LSD Overdose

While the effects of LSD are not fatal, it is possible to overdose on acid. Symptoms of an LSD overdose include panic, paranoia and delusions. Medical attention is needed to treat an acid overdose.
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If you believe someone has overdosed on LSD, call 911 immediately. You can also call the national toll-free Poison Help hotline at 800-222-1222 for instructions on how to help an overdose victim.

LSD is a psychoactive drug that changes a person’s mood, perceptions and behaviors. The hallucinogen is known for its psychedelic effects, which include visual and auditory hallucinations, delusions and a distorted sense of time.

The effects of LSD occur within 30 and 90 minutes of use and can last up to 12 hours. No reports have indicated that taking too much LSD can cause death, but you can still overdose on acid.

An LSD overdose, also known as a bad trip, occurs when a person takes too much of the drug. People who overdose may experience intense paranoia or hallucinations that require medical attention.

LSD Overdose Symptoms

LSD overdose can result in a loss of identity. Many people who take large doses of the drug believe that reality doesn’t exist. They may fear that they are disintegrating into nothingness.

A bad trip can cause LSD users to exhibit violent or hazardous behavior. They may have suicidal thoughts, act impulsively or believe they have superhuman powers. These symptoms can lead to self-mutilation, accidental fatalities, suicide or homicide.

Symptoms of an LSD overdose include:

  • Panic attacks
  • Intense anxiety
  • Terrifying thoughts
  • Delusions
  • Paranoia
  • Rapid mood swings
  • Psychotic episodes
  • Seizures

The effects of hallucinogens are unpredictable. When people use LSD, they don’t know whether they will have a pleasurable, euphoric experience or a bad trip. Dropping acid just once can result in health problems, including an overdose.

Risk Factors for an LSD Overdose

For example, inexperienced LSD users are particularly at risk because they do not know how much of the substance they can handle. It’s impossible to know the exact dose of LSD contained in a pill or tab of acid, and the potency of each dose can vary significantly.

Routine acid use can increase a person’s tolerance to the substance, which means he or she needs increasingly higher doses to achieve the same effects. Someone who regularly uses high doses of LSD is at an increased risk for distressing physical effects and overdose.

A person’s frame of mind can also influence the severity of an acid trip. For example, stress at work, relationship issues and other personal problems may affect your state of mind and increase the risk of experiencing a bad trip.

Managing an LSD Overdose

A person who overdoses on LSD should be transported to an emergency room, a social detox center or a substance abuse clinic. Staff at these facilities are typically trained in calming down and assisting people experiencing bad hallucinogenic trips.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, people who have overdosed on LSD should be placed in a safe, secure environment. This will reduce the chances that they will harm themselves or others.

Because LSD is not addictive, the drug is not associated with any withdrawal symptoms. But medical staff may provide an overdose patient with a low dose of a benzodiazepine medication to control anxiety. If the individual exhibits symptoms of depression, treatment with antidepressant medications may be required.

Most LSD users can reduce or stop their use of the drug over time because the substance does not cause compulsive drug-seeking behavior. But nonaddictive drugs such as acid can still harm your physical and mental health.

If you are struggling with LSD abuse, seek treatment. Rehab centers offer evidence-based treatment approaches for people with substance abuse problems. Cognitive behavioral therapy, for example, teaches people how to modify problematic attitudes and behaviors that drive LSD use.

Medical Disclaimer: aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.

Matt Gonzales
Content Writer,
Matt Gonzales is a writer and researcher for He graduated with a degree in journalism from East Carolina University and began his professional writing career in 2011. Matt covers the latest drug trends and shares inspirational stories of people who have overcome addiction. Certified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in health literacy, Matt leverages his experience in addiction research to provide hope to those struggling with substance use disorders.

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