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American Addiction Centers National Rehabs Directory

How to Find the Best Residential LSD Recovery Center

Seeking Treatment at an LSD Inpatient Rehab Center

LSD is a hallucinogenic drug well known for its psychological effects on the brain. While the drug has shown little evidence for being physiologically addictive, some users may develop a psychological dependence on it and need substance abuse treatment at a recovery center.

When looking for a treatment center, consider:

Basics of LSD

LSD, or lysergic acid diethylamide, is sold under dozens of different street names including purple dragon, acid, blotter, dots and trips, cid and blue heaven. It works by disrupting nerve cells and serotonin levels in the brain.

The National Institute on Drug Abuse ranks LSD as one of the most powerful mind-altering drugs in North America and possibly the world. Just 30 micrograms, a dose typically smaller than a quarter-inch square of blotter paper soaked in LSD, can produce trips that last up to 12 hours.

Even though the drug is not as strong as it was in the 1960s, LSD is still a popular choice for getting high. Its use is illegal because it delivers a high potential for abuse and serves no medical purpose. Consequently, the U.S. government has listed it as a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act.

Effects of LSD

LSD distorts a person’s perception of reality within 30 to 90 minutes after a dose. It causes a person to see, hear, taste, smell or feel things that are not really there. Time can seem to slow down or speed up, and delusions can lead to a body-altering or out-of-body experience.

Users may go through rapid emotional changes in a manner of seconds, which could lead to a fear of losing control. The nightmarish hallucinations seem so real that they can induce panic and even a fear of insanity or death.

People who abuse LSD may also experience physical symptoms such as increased body temperature, dilated pupils, sweating, nausea, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, increased heart rate and elevations in blood pressure.1

Can You Get Addicted to LSD?

LSD is not physically addictive. However, over time it can elicit patterns of “psychological addiction” by influencing how neurotransmitters function in the brain.2

The drug doesn’t produce any classic cravings that some users experience with physically addictive drugs such as heroin or cocaine. But it does create an environment that the user may strive to reproduce again and again.

Developing Tolerance

The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that LSD users can build up a high tolerance in less than a week of daily use. Tolerance can occur when the drug is used less frequently (more than once per month) but that tolerance resolves after a short time.4

While a single dose may produce a good high for the new user, an experienced person may need to take large quantities at once or several doses over a short period of time to achieve the same results. This behavior increases the chances of developing a psychological addiction. LSD also causes cross-tolerance with other hallucinogens. So taking LSD can lead to desensitization when ingesting hallucinogenicmushrooms, for instance.

Entering an LSD Rehabilitation Program

man talking to doctor at an LSD rehab center
Treatment program types for LSD abuse encompass inpatient and outpatient treatment settings, as well as follow-up to help you maintain your sobriety.

Which treatment option is best for you will depend upon your current circumstances and individual situation.


Inpatient programs occur in either hospital or other residential settings. This means you will live at the treatment facility for 30 days, 60 days or 90 days. Inpatient treatment options will allow you to leave the environment rife with potential drug use triggers and temptations, and move into an environment that is supportive. Group meetings, individual counseling sessions, medication and other medical care will be available.5

Executive and Luxury Rehab

Residential treatment varieties also include those of executive or luxury rehab.


Outpatient options are also available.

Intensive outpatient therapy

This involves attending group counseling and individual sessions for 2 to 4 hours a day, 3 days a week. The focus of these programs is to help prevent a relapse.6

Partial hospitalization

Partial hospitalization is for people with medical needs. You are at the facility and can access hospital services 4 to 5 days a week, 4 to 6 hours each day.

12-Step Programs

A 12-step program is a free program for people suffering from alcohol and drug addictions. They are anonymous and based on support that clients receive from their sponsor. The role of the sponsor is often pivotal to the success of the program and the individual.

Program members sequentially work the 12 steps as part of their ongoing recovery efforts, while being offered considerable community support from other participants. Each step builds upon the previous steps and starts with acknowledging that you have no control over the addictive substance.7

What Does Treatment Include?

man in LSD addiction treatment speaking to a therapist
Recovery begins with an assessment of the substance abuse and any associated mental health or medical conditions. Medical and therapeutic staff members craft treatment options that meet each patient’s needs.

You then undergo a detoxification process to remove any remaining LSD from the body. When ready, you begin psychotherapy to discuss the consequences and triggers of substance abuse, and finally, you are ready to plan for a life without LSD.

Intake Evaluation

An intake evaluation is done before you can participate in the program. It will typically consist of a medical and/or mental health examination. Addiction treatment professionals will conduct an extensive drug history, assess the severity of your LSD addiction and formulate your treatment plan. You may also need to produce certain paperwork, such as court orders, arrest reports and any blood or chemical testing.8


Detox allows your body to rid itself of any remaining toxins before beginning treatment. LSD recovery will usually occur without the physical withdrawal symptoms common with substances such as alcohol, cocaine or heroin. LSD withdrawal symptoms are due to changes in serotonin and dopamine neurotransmitter receptors in the brain. Users may have anxiety and depression—moods influenced by those neurotransmitters. LSD abusers can develop severe depression or psychotic disorders.9


Therapy within the program will engage counselors and therapists who are trained for working with individuals who suffer from substance abuse. The process will help you to repair relationships with friends and family, identify situations that trigger you to use drugs and develop strategies to avoid those situations.


Recovery is an ongoing process, so aftercare is a very important part of the program. How long aftercare is used will depend upon the drug, the person and their lifestyle. It can range from several weeks after the formal program has ended, to a lifetime. Aftercare programs include 12-step programs and groups tailored to meet the needs of specific groups, such as teens, women, men or seniors.10

What Other Factors Should You Consider in a Rehab Program?

There are several factors you’ll want to consider before choosing a substance abuse program.


The cost of the program is often the first question that people ask. If you have insurance, call to speak with a treatment support specialist to determine how much of an inpatient or outpatient program will be covered.

The cost of a rehabilitation program will be based on:

  • Location.
  • Treatments offered.
  • Number and certification of staff.
  • Amenities offered.

Executive and luxury programs will usually be more costly than most standard programs. Some standard programs are free, and some luxury programs will cost tens of thousands of dollars per month.


You must also consider the location of the LSD rehab center to your home and how much you and your family want to travel. While a recovery center closer to home may be slightly more expensive, the additional expense of traveling to visit may make the closer center more cost effective for you and your family.

Type of Treatment

The severity of your addiction is going to determine the level and type of treatment you’ll need to help you recover. If you are suffering from polydrug abuse or a dual diagnosis, you must choose a center that has the qualified staff and individualized treatment programs for your situation—and programs that are familiar with, and have treated people who have experience with, hallucinogen abuse.

Staff Qualifications

Staff at the center should be appropriately licensed. Although licensure is not necessary for treatment, it will increase the probability that the counselors and therapists will be well-educated and prepared. State licensure for therapists is different in each state.

What Other Mental and Substance Abuse Disorders Occur With LSD Abuse?

If a person is diagnosed with substance abuse and a mental health issue, it is called a dual diagnosis. These diagnoses may have been present prior to the drug addiction or as a result of drug use.11

It is important that you find a center that can treat both the drug addiction and the mental health issue. Treating one without the other will increase your potential for relapsing and using drugs once again.

Without simultaneous treatment of any co-existing mental health issues – such as depression or anxiety –you may be tempted to use other drugs to “self-medicate” and feel better.

Polydrug Abuse

Polysubstance abuse is also likely in individuals who use LSD. Most rehabs able to manage instances of LSD abuse will also be able to accommodate for treatment of other types of substance abuse-including alcohol, stimulants and various prescription medications.


LSD affects serotonin and serotonin receptors in the brain. These changes are thought to, in part, mediate the drug’s effects and are likely also involved in the phenomenon that some frequent LSD users experience, known as “flashbacks.”

Unfortunately, flashbacks are common in people who use LSD. They can be frightening and disturbing, occur without warning and can happen a few days or even a year after the last drug use. Some individuals will experience hallucinogen-induced persisting perceptual disorder (HPPD).12 13 HPPD causes persistent flashbacks for years and has been described as the trip that never ends. The probability of developing HPPD is not known, but the effects are well-documented.

Help Someone on a ‘Bad Trip’

During a bad LSD trip the individual will appeared frightened, angry and will try to get away from what they are seeing. Those experiencing a bad trip may appear to those around them as if they are experiencing an anxiety or panic attack.

Fighting the experience will often make it worse. Using the same techniques you would in a panic attack can help.

When to Call 911

In most cases, the LSD high is self-limiting—treatment for the trip itself may not be necessary.

However, if the person is having trouble breathing, chest pain, abdominal pain or other symptoms that indicate they are in physical danger, it is essential they are treated at a hospital. How the person is treated in the emergency room will be dependent upon their physical status. The ER staff may prescribe benzodiazepines to help with the anxiety of the trip.

If you or a loved one regularly uses hallucinogenic drugs, such as LSD, or LSD in combination with other drugs, your risks of experiencing a bad trip may be increased, and your ability to function in daily life may suffer. Drug treatment programs are designed to help individuals in these situations get their lives back.

Find a Rehab Center

Many people who abuse LSD or other drugs, including alcohol, will require treatment at an addiction recovery program. If you need help finding a program, contact a treatment advisor at .

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