Is LSD Addiction a Crime?

Is LSD Addiction a Crime?

Manufacturing or sale of LSD carries harsh punishment

LSD has been illegal in the U.S. since the 1960s, so buying, selling or manufacturing this potent substance carries stiff penalties. It is a psychedelic drug that produces hallucinations and distorts perceptions of reality, at least temporarily.

Sold in the form of tablets, capsules, liquid or on small squares of paper, the effects from an acid trip can kick in within 20 minutes and last up to 12 hours – not including the possible flashbacks, which may occur at any time following even one use. While not considered physically addictive, this substance can cause psychological addiction.1

The Legal Consequences for Trafficking LSD

LSD trafficking is a Schedule I federal violation. While federal courts do not typically prosecute LSD use (this is addressed by each individual state), manufacturing or sale of this drug carries harsh punishment.

Trafficking a mixture of 1-9 grams – A first offense bears a minimum penalty of five years, not to exceed 40 years. If there’s death of serious bodily injury, the penalty is 20 years to life. The fine cannot exceed $5 million for an individual ($25 million if not an individual). A second offense results in ten years to life; if death or serious bodily injury are involved, the outcome is life imprisonment. The fine is not more than $8 million for an individual ($50 million if not an individual).

Trafficking a mixture of 10 grams or more – A first offense results in imprisonment of ten years to life, with a fine not to exceed $4 million. A second offense carries a penalty of 20 years to life, with a fine not to exceed $8 million. If death or serious injury results from any such offense, life imprisonment is the outcome for the person convicted.2

What Does an LSD Addiction Look Like?

LSD addiction is different from the physical addiction that many drugs cause since users of this substance don’t become physically dependent on the drug. Long-term use of this product derived from grain fungus can cause psychological dependence; users can become addicted to the feeling of the high, the temporary escape from reality that it offers, or the mental or spiritual clarity that some users claim to experience.

Users can quickly develop a tolerance to LSD, requiring them to take greater and greater doses of the drug in order to produce the same results. LSD flashbacks can occur even years after the last use, so the psychological effects of addiction to this powerful chemical can be long-term and present many dangers.

Besides the hallucinations and sensory distortions, noticeable signs and symptoms of LSD abuse include:

  • Increased blood pressure, heart rate and body temperature.
  • Dizziness and sleeplessness.
  • Loss of appetite, dry mouth and sweating.
  • Numbness, weakness and tremors.
  • Impulsiveness and rapid emotional shifts that can range from fear to euphoria, with transitions so rapid that the user may seem to experience several emotions simultaneously.

If you or a loved one has any of these symptoms of addiction, it is time to get help.3

LSD Addiction Help Is Just a Phone Call Away

Since LSD is not categorized as physically addictive, many people may think that a psychological addiction isn’t serious; nothing could be farther from the truth. While LSD addiction itself is not a crime, possessing, manufacturing or selling this powerful psychedelic drug is. If you or a loved one are struggling with LSD addiction, a significant risk of physical harm and legal consequences weigh in the balance.

When you call our 24/7 toll-free line, a friendly, helpful member of our LSD addiction recovery team will listen to you,address your concerns, answer your questions and provide you with some positive options. We can even help you determine how much your insurance coverage will pay for this vital care. It is simply criminal to ignore the signs and dangers of LSD addiction. Rely on someone you can trust. We care…one person at a time.


1“DrugFacts: Hallucinogens”, National Institute on Drug Abuse, https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/hallucinogens, (January 2016).

2 “Federal Trafficking Penalties”, U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, https://www.dea.gov/druginfo/ftp3.shtml.

3 “Hallucinogens and Dissociative Drugs”, National Institute on Drug Abuse, https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/research-reports/hallucinogens-dissociative-drugs/where-can-i-get-more-scientific-information-hallucinogens-diss, (February 2015).