Can LSD Withdrawal Symptoms Be Fatal?

Can LSD Withdrawal Symptoms Be Fatal?

LSD is a powerful hallucinogen that changes a person’s perception of the world, but it does not produce fatal withdrawal symptoms

LSD is a powerful hallucinogen that changes a person’s perception of the world, but it does not produce fatal withdrawal symptoms. Physical symptoms associated with the drug mainly affect blood pressure, heart rate and body temperature. LSD use is still dangerous, because users do not have the ability to make good decisions and may act in violent or unpredictable ways due to a particular hallucination.

Stopping LSD Use

A chronic LSD user experiences several physical symptoms along with intense changes in the brain. In addition to changes in blood pressure, heart rate and temperature, the physical symptoms include the following:

  • Dizziness and sleeplessness
  • Loss of appetite, dry mouth and sweating
  • Numbness, weakness, and tremors[1]

The drug brings on dramatic sensory changes in a person by affecting serotonin levels in the brain. Serotonin controls mood, sleep, body temperature and control of muscles. It also controls how a person perceives the world through her five senses as well as memory and the perception of pain.[2]

A person who uses LSD on a daily basis develops a tolerance to the drug and must take higher and higher doses to achieve the same high. Someone who is tolerant to LSD also develops a cross-tolerance to other hallucinogens, like psilocybin mushrooms and peyote. Once a person stops taking LSD the tolerance wears off quickly.1

Psychological Symptoms of LSD Use

While LSD is not associated with serious physical symptoms, it does increase the risk of serious psychological problems.Users can develop a psychological addiction that causes intense cravings. There are also two disorders related to LSD use: hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD)and persistent psychosis.2

HPPD suffers experience ongoing perception distortion; for example, changes in visual perception cause a person to see images that aren’t there. The disorder also creates psychological alterations or flashbacks. Flashbacks occur days, weeks, months and even years after quitting LSD, and plunge a person into a hallucination that makes it difficult to tell the difference between reality and imagination.Persistent psychosis sufferers may have trouble with visual disturbances as well. They also experience disorganized thinking, paranoia and troubling mood shifts.2

What Happens When a Person Ends LSD Use?

LSD withdrawal does not involve physical symptoms, but the psychological symptoms are still serious. Symptoms of LSD withdrawal may include the following problems:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Schizophrenia
  • Memory impairment
  • Confusion, distorted perception, difficulty with thought and decision-making
  • Difficulty with concentration
  • Hallucinations, visions or delusions
  • Feeling confused, vulnerable or helpless
  • Thoughts of suicide2

These problems are severe, so it’s important to seek help from a licensed counselor to find psychological therapies to ease symptoms.

How to Manage LSD Withdrawal Symptoms

Depression, anxiety, flashbacks and other LSD withdrawal symptoms greatly interfere with a user’s well-being. Someone dealing with mental health symptoms feels overwhelmed, stressed and even frightened and may fall into despair. In addition, letting psychological symptoms go untreated makes it more likely to relapse and develop an addiction to other drugs. To avoid psychological consequences and improve quality of life, a professional addiction treatment program can be a good choice.[3]

There are a variety of treatment and recovery options for quitting LSD that include these methods:

  • Withdrawal assistance treatment
  • Counseling
  • Therapy
  • Behavioral modification
  • Psychological treatment
  • Family therapy and counseling
  • Support groups
  • Aftercare programs3

With the right help, you can overcome LSD abuse.

Reasons to Quit Using LSD

Putting an end to LSD use is important for any of the following reasons:

  • LSD increases mental and emotional pain; people who use LSD may seek to escape the pain of a mental health illness, trauma or emotional issue; while LSD provides a temporary escape, it may bring on even more psychological problems; furthermore, LSD further complicates pre-existing mental health disorders
  • Long-term use of LSD causes dramatic behavior and personality changes that interfere with a person’s relationships
  • LSD use also instigates a life of addiction, which damages relationships, careers, family, finances and more

A professional addiction treatment program with evidence-based therapies offers significant relief for people who suffer with an LSD addiction. Facilities with counseling therapies that help patients connect the ways their thoughts lead to negative actions give people the skills to live a healthier, more fulfilling life.3

Safe Recovery Options from LSD Abuse

If you abuse LSD and want to recover, please call our toll-free helpline now. Our admissions coordinators are available 24 hours a day to discuss your options for effective treatment. We can answer your questions, address your concerns and provide you with as much information as you need to find treatment. To hear more about safe and effective recovery solutions, please call us now.


[1] National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2015). How Do Hallucinogens (LSD, Psilocybin, Peyote, DMT, and Ayahuasca) Affect the Brain and Body? Retrieved Sept. 26, 2016 from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/hallucinogens-dissociative-drugs/where-can-i-get-more-scientific-information-hallucinogens-diss.

[2] National Institute on Drug Abuse. (2016). What are hallucinogens? Drug Facts. Retrieved Sept. 26, 2016 from https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/hallucinogens.

[3] Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. (2016). Treatments for Substance Use Disorders. Retrieved Sept. 26, 2016 from http://www.samhsa.gov/treatment/substance-use-disorders.