Does LSD Abuse Have Permanent Side Effects?

Does LSD Abuse Have Permanent Side Effects?

It is possible to suffer psychological harm as a result of LSD use

LSD is a hallucinogenic drug that does not cause direct physical side effects. However, this drug can harm the user psychologically. The greatest danger associated with LSD when an individual’s perception is altered. This can lead to indirect consequences such as accidents.LSD works in the brain by blocking the serotonin receptors. These are the gateways that allow serotonin into our neurons. As a result, serotonin molecules flowing from our brain stem have nowhere to go and nothing to do.[1]

Direct Permanent Side Effects of LSD Abuse

LSD is not considered physiologically harmful and it is not physically addictive. This means that LSD does not cause the user to overdose. Nevertheless, it is possible to suffer psychological harm as a result of LSD use. LSD has a powerful effect on both the psyche and the emotional state of the user. This is especially the case if the user is in a fragile emotional state to begin with. LSD tends to induce intense introspection. This can be troubling to persons who are struggling with mental or emotional issues.

There is some anecdotal evidence to suggest that in rare cases LSD use may lead to psychosis. but that evidence is difficult to corroborate. Laboratory experiments on the potential for LSD to induce psychosis are also inconclusive. Research suggests if LSD does induce psychosis, it does so primarily in individuals who may be at increased risk for psychosis to begin with.[2] LSD functions merely as a trigger.

There is a syndrome called Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD) that has been linked to LSD use. In HPPD, the hallucinations of the LSD “trip” persist long after the drug has worn off and these episodes may persist for years.[3] While pure LSD does not cause physical damage, LSD is often mixed with unknown substances. In some cases, these other substances may be harmful.

Indirect Permanent Side Effects of LSD Abuse

The indirect side effects of LSD use are quite different from those of addictive drugs like opiates, stimulants or sedatives. LSD use causes a rapid tolerance for the drug. So after repeated use, the drug is much less effective. When LSD use is generally limited to occasional “trips,” users do not tend to display the classic signs of addiction.

One of the primary dangers of LSD use stems from the possibility of accidents while under its influence. When the user has altered perception and judgment, accidents are more likely. Objects may appear to move, breathe or transform. Colors may appear to have a taste or sound. This makes it impossible to discern reality. Because of this, normal activities can be hazardous and may result in accidents. If an individual drives while on LSD, the result is a life-threatening situation. Not just for the driver, but also for others on the road as well. If a parent or caregiver takes LSD, in many cases kids or loved ones are put at risk. While many view LSD as a common party drug, the truth is this drug is very dangerous.

Treatment for LSD Abuse

If you or someone you know struggles with LSD abuse, please call our toll-free helpline. We are here 24-hours a day. Our counselors can guide you to a professional treatment center that is right for you. We can help you find a personal path to wellness. Please call now.


[1] https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/addicted-brains/201204/psychedelics-let-the-world-in Psychedelics Let The World In. Lewis, Marc. Published on April 26th, 2012.

[2] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6870484 LSD psychosis or LSD-induced schizophrenia? A multimethod inquiry.

[3] http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3736944/Hallucinogen-persisting perception disorder.