Substance abuse is hazardous when a drug is used in isolation; however, combining substances increases the likelihood of experiencing adverse reactions and is oftentimes fatal. Combining alcohol and a hallucinogen such as LSD is one of those dangerous combinations. According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, polysubstance abuse is very common with approximately 1 out of every 8 adults struggling with alcohol and drug abuse simultaneously. To fully understand the risk of simultaneously ingesting alcohol and LSD, it is important to examine the unique qualities of these two substances, as their interaction can be fatal.
Due to its accessibility, alcohol is ranked the number one addictive substance in the world. As a central nervous system depressant (CNS), alcohol impacts brain function, motor skills, and cognitive functioning. When used in excess, alcohol is likely to act as a poison to the physical body, causing the user to vomit or become unconscious. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 95,000 deaths each year are attributed to alcohol consumption. These fatalities include alcohol-induced traffic accidents, liver failure, and alcohol poisoning, among others.
LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide)
LSD is a hallucinogenic substance that rose to prominence during the late 1960s-early 1970s during the hippie counter-culture movement. The drug causes auditory and visual hallucinations and alters time and space perception. Despite scientific studies that support LSD being non-addictive, approximately 10% of people report having used LSD in their lifetime within the United States as stated by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
Alcohol and LSD
In comparing alcohol and LSD, LSD is significantly less harmful than alcohol, specifically due to its non-addictive nature. Ranked as approximately 1/10 as harmful as alcohol, LSD has been analyzed throughout the years and considered to be a possible treatment option for those battling alcoholism. In 2001, however, the Food and Drug Administration refuted this treatment as being ineffective, stating LSD produces no lasting positive effect in treating alcoholics and does not generate immediate personality change.
When ingested concurrently, alcohol and LSD enhance the effects of each individual drug while warding off adverse side effects. According to the American Addiction Centers, LSD can extend the effects of alcohol, allowing an addict who has already developed a dangerously high tolerance for alcohol to drink even more without experiencing ill effects. Simultaneously, the psychedelic effects of LSD may also be extended by alcohol, so that the alcoholic feels that he or she is escaping from the unpleasant reality caused by his or her alcoholism by using LSD.
When experiencing the hallucinogenic effects of LSD, an individual’s perception of reality is effectively altered. When combined with alcohol use, the individual’s judgment and motor functioning is impaired. This generates a dangerous mental and physical state in which accidents are likely to happen. In 2011 alone, 4,819 emergency room visits involving the use of LSD were reported.
Asheville Recovery Center Can Help
Alcohol and LSD are dangerous when abused on their own, but especially when combined. It is extremely important to seek help immediately if you or a loved one is struggling with any substance addiction. At Asheville Recovery Center, treatment specialists have developed a unique, hybrid model of treatment which combines a traditional 12-step program with holistic rehabilitation. A multitude of services, programs, and therapies are offered, including the Partial Hospitalization Program, Residential-style treatment, outpatient rehabilitation, and more.
The founders of Asheville Recovery Center, as well as many of our addiction therapists, have struggled with addiction and now enjoy life in recovery. They understand the struggles of addiction and how difficult it is to overcome alone. If you feel that you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, our specialists are on standby and ready to help. Call (828)518-6996 and speak with an addiction expert today so you can take the first step towards a rewarding life of sobriety.