LSD is one of the most potent chemicals taken recreationally. It was synthesized first in Switzerland by a chemist who worked for a pharmaceutical company – he was looking for a blood stimulant.
It wasn’t until five years later that that chemist, Albert Hofmann, accidentally consumed the drug. Up to that point, the chemical wasn’t known to be a hallucinogenic substance. Following that accident, tests on the chemical proved that it was worthless for medicinal use, and what remained was distributed widely in the form of free samples.
It was in the 1960s that the drug became more popularly used as a recreational drug, and the LSD that we know today went mainstream.
Is LSD addictive? What are the risks of LSD use? Read on to find out more about this powerful substance.
Is LSD Addictive?
LSD is not an addictive drug. It can, however, have lasting effects, which we’ll look at later in this article.
Consider caffeine. Caffeine is not an addictive substance; it’s quite easy for a person to refrain from consuming the chemical. But some people find it difficult to “get going” in the morning without a burst of caffeine.
In that same way, some people may associate LSD with social situations or a part of their daily routine. They’re not addicted, but they still may consider LSD addictive.
How Does LSD Addiction Develop?
Again, LSD does not fit the definition of an addictive substance. Those who consume acid do not perform compulsive drug-seeking behaviors.
It’s possible, though, for your brain and body to build a tolerance to acid. That means that in order to achieve the same hallucinogenic effects, you’ll need to consume more of the drug, or consume it more frequently.
How Addictive is LSD?
There are no chemical properties which mke LSD addictive. However, it can be psychologically addictive. As mentioned, a person may seek it out as a part of their daily routine, or a social setting. For example, those who party with others who take acid may find themselves associating those friends with a craving for LSD.
You’ve probably heard of LSD referred to as “acid.” There are a few LSD nicknames, and the way LSD is referred is often related to the time period and the region of the world. Here are a few common LSD nicknames:
- Purple haze (also a nickname for Marijuana)
LSD is printed on paper, and is frequently referred to by the images on that paper, as well.
Risks of Taking Acid
Although LSD isn’t a highly addictive drug, there are risks to taking acid. Your body will certainly react to the drug, and there are symptoms you’ll feel, including:
- Increased heart rate
- Dry mouth
- Loss of appetite
The side effects you feel may vary depending on your body composition and the amount of acid you consume.
It’s extremely unlikely that you’ll die from an overdose of LSD. But there are risks to having elevated blood pressure and heart rate. For unhealthy users of acid, the risk of overdose increases. The risk of heart attack and stroke is also increased.
We mentioned a few of the physical effects of LSD. There are, of course, psychological effects as well. A person who uses LSD will experience delusions and vivid hallucinations, as well as a distortion of time.
Paranoia is not an uncommon experience for acid users. These are the short term effects of LSD, but as anyone who has used it heavily can tell you, there are lasting effects as well.
LSD Lasting Effects (Flashbacks)
As you know, taking acid will produce hallucinations. But that’s not just a temporary effect. You can actually suffer from LSD flashbacks.
LSD flashbacks are rare, but they’ve been reported with recreational use since the 1950s. Acid trips can “come back” months, even years after last use.
It’s unclear what causes LSD flashbacks. Some theories claim that the chemical is stored in fatty tissues, or even the spine, and will resurface later in life. This, of course, is alarming. Imaging taking acid at 19, then experiencing a flashback while driving your kids to school at 36.
Other Long Term LSD Effects
Other long term effects of LSD can be experienced with continued use, and most of these effects are behavioral. A person may find himself more aggressive in the long term after LSD use, or more paranoid. Long term LSD effects also include trouble in relationships, psychosis, schizophrenia, depression, anxiety and mood swings.
Again, the side effects that you experience will depend upon your body and your usage habits. One time use of LSD is not likely to have long term and lasting effects. Taking acid heavily and for an extended period of time, however, may.
We’ve gotten a few questions about LSD 25. What is it, and how is it different from other acid?
LSD 25 refers to the 25th lysergic compound synthesized by Albert Hofmann in the initial drug development. The only other compounds which are known to have an effect on the human body and brain are LSA and ALD.
LSA is abundant in, for example, Morning Glory flowers. It’s a chemical precursor used in the creation of LSD, and is a hallucinogenic. LSA is not as potent as LSD.
ALD was another compound developed by Hofmann. Its effects are greatly similar to those of LSD – indistinguishable, even.
In short, LSD 25 is the form of LSD which is taken recreationally as a hallucinogenic drug.
LSD Induced Psychosis
An interesting effect of LSD is that it can mimic the symptoms of psychosis. That’s not so interesting in and of itself, but the research surrounding this has made researchers question the drug.
It was initially thought that LSD was useless as a medicinal chemical. However, recent studies have shown that LSD, in the way that it mimics psychosis, may actually be effective in some cases.
New research suggests that LSD may be useful in treating depression, end of life anxiety and, ironically enough, addiction. The long term effects of LSD for medicinal use are still being studied; don’t expect your doctor to prescribe you acid tomorrow.