LSD Psychosis | Banyan Mass

LSD Psychosis

LSD psychosis

Lysergic acid diethylamide, more commonly known as LSD, is an illegal and very potent hallucinogen that is commonly used recreationally.

It’s sold under street names like acid, blotter, dots, and mellow yellow, to mention a few. LSD dependency is one of the most common addictions faced by young adults because it’s often used in recreational and social settings. As a synthetic drug, it’s manmade and from lysergic acid, which is found in a fungus that grows on bread. Because it’s so potent, LSD is usually sold by the microgram. Users experience a high known as a “trip,” with LSD side effects such as hallucinations and feelings of pleasure. When someone takes too much, however, they may experience anxiety and horrifying hallucinations, in which case they’d be experiencing a “bad trip.” Those who abuse this drug may also have to contend with a form of psychosis as well.

As a Schedule 1 drug, LSD has a high potential for abuse and is extremely dangerous. Our drug and alcohol rehab in Massachusetts offers a variety of treatment options to help those who have become addicted to LSD and want to quit.

What Is LSD Psychosis?

While psychosis can be caused by a variety of other factors, can LSD cause psychosis? The answer is yes. LSD-induced psychosis occurs when a person who has taken LSD experiences intense hallucinations and other psychotic symptoms. The severity of LSD psychosis depends on the dose the person ingested and how frequently they use it. Even in small doses, LSD can remain in the bloodstream for hours, with symptoms persisting until the body completely flushes it out. Individuals with an existing mental disorder may also be more likely to experience LSD psychosis.

LSD psychosis occurs because LSD affects the same chemicals and regions of the brain that cause symptoms of psychotic mental disorders. LSD works by interacting with proteins on brain cells called serotonin receptors. These receptors influence emotions and functions like aggression, anxiety, appetite, learning, memory, and sleep. When LSD blocks serotonin receptors, a person may experience symptoms of psychosis like delusions or hallucinations. They may also experience an intense sense of fear.

A person who continuously uses a drug may eventually develop a tolerance to its side effects, causing them to increase their dosage. Like many other drugs, LSD in high doses is extremely dangerous and can lead to dependency. Those who are addicted to LSD can get help in our partial hospitalization program at Banyan Massachusetts.

Symptoms of LSD Psychosis

As a mind-altering drug, LSD distorts the user’s perception of reality. Its interaction with serotonin is the reason it causes hallucinations and other side effects. Because every person is different, the effects of LSD may vary. Those who suffer from a mental illness are more likely to have a “bad trip.” Mixing LSD with other substances may also produce more intense symptoms.

Common side effects of LSD include:

  • Hallucinations
  • Delusions
  • Distorted or blurred vision
  • Increased heart rate
  • Dilated pupils
  • Confusion
  • Seeing distorted shapes or colors
  • Flashbacks (memories of a past trip)

When people overdose on LSD, they tend to experience psychosis. Health care professionals diagnose LSD psychosis according to specific characteristics. In order to be diagnosed with LSD-induced psychosis, a person must experience the following symptoms:

  • Delusions
  • Hallucinations
  • Experience these symptoms after using drugs or during withdrawal
  • Have symptoms that don’t fall under the category of any other psychotic disorder
  • Experience physical distress or functional impairment from psychosis symptoms

Some additional negative effects of LSD-induced psychosis include increased blood sugar levels, inability to sleep, dry mouth, tremors, and even seizures. A person who’s experiencing psychosis after using LSD may also feel distorted perceptions of time and depth. They may feel out of touch with reality or as if they’re outside their body. LSD psychosis is more than just a bad trip, with symptoms lasting for up to 16 hours.

LSD and psychosis go hand in hand; LSD can cause severe injury in its users. Substance abuse of any kind is not safe. If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction, call Banyan Treatment Centers Massachusetts today at 888-280-4763 to learn more about the addiction programs we offer.


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Alyssa is Banyan’s Director of Digital Marketing & Technology. After overcoming her own struggles with addiction, she began working in the treatment field in 2012. She graduated from Palm Beach State College in 2016 with additional education in Salesforce University programs. A part of the Banyan team since 2016, Alyssa brings over 5 years of experience in the addiction treatment field.