Understanding LSD Addiction, Abuse & Treatment

Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) is well known throughout the world as one of the most used drugs of the 60’s and even the 70’s. The use of this substance has decreased significantly, and many don’t realize it is still circulating. As an extremely powerful drug, some may become addicted to the hallucinogenic visions and euphoric feelings that it provides the user with.

We will go over some information regarding LSD and LSD addiction, so you can better understand this substance and how it affects the person.

What is LSD?

LSD is synthetically created from the fungus that is often found in grains or on rye. It is also sometimes referred to as “acid”, though there are numerous other street names that it can also be called. Those that use LSD are known to be going on a “trip”.

It is a hallucinogenic drug that induces a wide range of psychological effects on the user. The individual might experience visions and sensations while under the influence of this substance. While they might think something is happening, or they can hear or see something, it is, in fact, not really happening. These hallucinations may seem real to the person, but they are not.

History of LSD

LSD has a long history and many uses. First synthesized in the 1930s by a Swiss scientist, Albert Hofmann. Experimenting with the chemicals found in rye, he accidentally came across the hallucinogenic effects of the drug by ingesting a small amount. He noticed brightly colored shapes that had a kaleidoscope effect on them.

LSD was used during the Cold War to gather information and try mind control on prisoners by the Central Intelligence Agency. However, with time, it became a widely used drug and a symbol in the 1960s for recreational purposes.

It wasn’t until April 19, 1943, when he took a larger dose did he realize the potential effects it could have. He then took a ride on his bicycle while being on his first-ever trip. This is why April 19 is celebrated by those that use LCD as “bicycle day.”

The drug continued to grow in popularity with the military and other government officials and then was introduced to the drug market in the late ’50s. It then became a widely used street drug by “hippies” of the ’60s and ’70s.

Today, LSD is less commonly found on the streets, though it can still be purchased and used. Ecstasy, Molly, and PCP are all popular choices for users that want to have somewhat of the same effects of LSD.

Now is the Time to
Seek Help

Call us today.

What Does LSD Look Like?

Many wonder what LSD looks like, or resembles, and how it is taken in order for the user to feel the effects of the drug.

LSD is clear and odorless with a slightly bitter taste. It is a crystal that is water-soluble. Usually, the liquid is then placed into a dropper and placed on a little thin sheet of paper known as a “blotter” which the user would then place on their tongue.

It can also be placed inside capsules or dropped onto candy or sugar cubes to be dissolved in the mouth.

LSD Dosage

The dosage is usually something that is not thought about when the person using takes it. They may start with a small strip of blotter and then move on adding more depending on the trip that they go on.

A moderate dose (75–150 μg p.o.) of LSD will is known to alter the state of consciousness significantly. This alteration is characterized by stimulation of affect (which is experienced as euphoria), enhanced capacity for introspection, and altered psychological functioning. Perceptual changes such as illusions, pseudohallucinations, synesthesias, and alterations of thinking and time experience can also occur.

The minimal recognizable dose of LSD in humans is about 25 μg p.o. The “optimum” dosage for a typical fully unfolded LSD reaction is estimated to be in the range of 100–200 μg .

Traumatic experiences (called “bad trips”) can have long‐lasting effects on LSD users, including mood swings and rarely flashback phenomena. It should be noted, however, that these generally take place in uncontrolled conditions. Conversely, it has been shown that under controlled and supportive conditions, the LSD experience may have lasting positive effects on attitude and personality.

The amount taken varies by the person and the strips or blotters that the person has. Some will tell you how much is placed in the strips, while others may not have any information on them whatsoever. It is important that if you know someone that has taken a very high dosage of LSD that you find them help, so they do not hurt themselves or anyone around them, as they are not coherent to the world around them.

Signs, Symptoms and Side Effects of Using LSD

Those who use LSD will show common signs and symptoms, and long-term, repeated use may even have serious side effects.

It may be hard to determine if the person is abusing the drug unless they are regularly on a trip with it. However, the common signs of abuse and addiction will be present, such as:

  • Lying
  • Exhibiting behaviors of manipulation
  • Disorganization
  • Not carrying on meaningful relationships
  • Not engaged in everyday activities

Physical symptoms of using or being high on LSD include, but not limited to:

  • Extreme sweating
  • Out of sorts
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Dilated pupils
  • Impaired coordination
  • Restlessness
  • Rapid movements
  • Poor judgment and decision-making
  • Overly empathetic
  • Highly emotional
  • No sense of time and space
  • Paranoia
  • Difficulty holding conversations or concentrating

The signs and symptoms may vary from person to person, as well as how much LSD they’ve taken. Usually, if a person is addicted to LSD, they spend most of their time trying to find ways to get it. This type of behavior is most often seen in those that have some sort of addiction, as this becomes their normal response.

There are also side effects that come with using this drug. Sometimes, depending on the trip, the user may even experience seizures while they are high on it, and this is known as a “bad trip”. Other side effects of repeated use include:

  • Increase heart rate and blood pressure
  • Anxiety or panic attacks
  • Vomiting
  • Extreme sweating
  • Raised body temperature
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weakness and tingling
  • Dry mouth
  • Blurred vision
  • Chills

The severity of the side effects should warrant seeking medical attention.

There are times, such as when a person is having a seizure, where medical attention is necessary to ensure that the person is safe. The effects that LSD can have on the system and person vary. The drug is unpredictable, and because of this, many people may not have a “good time”, while others will.

Now is the Time to
Seek Help

Call us today.

How Long Does LSD Stay in Your System?

If you are wondering how long does LSD last, then you have to consider the person, how much is taken, and their tolerance to this particular drug. The acute psychological effects of LSD last between 6 and 10 h, depending on the dose applied.

LSD can be eliminated from the body relatively quickly when compared to other hallucinogens. It generally leaves the body entirely within five days from using it. It can be detected in blood for up to 12 hours, and in urine for up to eight hours.

Some factors that might determine how long LSD remains in the body are also the age of the user, their weight, how much food they’ve eaten, liver function, and how often they use LSD regularly.

An LSD drug test has to be performed within a few hours after taking the drug in order to be detected in the system.

Causes of LSD Addiction

Just like with any other addiction, LSD addiction usually happens because the person enjoys the way the drug makes them feel. However, it has been shown that hallucinogens are less likely to be abused or become addicted to. There are also other factors that can cause a person to fall into LSD addiction, such as:

  • Depression, anxiety, or other mental disorders that the person uses LSD to hide from, instead of finding help for them.
  • The person continues to use LSD regularly, which builds up a tolerance, causing them to continue to use more.
  • Addictive behavior and deposition can lead to addiction to LSD.

There are a number of reasons for being addicted to any substance, but if you are, it is important to seek the necessary help right away.

LSD Addiction Statistics and Facts

Learning more about LSD and the lives it has touched can help you determine if you are someone that requires help, or if you know someone who may.

It was shown that over 20 million people that are aged 12 or older have used LSD at least once in their lifetime. Additionally, in a report published on the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse indicate that an estimated 20.2 million U.S. residents aged 12 and older used LSD at least once in their lifetime. The survey also revealed that many teenagers and young adults use LSD—742,000 individuals aged 12 to 17 and 4.5 million individuals aged 18 to 25 used the drug at least once.

LSD is not considered a highly addictive drug. The people who use it do not show addictive behavior by using it a few times, but they may develop a tolerance to it, which can cause them to seek out higher dosages, which can become dangerous.

If you or someone you know is addicted to LSD, or any other drug, please seek the appropriate help from the many facilities that you can find with us. We not only provide comfortable accommodations, but also the ability to speak with someone that understands the issue. We can work with you on a number of insurance or billing-related issues, while working on other issues, such as emotional or mental health issues that may be the root cause of the addiction. Reach out and call for help today.



Medical disclaimer:

Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.

Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.

Sunshine Behavioral Health Facilities


Chapters Capistrano


Monarch Shores


Mountain Springs


Willow Springs


Lincoln Recovery

Find out more about our admissions process