Is LSD Addictive?

Is LSD Addictive?

The drug known as LSD or Acid was created to treat issues in the respiratory system. The 1938 research went nowhere until the Swiss chemist creating the drug ingested it himself. This occurred in 1943 and is touted as the discovery of LSD’s hallucinogenic properties. However, it wasn’t until the 1970s that researchers began to notice that LSD was indeed an addictive drug with horrible side effects. How addictive is LSD? Although the drug appears on the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency’s List of Controlled Substances as a Schedule I drug, it is not as addictive most of the lethal drugs in the category. But it is still very dangerous. LSD is listed among other dangerous drugs, including marijuana, PCP and heroin.

Understanding LSD Dependency and Tolerance

LSD user become dependent due to tolerance of the drug that builds quickly. It has a very lengthy high, often up to 12 hours. While high, the users can retreat from life’s problems into a world of enhanced bodily sensations or a trip. During this and subsequent trips, the user loses a little hold on reality and a sense of self. The user also develops an addiction to the drug with every trip and is soon dependent. LSD dependence manifests itself physically in the user’s need to use more to achieve the same high. The psychological dependence occurs in people who use LSD to escape and users who think they need the LSD to function socially (have fun at parties, for example). Those increasingly larger doses of the drug to achieve a high are the root of dependence. However, LSD users are known to overcome the dependence permanently.

Finding Help

Although LSD isn’t as widely used today as it was during the psychedelic era, the drug has been rediscovered by every generation since then. It’s because LSD high is a hallucinogenic trip that engulfs all of the senses. Users feel as though their senses are heightened. Some of them may even combine, making users believe that they can hear colors and patterns, for example. Some people even claim to see musical sounds. The bad trips, however, can be like living nightmares that lead users in dangerous activities. It is after these trips that people usually seek help. Treatment exists in the form of counseling and group therapies. The traditional rehabilitation method of treating addiction usually does not apply as LSD is not a difficult drug to overcome.


LSD, Center for Substance Abuse Research, University of Maryland.

LSD Fast Facts, National Drug Intelligence Center; U.S. Department of Justice.

Hallucinogens, National Institute on Drug Abuse, Nationa Institutes of Health.

Controlled Substances, U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.

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