LSD is one of the most well-known hallucinogens, a group of psychoactive drugs that have been used recreationally for centuries as a way to alter perception. Whilst LSD is generally considered to be a non-addictive drug, many can become addicted to the sounds they hear and visions they have whilst on the drug, which often changes users’ perception of reality and leads to 'revelations' about life.
LSD is not considered to be a physically addictive drug. However, regular recreational use can result in a behavioural addiction. Considered to be psychologically addictive, users crave the drug because of its hallucinogenic effects.
Those who develop this type of psychological addiction are at a higher risk of suffering flashbacks and developing long term mental illness. People who use LSD over a longer period of time can also build up resistance, meaning larger amounts of the drug are required in order to feel its effects. This is very dangerous as it risks toxicity and potentially, overdose. It also increases the chance of users suffering injury as a result of their actions while under the influence of the drug.
As discussed above, use of LSD does not lead to physical addiction in the way that other drugs such as cocaine can, but use of LSD can lead to behavioural addiction and tolerance, causing a user to require more of the drug, much like a true addiction.
Regular use of LSD can lead to a tolerance for the drug, causing the user to take higher doses more frequently to get the same hallucinatory effects.
People who are susceptible to peer pressure may be more likely to develop an LSD addiction, alongside individuals who engage in risk-taking behaviour.
Hallucinogens such as LSD induce significant physical and behavioural changes. Although they are the direct result of the effects of the drug, rather than a physical addiction, there are a number of physical and behavioural symptoms to look out for if you or someone you know has a problem with LSD.
- Dilated pupils
- Increased heart rate
- Dry mouth
- Weakness and tremors
- Tingling in fingers and toes
- Sweating or chills
- Blurred vision
- Loss of coordination
- Suicidal thoughts
LSD abuse – and indeed drug abuse of any kind – is different to LSD addiction. Drug abuse is often the first step on the road to addiction. LSD abuse can lead to mental disorders, flashbacks and severely impacts on your ability to handle your usual responsibilities, for instance going to work. LSD ‘addiction’ develops when you seek the drug more frequently in order to experience the trip, and when you develop a tolerance to the drug causing you to increase the dose.