Although LSD is generally considered not addictive, there are long term effects associated with continued use. Many people do not experience these effects but the potential for them is there. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, LSD is one of the most powerful of the hallucinogens. Scientists manufactured LSD from the lysergic acid found in ergot, a fungus that grows on rye as well as other grains. Many people believe LSD to be safe for use but many of these long term side effects turn up with extended use.
Scientists do not know where flashbacks come from but they are one of the most common side effects of LSD. A flashback is a vivid hallucination that happens long after the LSD leaves the body. The flashback might be a feeling of déjà vu or a full on sequence from the LSD trip. Most of them are harmless unless someone has an extremely negative experience. Some people report that flashbacks happen, months or even years after the last use of LSD.
2. Hallucinogen Persistent Perception Disorder
Hallucinogen Persistent Perception Disorder or HPPD is a very severe condition that happens after the use of many of the hallucinogens on the market. It is characterized by:
- geometric shapes,
- intense colors,
- strobes or trails on lights and objects,
- objects appearing out of size or shape, and
- color flashes.
In more severe forms, it is debilitating. Many of the symptoms are controllable but HPPD is usually a long term illness. Those who are affected by HPPD spend years in psychotherapy learning to either control the symptoms or live with them.
3. Mood Disorders
One of the common after effects of LSD use is the developing of a mood disorder. This disorder might resemble the singular depression or the dual manic depression (bipolar disorder.) It could also come in the form of something else. Most of the time these mood disorders are not terribly severe, but they are persistent. These disorders are treatable with both counseling and sometimes medication. They are not however curable. Most people with these disorders wind up taking medications for the rest of their lives.
4. Mental Disturbances
Although this is not clearly defined, many people who use LSD for a long time end up slightly mentally disturbed. This is very subtle but definitely an issue. They have problems relating to others and making themselves understood. They experience a disconnect from society, religion, and their families. Again, no one knows the exact cause of this but there are instances of it in long time LSD users. These users generally have issues finding work, making friends, engaging with others on a regular basis. Some have called this problem extreme introversion.
When people use LSD, they can come to believe in things that are not real to the rest of society. In some cases, these delusions are harmless and gradually disappear without the LSD to reinforce them. The delusions are only harmful when they are severe. An example is someone thinking they are something completely different such as a historical figure or mythical being. The delusions often coincide with mental disturbance and mood issues. The majority of the time these are not severe and do not require treatment other than counseling or behavioral therapy.
6. Difficulty with Reality
Along with delusions, people who use a lot of LSD may have difficulty returning to reality. It is possible to get stuck inside an LSD trip. This is extremely rare and most people who have this started with an underlying disconnection to begin with. There is some debate whether the people affected by this have this effect before they tried LSD or not.
Loss of job, loss of family, or loss of something else that you value is sometimes a long term effect of LSD. Although according to the National Library of Medicine LSD is not addictive, there are some users who do not stop using it even though it is causing problems in their life. This can lead to other long term effects as well as social effects such as loss of employment. This is normally a consequence of long term frequent LSD use.
8. Legal Issues
LSD is still an illegal drug in the United States. Most people who are caught with LSD face prison time. In addition, when you use LSD you are not always in control of your actions. This means the LSD might cause you to unknowingly commit a crime or get behind the wheel of a vehicle. Driving while on LSD carries the same penalties as driving while on alcohol or any other drug. If you are caught, you will face legal consequences.
Taking risks or engaging in high risk behaviors is not unusual while you are taking LSD. High risk sex is often a consequence of drug use. If you engage in high risk sex, there is a chance you will get pregnant.
Although it is rare and not the preferred method of taking LSD, people who inject LSD might wind up with a blood born disease. A few examples of this are Hepatitis A, B, or C and HIV. Many of the sexually transmitted diseases and blood born diseases are chronic, fatal, or both.
These are just a few of the potential long term effects of LSD. Even though many people do not end up with them, there is always a chance even if you are just a causal user. If you need help to stop using LSD, please call 800-609-2774, we can help.