Can You Overdose on LSD?

Can You Overdose on LSD?

What Is LSD?

LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide) is a powerful hallucinogenic and psychedelic drug derived from the ergot fungus, which typically grows on rye and other grains. It’s known for its profound effects on the brain, leading to altered perceptions, thoughts, and feelings. You can’t overdose on LSD, but the potential harm should be concerning for anyone thinking of trying it.

Some common nicknames for LSD include:

People use LSD for various reasons, including:

It is important to note that LSD use can have serious risks, such as the possibility of “bad trips” (negative, frightening experiences), psychological distress, and in rare cases, long-lasting perceptual disturbances known as hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD).

LSD is classified as a Schedule I controlled substance in many countries, including the United States, due to its high potential for abuse and lack of accepted medical use. If you or someone you know is struggling with LSD abuse, there are treatment programs available for help.

What Are the Effects of LSD?

LSD effects include the following:

LSD use also has the potential for long-term effects. Long-term LSD effects that have been reported include flashbacks, hallucinogen-persisting perception disorder (HPPD), and lasting changes in personality or mental health.

How Long Does LSD Last?

A typical acid trip will last between six to twelve hours, but some can last as long as sixteen hours. Most feel the effects between 20 and 90 minutes after taking a tab.

A person might also experience what is known as the “afterglow” after the trip is over. This is what users report as lasting feelings of joy and a sense of “lightness” in life. However, some also report lasting feelings of anxiety.

How Long Does LSD Stay In Your System?

An LSD screening or drug test will detect LSD in the body for up to twelve hours after initial ingestion. However, depending on your metabolism, some tests may detect LSD in the body for longer stretches of time.

There are three different types of drug tests for LSD:

Compared to other drugs, acid is hard to detect because it gets metabolized relatively quickly by the liver. However, this doesn’t mean that it’s not detectable. There is still the possibility of a blood test or hair follicle test being able to detect LSD in your system. 

So, if you are concerned about LSD showing up on a drug test, the safest decision for your health and passing a drug test is to avoid taking the drug altogether. Also, remember that the time frames mentioned above are estimates and may vary depending on your individual metabolism.

Can You Overdose on LSD?

LSD is a powerful hallucinogen. While LSD may not lead to a fatal overdose like other drugs such as heroin or alcohol, it can pose tremendous risks to your mental health if you are not careful.

Some risks of an LSD overdose include:

While LSD is not in itself physically addictive, it can lead to dangerous situations as a result of impaired judgment. Accidents, injuries, or other harmful consequences can occur while under the influence of the drug.

Taking too much LSD can also trigger long-lasting psychotic reactions like schizophrenia. In addition to long-term mental health issues, LSD can also lead to dangerous physical side effects such as body tremors and seizures. 

Hallucinogen-Persisting Perception Disorder

Individuals who take LSD can continue to experience hallucinations months or even years afterward, but these cases are rare. This is known as Hallucinogen-Persisting Perception Disorder or HPPD for short. HPPD was first recorded in 1954, but it wasn’t recognized as a clinical syndrome until the fourth revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR), which was published by the American Psychiatric Association in 2000.

There are two types of HPPD: Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 features frequent but brief hallucinations that can appear unpredictably. People with type 2 HPPD report persistent hallucinations that “wax and wane” in intensity over the course of months to years. It’s more likely to occur in those with a prior history of substance abuse or mental illness.

Can You Get Addicted to LSD?

LSD is not considered physically addictive – it does not produce withdrawal symptoms when use is stopped. Additionally, overdosing on LSD is not fatal – at least not directly. However, the physical and psychological effects of LSD may result in death. This is because the mind-altering drug often results in the severe impairment of an individual’s judgment and sense of danger.

However, people who use the drug regularly might develop a tolerance, requiring higher doses to achieve the same effects. This can lead to potentially dangerous situations, as higher doses can increase the risk of negative experiences or “bad trips.”

Furthermore, it is possible for people to develop a psychological dependence on the drug, seeking out the altered states it provides as a way to escape from reality or cope with stress. This can lead to a pattern of problematic use that can be difficult to break, even if physical addiction is not present.

Substance Abuse Treatment in Southern California

If you or someone you know is struggling with substance use, it’s important to seek help from a reputable healthcare professional or a support group. They can provide guidance and resources for overcoming addiction or dependence. South Coast Behavioral Health offers affordable and compassionate treatment for substance addiction. Call today at 866-881-1184 or click here and get started.


Joseph Pascua
Medically Reviewed by Joseph Pascua