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; and increased blood pressure, heart rate, and body temperature. Typically, LSD is considered low-risk for addiction – though there are reports of psychological dependence.
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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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
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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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