Can You Overdose On LSD?
Can You Overdose On LSD? Symptoms, Overdose & Substance Abuse Treatment
How Much LSD To Overdose?
Compared to a lot of drugs, LSD is relatively safe when ingested on its own in doses under 200 micrograms. Can you overdose on LSD? Yes. It takes more than 1,000 micrograms of LSD to overdose, sometimes less, depending on the user’s physical tolerance to the drug.
LSD is not considered an addictive drug—that is, it does not produce compulsive drug-seeking behavior as cocaine, heroin, and meth effects do. However, LSD users may develop tolerance to the drug. LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), often called acid, is an illicit hallucinogenic drug that affects your perceptions for several hours.
Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) belongs to schedule I drugs. Schedule I substances, or chemicals are defined as drugs with no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for substance abuse. Some examples of Schedule I drugs are heroin, marijuana (cannabis), 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy), methaqualone, and peyote. 
If someone has combined LSD with other substances like alcohol, benzodiazepines, stimulants, or opioids, medical detox is needed for recovery. Mixing drugs increases the risk of a deadly drug overdose. A medical detox would help the person using multiple drugs stop further addiction to other substances before they worsen. In addition, detox would include cutting-edge medication to cleanse the body of harmful substances with polydrug use. Contact a treatment provider to explore these treatment options.
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LSD Overdose Symptoms
Can you overdose on LSD? Yes. According to Healthline, while LSD overdoses are rare, it’s important to remember that drugs aren’t always accurately labeled or manufactured in a sterile environment. In other cases, they could be contaminated with something that has a higher chance of causing an overdose. 
Experiencing any of the following after taking LSD would be a good indicator that it’s time to call for emergency help:
- Frequent vomiting
- Uncontrollable bowel movements
- Symptoms of psychosis
- Trouble breathing
- Suicidal thoughts or behaviors
The diagnosis of LSD intoxication is clinical. A thorough history and physical requires emphasis. In complicated cases, coagulation studies and serum electrolytes should be obtained, especially when seizures are present or neuroleptic malignant syndrome is suspected. Imaging studies are warranted to rule out other diagnoses. Electrocardiography is appropriate to evaluate tachycardias, bradycardias, and other arrhythmias, not necessarily caused by LSD itself, but possibly from congestion with other potent stimulants, such as MDMA.
Can you overdose on LSD and is it detectable? Yes. Any routine drug test does not detect the substance. However, a recent study in 2015 by Dolder et al. sought to quantify LSD and its main metabolite, 2-oxo-3-hydroxy LSD (abbreviated as O-H-LSD), in the serum, as well as in urine samples, primarily in the emergency setting. Their methods were both accurate and precise in quantifying the expected concentrations in subjects intoxicated by LSD, but their approach has not found wide adoption in clinical settings. 
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Effects Of LSD Overdose
Can you overdose on LSD? Yes. Most LSD overdose symptoms go away after 24 hours, some can become permanent. Psychosis can become a permanent symptom of using LSD, especially in individuals with mental disorders or a family history of mental illness. However, even individuals without such a predisposition can be similarly affected as well. Even at typical doses, the psychedelic effects of LSD can lead to permanent brain damage and mental illness.
LSD Overdose Death
It might be possible to experience an LSD overdose (defined as ingesting enough of the drug to cause toxicity or death), but it’s incredibly rare. Still, that doesn’t mean that it’s always safe to consume large doses of LSD.
Can you overdose on LSD? Yes. The prognosis is generally favorable in patients presenting under the influence of LSD, provided the exclusion of other diagnoses and no complications arise. Since treatment is primarily supportive, as long as the clinical staff follows the treatment recommendations provided by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the expectation is for quality outcomes. 
If LSD overdoses are so few and far between, what’s behind the deaths linked to LSD? If you see someone or know someone that doesn’t seem to be experiencing an overdose but is very agitated or seems like they might harm themselves or others, get them to a safe environment and stay with them while you call for help.
LSD Overdose Treatment
Treatment of LSD toxicity or overdose is mainly supportive. Autonomic symptoms require symptomatic treatment. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) published protocols for improving treatment for patients under the influence of or withdrawing from specific substances in a 2006 update.
For hallucinogenic toxicity, the recommendation is to provide a quiet environment for the patient, preferably free from external stimuli, and to provide direct one-to-one supervision to ensure the patient does not cause any harm, whether it is self-harm or harm to others. The guidelines also state that a low dose of a benzodiazepine may be indicated in some cases for control of anxiety.
Can you overdose on LSD? Yes. Fortunately, there are treatments available. Individuals who have taken large doses of LSD are at risk for residual psychotic symptoms and are therefore managed with antipsychotic drugs if symptoms manifest and persist. 
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Addicted To LSD
LSD is in a class of drugs called hallucinogens. These are substances that cause hallucinations. These are things that you see, hear, or feel while awake that appear to be real, but instead of being real, they have been created by the mind. LSD is a very strong hallucinogen. Only a tiny amount is needed to cause effects such as hallucinations.
LSD users call their hallucinogenic experiences “trips.” Depending on how much you take and how your brain responds, a trip may be “good” or “bad.” 
A good trip may be stimulating and pleasurable and make you feel:
- As if you are floating and disconnected from reality
- Joy (euphoria, or “rush”) and less inhibition, similar to being drunk from alcohol use
- As if your thinking is extremely clear and that you have superhuman strength and are not afraid of anything
A bad trip can be very unpleasant and frightening:
- You may have terrifying thoughts
- You may have many emotions at once or move quickly from feeling one emotion to feeling another
- Your senses may become distorted. The shapes and sizes of objects are altered. Or your senses may “cross over.” You may feel or hear colors and see sounds
- Fears that you normally can control are out of control. For example, you may have doom and gloom thoughts, such as thoughts that you will soon die, or that you want to harm yourself or others
Can you overdose on LSD? Yes, but the danger of LSD is that its effects are unpredictable. This means when you use it, you do not know if you will have a good trip or a bad trip.
How fast you feel the effects of LSD depends on how you use it:
- Taken by mouth: Effects usually start in 20 to 30 minutes. The effects peak in about 2 to 4 hours and last up to 12 hours
- Shooting up: If given through a vein, LSD’s effects start within 10 minutes
Harmful Effects of LSD
LSD can harm the body in different ways and lead to health problems such as:
- Increased heart rate, blood pressure, breathing rate, and body temperature
- Sleeplessness, loss of appetite, tremors, sweating
- Mental problems, including anxiety, depression, schizophrenia
LSD Addiction Treatment
Can you overdose on LSD? Yes. Generally, taking any illicit substance is dangerous. Given the illegality of LSD and other Hallucinogens, there is a high potential for dealers to lace them with other drugs like fentanyl drugs, ketamine, or meth. These adulterants are not only highly addictive but may cause a fatal drug overdose.
How long do the effects of LSD last and how it can harm you? Tolerance and dependency develop during the course of repeat cycles of abuse as a number of physiological adaptations to hallucinogen use and residual changes in the brain and central nervous system functions take place. Some of the effects are dramatic leading to severe depression and other emotional, cognitive, psychomotor, and behavioral or personality disorders that are difficult to reverse.
A large majority of hallucinogen detox treatments are when the abuser suffers a “bad trip”, overdose, injury, or other medical complication from their hallucinogen abuse. Detox treatment for hallucinogens abuse and dependency primarily involves close observations and interventions for the dangerous side effects that hallucinogens can cause as well as the withdrawal symptoms that evolve as the drugs are eliminated from the system.
Stabilization is the first stage of effective treatment that may require medications such as anti-depressants, anti-psychotics, or anti-anxiety drugs to make sure the safety of the person and those around them can be ensured.
Individual counseling, group, and family counseling services are offered in the majority of mental health and substance abuse treatment programs to:
- “Get to the root of the problems”
- Improve communications and relationships
- Motivate the abuser toward positive changes
The structured guidance of a counselor helps the patient stay on track and in the right perspective as they strive to achieve their potential and goals of recovery.
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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a widely used treatment for hallucinogens abuse and addiction to help individuals identify negative thought patterns, emotions, and problematic behaviors and learn how to make healthy lifestyle changes that decrease the urges to use hallucinogens and other substances; paying particular attention to symptoms of psychosis, depression, and other co-existing mental health-related problems or dual diagnosis that are exacerbated by stress.
Increasing awareness of high-risk situations and warning signs and developing avoidance strategies and coping skills for handling those situations is an important part of treatment known as relapse prevention and knowing what to do should relapse occur is equally important to ensure any long-term recovery success.
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 Drug Scheduling – Drug Enforcement Administration
 Can You Overdose on LSD? – https://www.healthline.com/health/substance-use/can-you-overdose-on-lsd
[3-4] Lysergic Acid Diethylamide Toxicity – National Center for Biotechnology Information
 Williams JF, Lundahl LH. Focus on Adolescent Use of Club Drugs and “Other” Substances. Pediatr Clin North Am. 2019 Dec;66(6):1121-1134.
 Substance use – LSD – U.S. Department of Health and Human Services National Institutes of Health
Table of Contents
- 1 Can You Overdose On LSD?
- 1.1 Can You Overdose On LSD? Symptoms, Overdose & Substance Abuse Treatment
- 1.2 How Much LSD To Overdose?
- 1.3 LSD Overdose Symptoms
- 1.4 LSD Overdose Treatment
- 1.5 Addicted To LSD
- 1.6 LSD Addiction Treatment