How Dangerous Is LSD Abuse?

Popular culture leads many to believe LSD is not harmful. There are reports showing it is not physically addictive and that is has few physical side effects. There have even been studies showing that LSD may be helpful in treating certain mental health conditions. Individuals using LSD may hear such stories and use them to justify continued drug abuse. LSD may not seem dangerous when you only want to hear facts that support your addicted mind. The truth is that LSD is dangerous in many ways.

The Psychological Dangers of LSD Abuse

Reports touting LSD’s lack of physically addictive properties rarely highlight its psychological effects. LSD is not a physically addictive drug, but psychological addiction is arguably harder to overcome than physical addiction. Every recovery needs more than detox and physical care. LSD addiction treatment may not need to begin with these steps. It certainly requires the professional support and guidance that come after.

How dangerous is LSD abuse

A potentially permanent side effect of LSD abuse is hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD)

Another possible and potentially permanent side effect of LSD abuse is hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD). Medical News Today[1] explains that HPPD is, “sometimes referred to as ‘a never-ending trip.’ Patients with this disorder experience ‘incessant distortions in their vision, such as shimmering lights and colored dots…It can be a very serious condition.” Recovery can reduce and reverse many HPPD symptoms. It may not reverse them all. HPPD can develop at any time, so ending LSD abuse is the only way to avoid this danger.

LSD use can be psychologically harmful even beyond the potential for addiction and HPPD. The Chicago Tribune[2] shares that when psychedelics are abused, “Major problems can occur. These can come in the form of bad trips, which make users feel extremely anxious and depressed. Sometimes, people do dangerous things while under the influence. And hallucinogens can surface latent psychological problems, such as schizophrenia. Recreational use can occasionally result in terrifying flashbacks.” If you struggle with mental health issues, LSD is not an escape. It can exacerbate existing problems or cause hidden ones to rise to the surface. This can support the loop of psychological addiction. You turn to LSD or other drugs for relief, escape or changes in how you perceive problems. You find what looks like an answer, but it actually causes greater underlying problems. As mental health issues worsen, you look for even more frequent or greater relief. Real escape comes from leaving this cycle. Look for addiction treatment programs that understand the complex relationship between mental health and substance use. Look for integrated, holistic Dual Diagnosis care that addresses all co-occurring concerns. Look for care that treats you as a whole person, not as an addiction. We offer access to compassionate, effective treatment. Call our helpline to learn more about your options.

The Physical Health Dangers of LSD Abuse

News and science articles often report that LSD has few physical side effects. They are not as quick to report that “few” is not the same as “zero.” LSD does still have a physical impact on the body. This impact may be greater for some than others, but it is never completely nonexistent. It is also never predictable. Vanderbilt Hospital[3] lists the following potential physical side effects of LSD:

  • Raised body temperature
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Sweating
  • Loss of appetite

Changes in body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure can have serious consequences to physical health. Sweating can result in dehydration especially if people are not in touch with reality and are not aware of thirst signals. Loss of appetite can result in malnutrition in cases of long-term LSD abuse or use of multiple drugs.

You may be willing to risk the physical side effects of LSD, but are you willing to risk the physical side effects of other, unknown substances? You can never be sure that the drug you receive is the substance you think it is. The Sequoyah County Times[4] explains, “Today we are seeing a lot of people purchasing it off the internet, but what they are buying as LSD may not always be what it claims.” Harmful synthetic chemicals may be substituted for LSD, and these can have severe and lasting physical health effects or even result in overdose and death.

“Today we are seeing a lot of people purchasing it off the internet, but what they are buying as LSD may not always be what it claims.” Sequoyah County Times

LSD is not physically harmless, and there are dangers associated with use. Ending use means ending the physical effects of LSD and rebuilding a healthy, balanced life. You can find joy in movement and activity. You can learn about nutrition and eat balanced, enjoyable meals. You can feel good physically as well as mentally. Many addiction treatment programs include nutritional counseling and options for creating healthy habits like yoga, walking or playing rec sports. Stress management, massage and meditation can improve health and mental well-being. We understand the importance of building an enjoyable, integrated recovery. We are here 24 hours a day to help you find the addiction treatment programs that include active and complementary therapies and activities. You can find full recovery and end LSD abuse; call now.


[1] http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/290461.php. “Psychedlic Drug Use ‘Does Not Increase Risk for Mental Health Problems.” Medical News Today. 8 Mar 2015. Web. 21 Jul 2016.

[2] http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/health/ct-lsd-should-we-try-it-20160401-story.html. “LSD Could Make You Smarter, Happier and Healthier. Should We All Try It?” Chicago Tribune. 1 Apr 2016. Web. 21 Jul 2016.

[3] https://www.childrenshospital.vanderbilt.org/library/article.php?ContentTypeId=1&ContentId=2604&Category=Nutrition&SubtopicId=24&lang=en&section=22. “All About LSD.” Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt. Web. 21 Jul 2016.

[4] “Heroin, LSD Gain Popularity.” Sequoyah County Times. 13 Jul 2016. Web. 21 Jul 2016.