may occur with HPDD such as anxiety.
If you or a loved one abuse LSD or live with another substance use disorder, contact The Recovery Village at Palmer Lake to speak to a representative about professional treatment options. Individualized treatment plans help patients address their addiction along with any co-occurring mental health disorder. Don’t let addiction control your life, call today to get started toward a healthier future.
L. Anderson. “LSD.” Drugs.com. August 31, 2018. Accessed April 8, 2019.
Hartney, Elizabeth. “Flashbacks Disorder When Taking Acid.” Verywell Mind, October 8, 2018. Accessed April 8, 2019.Burgess, Lana.
“What is Hallucinogen-persisting perception disorder?” Medical News Today, March 16, 2018. Accessed April 8, 2019.