LSD and How it Affects The Brain
LSD, also known as Lysergic Acid Diethylamide is one of the strongest hallucinogens available on the drug market today. LSD was first manufactured back in the 1930s and was originally used as an actual treatment for some psychiatric issues. Unlike some other drugs that you may need to smoke or inject into a vein, LSD is ingested orally by being placed on items such as a sugar cube or blotter paper. LSD is a very popular drug amongst high school and college students and studies show that approximately 20 million individuals in the United States over the age of 12 have used LSD at least one time in their lifetime. It has different effects from person to person, but there are, ultimately, serious psychological effects of LSD in the long and short term period.
One of the most common short term effects of LSD is the sense of euphoria. Many people often believe that euphoria is good, but on the contrary, euphoria can be good or bad. When referring to the sense of euphoria with LSD, it’s often called a “trip”. Meaning, if the user has a good experience while using the drug, it’s considered to be a “good trip”, and if it happens to be a particularly bad episode, it’s considered as a “bad trip.” Users never really know what type of trip they will have from one use to the next, as it often varies in each individual from day to day.
The psychological effects of LSD do not stop at just hallucinations and whether or not a user has a bad trip. When a user begins to hallucinate and have delusions while taking LSD, it can be a gateway to other issues such as anxiety, depression, mood swings, psychosis, and even suicidal thoughts. The anxiety becomes present when a user may have a “bad trip” and there is a sense of danger or threat to that person or someone they care about. A user may also notice an increase apprehension without knowing why, because of the physical that LSD has on the body like high blood pressure and increased heart rate. Sometimes “trips” can send users into a state of depression and users will suffer from reduced appetite, insomnia, sadness, and a feeling that one is just hopeless. This feeling of hopelessness may sometimes lead to suicidal thoughts. LSD plays a part in the onset of acute psychosis in individuals who have been somewhat healthy previously and increases the likelihood in those individuals who may have a family history of schizophrenia.
Another long-term psychological effect of LSD is Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD) which are altered perceptions as if the user was experiencing a “trip”, just after the “trip” is already over. This can occur days, months, or even a year after the original use. This can become so severe and incontrollable, that it’s frightening to the person that is having the experience. It makes it hard for individuals to function in daily life. It also causes an altered sense of reality after using it for so long. Some users are not even sure if these events are happening in real time. This can drive users into a state of paranoia to the point that they actually commit suicide or end up dying in some sort of accident.
Fortunately, unlike most other drugs, LSD is not physically addictive and does not require a specific amount of time for detoxification, however, since it brings on so many emotional problems, the user may need some sort of integrated treatment to assist with the treatment of the substance abuse, along with addressing the mental issues. This would increase the likelihood of recovery.