LSD Risks

Every time people use LSD they are taking a risk, but many people don't know the LSD risks or don't think the negative effects of LSD use can happen to them. Keep reading to learn about some of LSD risks such as - bad lsd trips, acid flashbacks, mental damage, and more...


There has been a gradual decline in knowledge of the risks of LSD use, especially among young people, which can lead to more people abusing LSD. Their misunderstandings may have arisen from the fact that LSD is generally not considered physically addicting, and it is rare to take enough LSD to cause a fatal overdose. This does not mean, however, that LSD risks are not serious, in fact some of these risks can have life-altering or fatal consequences.

Some of the LSD risks include:

  • Bad trips. A person using LSD may have a bad trip, even if they have taken LSD without negative effects in the past. In a bad trip a person may see or feel frightening things. It can lead a person to hurting him/herself or someone else. A bad acid trip can last up to 12 hours.
  • Acid flashbacks. Flashbacks are acid trip-like experiences that occur in some LSD users again when they haven't taken the drug. Flashbacks can be vision disturbances, like seeing spots, or more severe, like hallucinations or hearing things. The cause of acid flashbacks is unknown, who will get them is unpredictable, and there is no cure.
  • HPPD. Hallucinogen-induced Persisting Perception Disorder is on of the LSD risks. HPPD is like having flashbacks, but they are frequent and long lasting. HPPD can be distressing, and can impact a person's social interactions and job opportunities.
  • Accidents or injuries. LSD users may not see things clearly, may think they have super powers, or may have a loss of coordination, causing accidents and injuries that can be fatal. Using LSD and driving can lead to fatal accidents. People using LSD are also more at risk for making poor choices like having unprotected sex or engaging in other risky behaviors. 
  • Tolerance. A person who uses LSD may develop tolerance to the drug, meaning they need more of it to get the same effects.
  • Psychological addiction or dependency. Though LSD is not known to be physically addictive, it can cause psychological addiction, where the person feels like they need LSD to function or to deal with life.
  • Legal consequences. LSD is a schedule I drug, meaning it is illegal and has no legitimate medical uses. Users can face legal consequences for its use, just one of the LSD risks some users may face.
  • Social consequences. LSD users may lose their job or damage their relationships as a result of LSD use.
  • Physical effects. Users can experience confusion, loss of coordination, slurred speech, changes in heart rate and blood pressure, and even coma. When mixed with other drugs, the dangers and LSD risks increase, and can be fatal.
  • Mental damage. LSD users, especially those who use the drug over a long period of time, risk long-term mental damage and psychosis, such as schizophrenia and major depression.
  • Birth defects. If a pregnant woman uses LSD it may cause birth defects and other problems with the pregnancy. Also, it increases the risk that the mother will harm herself or her baby.

LSD is a very unpredictable drug because it affects people differently, and can have different effects on the same person each time they use it. A person may have taken LSD in the past and been fine, but when they take it again they can have a bad reaction.  Many factors can influence the LSD risks each individual faces each time they use LSD:

  • Underlying medical conditions
  • Dose taken
  • Where the drug is taken
  • The user's mood

Because LSD is unpredictable and there are many adverse LSD risks, the best way to avoid the risks is to stop using LSD, or never start in the first place.


U.S. Department of Justice, National Drug Intelligence Center, "LSD Fast Facts" [online]

National Institute on Drug Abuse, "NIDA InfoFacts: Hallucinogens - LSD, Peyote, Psilocybin, PCP" [online]

Nemours, TeensHealth, "Drugs: What You Should Know - LSD" [online]

American Pregnancy Association, "Using Illegal Street Drugs During Pregnancy" [online]

Related Article: Acid Flashbacks >>