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What Is LSD Detox And Withdrawal?
LSD detox involves the process of clearing the body of the substance, as well as any side effects of use and withdrawal symptoms. LSD (or Lysergic Acid Diethylamide) is a Hallucinogenic drug that causes auditory and visual hallucinations by interacting with specific serotonin receptors in the brain. Its short-term effects also include amplified moods, quickly changing moods, increased blood pressure, elevated heart rate, and heightened body temperature. Typically, LSD is considered low-risk for addiction – though there are reports of psychological dependence.
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When individuals who are dependent on taking LSD to feel normal or manage their normal routine stop using the drug, they might feel withdrawal symptoms like:
- Cravings to use again
- Depressed mood
- Difficulty separating reality from hallucinations
- Flashbacks to hallucinations
Regardless of physical or psychological dependence, taking LSD will produce a tolerance to its effects within a few days. As such, taking LSD (as well as other classic Hallucinogens, like Psilocybin Mushrooms) will have no effect after up to four days of consistent use.
It can take up to 24 hours after an LSD “trip” for the body to return to its normal state. Side effects can include feelings of fatigue, depressed mood, insomnia, and body pain. However, anyone may develop conditions like Hallucinogen-persisting perception disorder (HPPD) and persistent psychosis – even after the first use – after taking LSD. Both conditions are characterized by visual hallucinations and may cause persistent confusion, paranoia, and mood changes. Psychological conditions are more likely to appear in people with latent mental health concerns or a history of mental health treatment.
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Can LSD Cause A Physical Dependency?
Physical dependency on LSD is rare, and most withdrawal symptoms that occur, if they occur at all, tend to be psychological in nature. However, drugs affect every individual differently; there’s no guarantee that, after sustained use, a physical dependency won’t develop over time.
In fact, that’s exactly what happened in at least 1 case recorded in the Journal of Substance Use. A male user abused LSD for 2 years; this pattern of prolonged use is not commonly seen with LSD. The user did begin to exhibit physical withdrawal symptoms upon cessation of use; he also felt cravings for the drug when he was not using it.
It’s worth stressing that this anecdotal account of physical dependency may be an extreme outlier, as the authors of the case report themselves stated, “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first report of physical dependence to LSD.”
That’s not to say it will be the last, however. Overall, repeated abuse of any drug can increase the likelihood of physical dependency and withdrawal symptoms developing; LSD is, apparently, no exception to this rule. No matter a given individual’s risk of developing a physical addiction, or their pattern of use, no drug as potent as LSD should be taken lightly.
How Do I Know If I Need LSD Detox?
While the effects of LSD don’t trigger intense, drug-seeking behavior like Opioids, some people may become addicted to hallucinations and disassociating from reality. Moreover, it is not uncommon for illicit drug manufacturers to add other drugs (like Cocaine) to increase the substance’s high. Mixing LSD with other drugs or taking other substances while using LSD (known as co-abuse) increases the risk of negative physical side effects (such as vomiting, heart attack, or panic) overdose, and developing an addiction.
If you’re unsure whether you or someone you know needs to detox from LSD, there are several signs to look out for. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM–5) lists six criteria for drug dependence, including:
- Taking larger doses over longer periods of time than intended
- Unsuccessful attempts to cut down on use
- Spending significant time using the substance or recovering from its effects
- Leaving important social, professional, and personal responsibilities due to substance use
- Continued use despite knowledge of negative effects
LSD Detox And Therapy
Currently, the FDA has not approved any medications for the treatment of addiction to LSD or other classic Hallucinogens. Furthermore, there are no established clinical treatments for the long-term effects of Hallucinogen abuse, including HPPD. Physicians may prescribe Antidepressants or Antipsychotic medication to help alleviate psychoses and boost mood. Also, psychotherapy may benefit people suffering mixed feelings, flashbacks, anxiety, and paranoia.
There is no set time for LSD detox or treatment for an addiction. Most treatment facilities offer detox programs up to 5 or 7 days in length. After, inpatient or outpatient rehab therapy is recommended to give people a solid foundation for a lasting recovery.
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