A study released in January 2008 found that about 3.1 million people in the US between the ages of 12 to 25 said they had used LSD.

LSD is one of the most potent, mood-changing drugs on the market. It is illegal in the United States and many other countries.

LSD is sold on the street in small tablets, capsules or squares. The result is always the same no matter what form it comes in – a total disconnect from the real world. 

When the purity of LSD is not high, things can go really wrong. This is known as a bad trip.   

Read on for all your answers about LSD withdrawal and detox.  

What Causes LSD Withdrawal?

LSD is a hallucinogenic drug that is not physically addictive. In other words, an LSD user’s brain doesn’t become dependant on the drug.

But, a person can develop a psychological dependency on LDS. 

When a person begins taking LSD, he or she likely enjoys the way the drug makes them feel. Then, the person has a growing desire to recreate that sensation.

After continual use, a person will develop a tolerance to LSD. Then, he or she will need a stronger dose to get the same trip. 

LSD Withdrawl Symptoms

The withdrawal symptoms of LSD are different than those of other drugs. During withdrawal, users will not experience sweating, vomiting or nausea.

LSD withdrawal is mainly a desire to take more LSD to feel the effects of the drug. People may experience a sense of hopelessness and even paranoia from long-term and frequent use of LSD.

Those who take high doses of LSD may experience the following withdrawal symptoms.

Anxiety

A common withdrawal symptom of LSD is anxiety. LSD users will likely feel anxious about how the lack of LSD will impact their life and habits.  

Confusion

Confusion is a common sign of LSD withdrawal. During trips, LSD users can’t always tell what is a hallucination. It may take a few days for your brain to return to normal processing.  

Flashbacks

Another common LSD withdrawal symptom is flashbacks, also known as hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD).

Flashbacks can happen after only one dose. 

When people are no longer using LSD, they may re-live some of their experiences while under the drug’s influence.

They could relive a past hallucination or some of the emotions they felt during a trip. 

Lack of Concentration

Without the heightened sense that LSD offers, people coming off LSD will have a hard time concentrating. It may take several weeks to regain a normal attention span.   

Psychosis

LSD can trigger psychosis that mirrors schizophrenia. This can occur in people who are vulnerable to psychosis, schizophrenia or substance abuse. 

Some people can struggle with psychosis years after their interaction with LSD.

Duration of LSD Withdrawal 

How long LSD withdrawal takes depends on many factors. 

First, it depends on how long someone was using the drug. A person’s tolerance and emotional dependency on LSD greatly depends on how long he or she was using it. 

How often a person was taking LSD is also a factor. 

LSD Withdrawal Timeline

First 24 Hours:

  • Acute withdrawal symptoms will occur including: 
    • Nausea
    • Insomnia
    • Vomiting
    • Anxiety
    • Sweating
    • Minor Tremors
    • Delirium
    • Seizures (In some cases)

1 Day – 7 Days:

  • Stronger withdrawal symptoms will occur:
    • Strong Anxiety 
    • Strong Insomnia 
    • Frequent Anxiety
    • Headaches
    • Heavy Nausea which can lead to vomiting
    • Confusion and Intense Delirium
    • Hallucinations
    • Moderate Tremors 
    • Hypertension
    • Seizures (In some cases)

Detoxing from LSD on Your Own

One of the biggest challenges for those who are recovering from LSD is the feeling of dependency on it. Many users feel they can’t enjoy their lives without it. 

This is why detoxing on your own is extremely difficult. In order to be successful, you will need a strong support system. Most people benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy and either one-on-one or small-group therapy.

Medical Detox for LSD

While some people can detox from LSD at home, many will need the help of a medical detox center. Here, a team of highly trained professionals will help people safely detox from LSD.

LSD detox is customized for each individual. That’s because the effects of LSD are different for each user.

An LSD recovery center can help individuals with hallucinations, anxiety attacks, fear, extreme mood swings, suicidal thoughts, and psychosis.

Medical treatments may include diazepam or triazolam which can subdue terror or panic. Antipsychotic tranquilizers might also be used in extreme cases when the patient is at risk for hurting him or herself or others. 

Once the initial effects of LSD withdrawal are under control, a patient will progress to the next steps in LSD recovery.

During this stage of recovery, LSD users will get the tools they need to learn about healthy and safe coping mechanisms for dealing with life. They may need to explore mental issues that led to LSD dependency as well as co-addictions.  

Final Thoughts

LSD is a dangerous drug that can impair a user’s ability to make rational decisions. Worse, LSD users are at risk for long-lasting psychoses or severe depression.

If you or someone you know is struggling with an LSD addiction, there is hope.

At Addiction Treatment Services, we can help. We can talk to you about addiction, treatment or scheduling an intervention. You don’t have to face this challenge alone.

Call us today to speak to one of our addiction intervention specialists.