Effects of LSD Abuse on the Immune System

Effects of LSD Abuse on the Immune System

LSD reduces the body’s ability to self-regulate temperature

LSD is often wrongly seen as a physically harmless drug. Its psychedelic effects are often discussed without mentioning any physical impact. It may even be referred to as non-addictive for this reason. LSD does not create physical dependence or withdrawal symptoms; this does not mean it is a safe drug. It creates powerful psychological addictions that require professional and personal support to overcome. It has an immediate and long-term effects on health. It impacts the immune system and reduces feelings of health and wellness. LSD’s physical effects are not as dramatic as those of alcohol, opiates or other infamous, addictive substances. However the body does have an immediate physical response to LSD.

LSD, Body Temperature and the Immune System

Raised body temperature is one of the body’s response to LSD use. The immune system relies on raised body temperature (fever) as a first line of defense. However elevated body temperature also takes a toll on health. Scientific American[1] explains, “During fever, all the body’s functions are occurring amidst increased physiologic stress.” When preventing illness, this stress is a price worth paying. When this stress occurs regularly and without greater good, elevated body temperature can cause harm. The effects may be small but cumulative, or they can be immediately serious.

LSD reduces the body’s ability to self-regulate temperature. If natural fever occurs at the same time as LSD elevates body temperature, immune system complications can occur. Scientific American continues, “Fever can help fight infection, but sometimes it can climb too high for the body’s own good…This form of heat distress can threaten the integrity and function of proteins accustomed to the body’s usual temperature variations and the occasional less excessive fevers. Cellular stress, infarctions, necrosis, seizures and delirium are among the potential consequences of prolonged, severe fevers.” When LSD is involved, body temperature and the immune system can work against health rather than for it. Ending LSD abuse allows the body to restore balance. It lets the body promote health and good feelings as it is meant and able to do.

LSD, Appetite and the Immune System

LSD changes appetite. This has immediate and long-term effects on health and the immune system. The immune system relies on diet for balance and nutrients. LSD often reduces appetite resulting in poor nutrition. Individuals may opt for snack foods, fast foods or no food at all. Today’s Dietitian[2] explains the impact changes in appetite can have: “Substance abuse is known to lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies that threaten physical and mental health, damage vital organs and the nervous system, and decrease immunity. Harmful lifestyles often are associated with addiction, such as poor eating patterns, lack of exercise, and changes in sleep patterns. These compounding factors result in an increased risk of long-term health problems, including metabolic syndrome, diabetes, hypertension, weight problems, and eating disorders.”

Poor nutrition harms the immune system and the body as a whole. This has cascading physical and mental health effects. If nutrition is not addressed in treatment, it can continue to challenge recovery. Today’s Dietitian explains, “Continued malnutrition and instability increase disease risk and will produce cravings for drugs or alcohol.” Repairing nutrition, the immune system and the body as a whole benefits recovery. End LSD abuse by choosing an integrated treatment program that includes nutritional counseling and balanced meals. Learn to listen to hunger cues and not cravings. Repair the body and the immune system so they can keep you feeling healthy and happy.

LSD, Sleep and the Immune System

LSD changes sleeping patterns. It contributes to insomnia or reduces a person’s ability to fall into deep, restorative sleep. Changes in sleep patterns and lack of sleep impact the immune system. The Mayo Clinic[3] explains, “People who don’t get quality sleep or enough sleep are more likely to get sick after being exposed to a virus, such as a common cold virus. Lack of sleep can also affect how fast you recover if you do get sick.” The immune system produces fewer antibodies in a sleep-deprived individual. LSD use increases the risk for cold and flu.

Long-term insomnia has even more serious effects: “Long-term lack of sleep also increases your risk of obesity, diabetes, and heart and blood vessel (cardiovascular) disease.” Sleep is important to the immune system and for overall health. It is important for recovery. The Partnership for Drug-Free Kids shares, “Sleep disorders are between five to 10 times higher in people with substance use disorders, compared with the general population…Sleep problems can be serious enough to reverse the success of drug or alcohol treatment and cause a relapse.” Recovery should include establishing healthy sleeping habits and patterns. This will boost the immune system and support long-term health and recovery. Holistic treatment programs often offer classes in meditation and other relaxation and stress management techniques. These will improve quality of life, strengthen recovery and allow for restful, restorative sleep.

Find Recovery; Rebuild Your Health

Long-term recovery success comes from addressing all aspects of mental and physical health. Establish a balanced, rewarding life. Call our toll-free helpline to learn about integrated treatment options. There is no wrong time or reason to reach out; we are here for you 24 hours a day.


[1]    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/what-causes-a-fever/. “What Causes a Fever?” Scientific American. 21 Nov 2005. Web. 2 Aug 2016.

[2]    http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/120914p44.shtml. “CPE Monthly: Substance Abuse and Nutrition.” Today’s Dietitian. Dec 2014. Web. 2 Aug 2016.

[3]    http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/insomnia/expert-answers/lack-of-sleep/faq-20057757. “I’m Having Trouble Sleeping Lately. Does This Increase My Chances of Getting Sick?” Mayo Clinic. 9 Jun 2015. Web. 2 Aug 2016.