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Can you get addicted to acid LSD?

No. Acid is not considered an addictive drug.

Unlike other recreational drugs, acid generally does not produce compulsive drug-seeking behaviors in those who use LSD.   How long does acid stay in your system?  Up to 5 days after dosing.   However, it is possible to develop a tolerance to acid, which require larger and larger doses to experience hallucinations.   But does acid have long term health effects? Do you need to take it repeatedly to experience negative effects, or is just one hit enough? We explore in more detail below.

Psychoactive ingredients of acid

Acid is the street name for lysergic acid diethylamide, or LSD. Acid is a synthetic drug and is manufactured from lysergic acid – a substance which occurs naturally in ergot fungus on wheat and rye. LSD was first discovered in 1938, and has been manufactured, used and abused since the 1960s for its hallucinogenic effects.

Acid is usually sold as a liquid, or applied to blotter paper, sugar cubes, candy, or gelatin squares. It is also sometimes taken as a tablet or capsule. Acid is taken by mouth and is odorless and colorless.

Acid and the brain

The main effects of acid are seen in the brain and spinal cord. Acid alters a user’s perception of reality, causing them to see images, hear sounds, and experience sensations which are outside of ordinary perception. This altered state of consciousness occurs when LSD disrupts the interactions between nerve cells and the chemical serotonin, a neurotransmitter.

In large enough doses, acid produces delusions and visual hallucinations. These hallucinations may be frightening and causepanic and anxiety, sometimes severe. Most acid “trips” last about 12 hours.

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Other dangers of acid use

LSD can affect each user differently. The risk of negative effects increases with larger doses of the drug. However, the effects of acid vary widely and there’s no reliable way to guess how acid will affect a particular individual.

Acid users can also experience “flashbacks” where they re-experience parts of a previous acid trip, sometimes years later. This can be a traumatic and unpleasant experience. LSD use can also trigger permanent psychological problems, including schizophrenia and depression.

Is it possible to become addicted to acid?

Research shows that most LSD users voluntarily discontinue or decrease use over time. So medical professionals don’t believe it’s possible to become addicted to acid. There is little information on the frequent, repeated use of the drug because such use is extremely rare. No withdrawal effects have been noted upon cessation of LSD dosing. However, tolerance to LSD can eventually develop, leading to riskier behaviors and higher doses.

Questions about LSD use and addiction

Do you have any other questions about using acid and its addiction liability? Please leave your questions below or send us an email. We attempt to respond to all questions about LSD and acid personally and promptly.

Reference Sources: LSD Fast Facts
NIDA InfoFacts: Hallucinogens

Photo credit: shlomoe

Leave a Reply

6 Responses to “Can you get addicted to acid LSD?
Christopher
2:30 pm January 4th, 2015

is there any way to help people who have LSD flashbacks? Or to help someone who has permanent brain damage from acid use?

4:59 pm January 14th, 2015

Hi Christopher. Psychedelics can completely alter a person’s reality. The thing is that in situations like these you can never know. Your friend may return to “normal” soon, but s/he may not. Seeing a psychiatrist may help, but everyone around your friend, including you, can also be supportive and encouraging by being as normal to him/her as possible.

Danielle
1:56 am August 20th, 2015

So if LSD is technically not “addictive”, if a loved one is using it very regularly (multiple times a week) and as a form of escape and as their only way of feeling connected to other people, can they still be called a drug addict? Just having a hard time still feeling validated in telling him he needs help.

Bryan
5:41 am June 4th, 2016

To Christopher;

LSD flashbacks are incredibly rare and over-dramatized in media due to the intriguing mystic of the phenomena which have permeated through popular culture and urban legend.

Hysteria over LSD is written by people who have little idea what they are talking about.

To Danielle:
That seems odd as tolerance to LSD builds very rapidly and most users have to wait a long time between usage before the drug is effective again.

If the person is using LSD to escape a mental health problem, then the only way to help them is to address the mental health problem, not the LSD usage.

If you stop the LSD usage but not the problem they will simply find another crutch, and most crutches are far more dangerous than LSD. I have never known anyone who have had major problems from illegal LSD but many who have suffered from problems with legal gambling, shopping, or diet.

Brayden
10:48 am July 22nd, 2016

Hey, i’ve used LSD 3 times in total and im considering that there might be some form of addiction along with it. After 2-3 days after using it i get excited for my next trip and i start think of the waves of euphoria that wash over me and the beautiful feeling that makes your body want to sway and it makes me want to take it again sooner. I do space it out at least 1 month before doing it again but this feeling of me wanting to do it again is concerning me a little bit.

Thanks

Alphonse
4:13 pm September 15th, 2016

Brayden, I don’t think that’s addiction. You’re just excited about it. You said you space it out at least one month, right? And youo also said you want to use it again. That’s the key word, “want”. You want it, you don’t NEED it. Being dependent to a drug, means you need to use it for some reason, basically, addiction. So, no, you ain’t addicted.

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