Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) is a popular hallucinogenic drug. LSD is ingested orally through tiny colorful pieces of paper that contain the drug.
As a parent, it may be hard to determine whether your teenager is using LSD. The drug leaves no physical residue because the drug easily melts in the mouth. You will not find wrappers, spoons, lighters, and needles which can often be associated with drug use.
Teens who use and abuse LSD may develop serious long-term effects associated with the drug. This article seeks to guide you on understanding LSD, the signs and symptoms of LSD use and abuse, and treatment options available for teenagers abusing LSD.
What is LSD and How Does it Work?
LSD is a synthetic (artificial) hallucinogenic drug. It was first developed for medical research to treat mental health conditions like Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and anxiety disorders. However, the drug was quickly made illegal and listed in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. The schedule lists drugs with no medical use but have a high potential for abuse. LSD is a non-addictive drug. LSD distorts the user’s perception of time, sound, and sight, which may cause the user to be addicted to the high associated with LSD. This high is commonly called an “acid trip.”
LSD works by disrupting the function of brain cells. It amends/encourages the production and use of sensory chemicals which distort the perception of reality. The sensory chemicals give the user visual and auditory hallucinations, slowed perception of time, and the feeling of connection with the environment and a higher power. LSD interacts with serotonin receptors, specifically the 5-HT2AR receptor. LSD binds to the receptor, which then prevents it from detaching easily. This leads to the prolonged high/trip associated with LSD.
Prevalence of LSD and Acid Use in Teens
According to the National Drug Intelligence Center, it is estimated that around 20.2 million individuals in the United States have taken LSD at least once during their life. From this figure, around 742,000 are aged between 12-17 years old, while 4.5 million are aged between 18-25. It is also estimated, from a University of Michigan Monitoring Study, that about 8 percent of high school students have used LSD once.
How common, then, is LSD? From the figures, LSD is not as common as other common drugs used by teens.
Teenagers experiment with acid for many reasons. These include the euphoria associated with LSD, distorted perception of time, sound, and visuals, attempting to fit in with a certain crowd of peers, and popular media depiction of the drug. Movies and music depict LSD as a euphoric drug that connects the person to their spiritual core.
Risks and Dangers of LSD and Acid Addiction in Teens
Popular media portrays LSD as a party drug with few side effects. Experts have been vocal about the risks and dangers associated with LSD. One of the risks of LSD use is that its tolerance builds very easily, leading to individuals using increasing amounts of the drug with every use.
LSD is considered a non-addictive drug because it does not cause cell damage to cells linked to compulsive use. Teens who use LSD may develop an addiction to the distorted perception of reality, encouraging continued drug use. It has both physical and mental effects. Some short-term physical effects of LSD abuse include:
- Increased heart rate/ heart arrhythmia,
- Increased blood pressure,
- Loss of appetite,
- Dilated pupils,
- Flushed face,
- Blurred vision,
Prolonged abuse of LSD may lead to an increased risk of persistent psychosis and Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD). Persistent psychosis involves long-lasting visual disturbances, paranoia, and disorganization of one’s thoughts.
HPPD may involve vivid flashbacks and persistent hallucinations long after the drug’s last use. These flashbacks can occur up to a year after the last use of LSD. HPPD causes severe anxiety, paranoia, and bad trips. These effects can be very difficult to manage.
LSD use can also lead to an increased risk of strained interpersonal relationships. Teens who abuse LSD may become more detached from reality and isolated. This may strain relationships with their family and peers.
Since LSD is categorized in Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act, it carries legal consequences. Possession of LSD may range from a class A misdemeanor to a class A-II felony. Depending on the state, teens caught with LSD may be liable, on conviction, to imprisonment for varying lengths of time.
The Effects of LSD and Acid Addiction on Teens’ Lives
LSD addiction affects various aspects of a teenager’s life. These range from academic to social effects. These effects include:
- Failing or dropping out of school
- Difficulties maintaining employment
- Strained relationships
- Loss of trust from family members and friends
- Increased conflict
- Excessive spending
- Legal fees and fines due to drug-related crimes
- Financial dependence on others
- Increased risk of physical injury
- Onset/worsening of mental health conditions
- Increased risk of overdose
If your teen is experiencing any of these effects, it is important to seek LSD addiction treatment.
Types of Teen Rehab for LSD and Acid Addiction: Treatment Approaches and Methods
You might be wondering how to help your teen struggling with LSD abuse. At Key Healthcare, we offer professional services geared toward helping adolescent recover from teenage drug abuse and other mental health conditions.
Our team of specialists offers quality services conducive to treating teen mental health and substance abuse. Key Healthcare offers various services that are flexible with how much care the teen needs. These services range from intensive outpatient programs (teen IOP) to residential treatment center (RTC) programs. These evidence-based programs are very effective at helping teens cope with stress and substance abuse.
Residential Treatment Center (RTC)
Key Healthcare’s RTC facility in Malibu is a specialized teen drug rehab facility specializing in treating mental health conditions and teen addiction. It is reserved for teens who require very high levels of care and may pose a threat to themselves or the community.
The program runs for 45-60 days at the Malibu Facility. The RTC program uses various evidence-based methods to treat teen conditions and offers mental health support. Residential treatment center for teens is an effective LSD addiction treatment program as it utilizes the following holistic rehab approaches to treat LSD addiction:
Art therapy for teens is a method used to treat addiction by providing the mind with a challenge. Art has been shown to be therapeutic since it is a good form of expressing one’s thoughts. In the RTC program, art therapy is administered by professionals. It helps the teen avoid the unpleasant thoughts connected to addiction while relieving stress. Stressful situations can cause substance abuse; art therapy helps alleviate this stress. Art therapy allows teenagers to paint, draw, and sculpt what pleases them. This helps them not to think about the drugs they take.
Teen music therapy has been used effectively to treat various conditions in children and teens. It utilizes evidence-based musical interventions to foster open communication, reduce stress, and distract patients from life’s stress. It can treat LSD addiction in teens by encouraging holistic healing through musical interventions.
It involves dancing, creating music, playing musical instruments, listening to music, and singing along to the music. Doing this fosters an environment where they can express themselves through lyrics and movements. It also builds interpersonal relationships by fostering group cohesiveness.
Individual and Family Therapy
Teen individual therapy offers a conducive environment for teenagers to express their feelings. They can address their stressors and learn how to cope with them. During Teen family therapy sessions, teens can understand how their drug addiction affects their family while the family learns how to better support teens struggling with addiction.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
CBT for teens is an effective substance abuse treatment strategy. It encourages teenagers to change their behavior and thoughts about certain issues. If they can control their thoughts on LSD, they can avoid the drug and treat their addiction.
Negative thoughts often feed into a vicious cycle of thoughts and drug abuse. Negative thoughts may lead the teen to seek out the euphoria associated with LSD. CBT is done during individual or group therapies during the residential treatment program.
Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT)
DBT for teens is an evidence-based therapy for addiction and other mental health conditions. It is designed to help your teenager learn how to manage their emotions and learn skills to cope with stress.
The skills they learn during DBT help them live healthier lifestyles. DBT teaches teenagers how to manage their emotions, especially in stressful situations. It focuses on the belief that you can have two opposing thoughts that can both be true. This belief helps teens accept themselves and connect with their inner selves. It teaches teens mindfulness, distress tolerance, emotional regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness.
These skills help the teen develop healthy coping mechanisms instead of chasing the euphoric feeling associated with LSD use.
Contingency-Management Based Interventions (CM)
CM-based interventions are an alternative to traditional CBT and DBT treatments. It was developed to enhance the outcomes of therapy.
CM interventions were developed based on research demonstrating that drug abuse is connected to environmental consequences, i.e., reinforcement and punishment contingencies. Research has demonstrated CM efficacy in treating substance abuse by increasing the:
- Abstinence from alcohol and other drugs like LSD
- Retention of counseling services
- Completion of therapeutic activities
Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP)
The IOP program was developed for teens who require a lower level of care than those who enroll in the RTC program. It is reserved for mild addiction and mental conditions requiring lower levels of care. The teen IOP offers individual, family, and group therapy for teens struggling with substance abuse, including LSD.
It also offers academic support and aftercare planning to ensure your teenager does not fall behind in school. It also offers addiction education programs to reduce relapse risks.
The IOP runs for 4-12 weeks, depending on various factors, such as the severity of the condition and the level of care needed.
Medications Used in Teen Rehab for LSD Addiction
Medication has developed greatly recently. Different medicines can be used to treat and manage addiction in teens. Addiction medication works by either discouraging the use of the drug or reversing the effects of an overdose.
Drugs such as clonidine are used to treat symptoms experienced during the detoxing stage of treatment. Since LSD is associated with elevated blood pressure, sweating, anxiety, and increased heart rate, clonidine can alleviate these symptoms.
Most other drugs used to prevent drug abuse are designed to prevent adolescent opiate addiction and alcohol abuse.
Choosing The Right Rehab Program for Your Teen
How can you choose the right rehab program for your teen? It would be best if you considered several factors when choosing a rehab facility for your teenager. These factors include:
- Treatment programs. To choose the best rehabilitation facility for your teenager, research what treatment programs are available at that facility. Facilities like Key Healthcare offer several treatment programs, including an Intensive Outpatient Program, Partial Hospitalization Program, Extended Care Program, Behavioral health services, and Teen Residential Treatment Center. These programs offer a variety of treatments for teens suffering from addiction or mental health.
- Costs. They are a big factor when choosing the right rehabilitation facility. Addiction Treatment can be very costly, depending on the type of program and facility you want to enroll your teenager in. You need to research whether the facilities accept insurance and whether your insurance will cover rehabilitation costs.
- Treatment duration. Depending on the level of care needed, you need to consider the treatment duration. The duration will affect the efficacy of the treatment and costs.
- Location. Location is important when choosing a treatment facility. The location will affect the costs of travel and living arrangements.
- Specialization. To receive the best services, ensure you pick a facility specializing in teen care. Teens require different levels of care compared to adults. Facilities specializing in teen care ensure their staff is adequately trained to handle teenagers to offer the best possible care.
The Rehab Process for Teens with LSD Addiction
The rehabilitation process is vital in treating LSD addiction. You might wonder what stages your teen will go through in rehabilitation. Here is a step-by-step process designed for teen drug abuse treatment:
Assessment and Evaluation of Addiction and Co-occurring Disorders
During this stage of treatment, a basic assessment is carried out to evaluate the teen’s readiness to accept help and change. During the basic assessment, the health practitioner gathers information about the teen, problem areas, strengths, and weaknesses.
This information will help the medical practitioner understand the best treatment course for your teenager. The basic assessment also involves collecting information on the teen’s family background, the strength of support, length of LSD use, and mental illnesses. The information collected is vital for determining the best course of treatment.
Detoxification and Withdrawal Management
During this stage, the teen struggling with LSD addiction abstains from taking the drug to cleanse their system of the drug. LSD is a non-addictive drug. It does not cause cell damage that is connected to craving the drug.
At this stage, teens who abuse LSD do not experience withdrawal symptoms, although they may still want to experience the euphoria associated with LSD use.
Individual and Group Therapy
During this stage, the teen talks to a psychologist about their addiction. This stage involves creating a conducive environment that fosters open communication. The teenager expresses themselves to unpack any underlying issues. It also helps them become self-aware and improves the chances of successful rehabilitation.
Teenagers also engage in group therapy to foster a support group through recovery. Adolescent group therapy gives them a chance to understand the challenges their peers have faced to encourage them through rehab. During therapy, teens also receive mental health support to treat co-occurring disorders.
Life Skills and Relapse Prevention Techniques
During this stage, the teenager learns healthy coping mechanisms. They are also taught to have structure and routine to prevent chances of them seeking drugs.
To prevent a relapse, teens are taught self-care techniques such as exercising, eating balanced diets, personal hygiene, and doing relaxing activities. These skills ensure their mind is occupied, reducing the chances of a relapse.
Aftercare support for teens in recovery from LSD Addiction
After successfully navigating rehabilitation, ensuring aftercare services are available to the teen is important. These services include sober living for teens, follow-up treatment, and support groups. These services ensure that the teen feels accountable and confident that they can reach certain milestones. Aftercare ensures a healthy recovery process for teens. For more in-depth information about the importance of teen rehab aftercare program, please check this out.
Overcoming Common Barriers to Teen Rehab for LSD Addiction
Several barriers prevent teenagers from seeking addiction treatment. These barriers include costs, location, and stigma. Treatment facilities can be very costly and dispersed over long distances. These factors make it difficult for teenagers to seek treatment for LSD addiction. Stigma is by far the biggest barrier to seeking treatment.
Teens feel ashamed about their addiction and focus on what their peers will think about them. Society is very harsh on individuals struggling with addiction. This drives teenagers struggling with addiction to refuse treatment and go into isolation. To receive treatment, teens and their families must overcome the stigma of addiction.
In conclusion, LSD has been marketed as the perfect teen party drug. Its hallucinogenic effects distort one’s color, time, and audio perspective. It makes colors more vivid and sounds better to listen to.
However, LSD can have serious side effects. LSD tolerance builds very quickly, forcing the user to increase the dose they administer until they can get the euphoria again. LSD use may cause long-term side effects such as prolonged psychosis, which involves a bad trip long after using the drug.
Teens struggling with LSD addiction need treatment from specialized facilities focusing on teen addiction. During rehabilitation, teens engage in holistic therapies together with evidence-based therapies.
Combining the two treatment methods allows the development of better-coping mechanisms to combat addiction. It is important to seek treatment as soon as possible to ensure the best results.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How long does teen rehab for LSD and acid addiction typically last?
LSD treatment varies depending on the institution and program a teenager is enrolled in. It can range from 30-90 days, depending on the severity of the addiction.
Will insurance cover the cost of teen rehab for LSD and acid addiction?
Insurance may or may not cover teen addiction therapy/treatment. This is dependent on the facility providing care and the insurance provider.
Key Healthcare accepts most insurance covers to ensure the best treatment for LSD addiction at a relatively low cost.
What are the benefits of holistic rehab approaches for teen LSD and acid addiction?
Holistic rehab approaches provide a state of relaxation. They also help teens develop an interest in other activities, such as art and music, to keep them occupied. These activities can be used as coping mechanisms for stress.
What are some relapse prevention techniques for teens with LSD and acid addiction?
To effectively prevent relapse, you need to:
- Identify what triggers you to seek the drug. Is it some people or certain emotions? Identifying the triggers will help you face or avoid them.
- Develop a strong support system. Family, friends, and support groups are invaluable in preventing a relapse. They encourage sobriety to ensure you remain focused on certain sobriety goals.
- Practicing self-care. Taking care of yourself by exercising, eating healthy, and getting enough sleep can help you be healthy and maintain sobriety.
- Managing stress through healthy coping mechanisms. Developing healthy coping mechanisms to help you deal with stress can be effective in maintaining sobriety.
- Avoid risky situations. Avoiding situations that might cause you to use drugs helps promote sobriety.
- Stay busy and committed. Keeping yourself busy ensures you do not have the time to consider drug use. This goes together with staying committed to the goals that you have set.
Can teens receive treatment for co-occurring mental health disorders during rehab for LSD and acid addiction?
Yes. Teens need to receive dual diagnosis treatment for co-occurring mental health disorders while in rehab to ensure they address the root cause of the addiction. Receiving treatment also breaks the vicious cycle that allows addiction to thrive.
Can teens continue their education while in rehab for LSD and acid addiction?
Yes, teenagers in rehab receive academic support from tutors and instructors. This ensures that they do not fall behind in their schoolwork.