Physical/Emotional Complications from LSD

Man showing range of emotions from LSD.

Contributor: Jennifer Tokar CCAC, writer for Addiction Hope

Lysergic acid diethylamide or LSD, also known as such names as blotter, mica, tripping, windowpane, tab, acid, California sunshine and many more…It’s all the same to your brain and is a powerful hallucinogen that is very unpredictable. You never know how you will react to this substance and even in small amounts it can alter your brain chemistry, possibly for good.

The Effect of LSD

Some people experience complete terror while on the drug and others explain feelings of being enlightened or experiencing such altered things as tasting color and seeing sound. One might feel they have the ability to walk through items, or even such otherwise unrealistic things, like fly.

Guy tripping out from LSDSome of the physical effects can be a higher or lowered body temperature, numbness, sweating, dilated pupils, inability to sleep, eat and jittering or twitching. Due to LSD’s distorting effects, the mind of a user may experience panic, depression, fear, psychosis, severe mood changes that can often cycle quickly, and delusions – to name just a few.

It can impair your sense of depth, time and reality so much that one risks injury through doing things they would normally not do; such as standing on a busy street looking at the colors, talking to them. People can cycle through multiple emotions all at once, and rapidly at that, a flooding of emotional and sensory overload.

Users often talk about something called flashbacks and this is a re-experiencing the effects of the drug, these flashbacks can last days to years and there is no way of telling when, where or how intense these will be. Often the mood a user is experiencing prior to administering this substance to themselves will be heightened by the drug – this means if you are feeling depressed it could be experienced 100 fold worse or more. How about 12 hours of heightened anxiety? This also means this substance can exacerbate any underlying mental health concern a user has.

Lack of Control

Girl with head in her knees so to LSD.The thing about substances like this is they are not controlled by any government or medical organization and anyone who fancies themselves a chemist can start making it and selling it to you all the while preaching its purity and safety to those they offload it on. Timothy Leary’s (1920-1996) words in the 1960’s “turn on, tune in, and drop out” still echo strong in some people’s minds, with wishes they never listened to them!

These are the personal and professional views of the author’s professional and personal experience as an addiction counselor in the field of addiction and mental health. It is always recommended to seek professional advice and treatment.

Community Discussion – Share your thoughts here!

Have you or your loved one undergone treatment for an addiction to LSD? What types of after care support were utilized?

Image of Jennifer TokarAbout the Author: Jennifer Tokar CCAC is a Canadian Certified Addiction Counsellor and has been working in the field of addiction and mental health in a variety of capacities for 17 years. Jennifer feels a strong passion to give back and has engaged in many volunteer opportunities over the years including sitting on the steering committee that organizes a yearly family violence conference as well as sitting on the board of governors of a non-profit organization. Jenifer ensures she stays up to date and current with best practice in the field of addiction counselling by attending various trainings and conferences throughout the year. Currently Jennifer is working towards her Bachelor of Social Work as well as her Clinical Traumatologist Certification. Jennifer has been in recovery from a heroin and cocaine addiction for the past 19 years and this has afforded her a perspective not available to some when working with the newly recovering addict.

The opinions and views of our guest contributors are shared to provide a broad perspective of addictions. These are not necessarily the views of Addiction Hope, but an effort to offer discussion of various issues by different concerned individuals.

We at Addiction Hope understand that addictions result from a combination of environmental and genetic factors. If you or a loved one are suffering from an addiction, please know that there is hope for you, and seek immediate professional help.

Last Updated & Reviewed By: Jacquelyn Ekern, MS, LPC on April 24, 2016
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