Drug and Alcohol

Overdose on Acid: Can You Overdose on LSD? Get the Facts

Can you overdose on acid? It's not an easy question to answer. Our blog examines LSD, its effects, and whether or not it's possible to overdose on it.

Is It Possible to Overdose on Acid? Examining LSD Overdoses

Table of Contents

Written by

Brian MooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

Jeremy ArztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

October 1, 2023

The Edge Treatment Center

Overdose: a word that strikes fear into anyone who knows someone involved with drug and alcohol abuse. And for good reason: drug overdoses are a leading cause of death in the US.

Don't believe us? Check this out: in 2021, there were almost 100,000 preventable drug deaths in the US, an increase of 781% since 1999.

But can you overdose on every drug?

Hallucinogens like DMT and LSD are kind of strange. They're not addictive in the traditional sense and don't work like more addictive drugs on the brain and nervous system. Hallucinogenic drugs like acid can produce extremely intense effects, however, and it can lead some to wonder whether or not you can overdose on acid.

What Is Acid (LSD)?

Acid is a street name for LSD. LSD is a potent psychedelic drug that belongs to the drug class of hallucinogens. Some of the common hallucinogens are peyote or mescaline and psilocybin or magic mushrooms. These, along with acid, are the kind of substance that generates an effect of visual, audio, and even tactile hallucinations. An LSD user will feel, imagine, and experience things that are not real.

Are LSD and Acid the Same Thing?

Yes. LSD or lysergic acid diethylamide is also known by the term acid. It is exciting to note that despite the official recognition of LSD as a non-addictive substance, it still gives users a trippy feeling. There is evidence and possibilities of the users developing tolerance and physical dependence on it. 

How Is Acid Made?

LSD is a laboratory creation from compounds in a fungus called ergot. Ergot infects the rye plant, which is used to make bread and other foodstuffs.

A Swiss chemist named Albert Hoffmann was the first to create LSD in 1938 and changed the trajectory of psychedelics. Hoffman developed various medicinal compounds and believed LSD-25 (lysergic acid diethylamide-25) to be a helpful stimulant medication.

Hoffman synthesized it and used the substance himself. He experienced dizziness and colorful visuals with a feeling of euphoria. He increased the dose on himself and started panicking and stressing. After this initial reaction, he felt euphoric and experienced hallucinations. 

Later, his laboratory used this drug for psychiatric use and for therapies. In the 1960s, famous psychiatrists like Timothy Leary popularized this drug. It was in the 1970s when LSD became popular as the term acid. It became an integral part of counter-culture movements and was attached to hippie culture too.

Soon it became illegal, and both possession and use of it became outlawed. Acid is classified as a Schedule I drug by the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) with no medicinal value. 

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Is Acid Addictive?

The first thing to understand when considering an LSD overdose is that you can't develop a physical addiction to the drug. This means that your body and mind won't crave it after taking it, and if you stop taking it, there won't be any withdrawal symptoms.

What this does not mean is that LSD isn't dangerous. It's still possible to overdose on the drug, as well as to experience a number of other adverse effects.

Also, there's one more thing to consider: you can develop a dependence on acid. This means that you get used to the drug and find it difficult or even impossible to function without it.

While not addiction in the traditional sense, dependence can still be incredibly dangerous, and it's a very real possibility for those who use hallucinogens like acid.

Can You Overdose on Acid?

So, back to the original question: can you overdose on LSD? Technically speaking, yes, you can. However, it is incredibly unlikely if you're taking a normal dose of acid.

The lethal dose of LSD has not been established, and it's believed that it would take massive doses of the drug to cause a fatal overdose.

That said, an acid overdose can still lead to serious side effects, such as extreme hypertension and increased heart rate. It is also possible to experience adverse psychological effects like anxiety or paranoia. While these effects are usually temporary, they can still be incredibly disorienting and unpleasant.

Overdose on Acid: What Are the Symptoms of an Acid Overdose?

High doses of acid cause various side effects. These include tremors, insomnia, blurred vision, weakness, dry mouth, dilated pupils, sweating, rapid heartbeat, increased body temperature, vomiting, loss of consciousness, disoriented sense of time, visual hallucinations, and intensified sense of smell and noises.

More serious symptoms of LSD overdose can include extreme anxiety, panic, paranoia, mood swings, aggression, self-mutilation, coma, accidents, suicidal thoughts, and loss of identity. 

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Overdose on Acid: The Dangers & Risks Involved

The most dangerous aspect of acid is that it is unpredictable. It is tough to guess and estimate the side effects of large doses of acid. Some people experience bad trips even after using acid without any problem for a long time.

When a person starts abusing substances like acid, there is a possibility that they can end up developing a tolerance for other hallucinogenic drugs like PCP. Fortunately, despite being so dangerous and habit-forming, LSD is not physically addictive. This means that users are unlikely to experience craving for the drug or experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

How Long Does a Dose of Acid Last?

The answer depends on your body, the amount of acid you have taken, your personality, and the environment impacting your brain. In general, the effects of LSD can kick in between 20 to 90 minutes and last up to 12 hours.

How Much Acid Does It Take to Cause an Overdose?

Most doses of acid are around 50 to 200 mg. One recent report about an acid overdose involved a teenager who took close to 1,200 mg and was hospitalized. Similarly, another report suggested that a young adult accidentally ingested around 500 mg of LSD but didn't require hospitalization. So, the amount of acid it takes to overdose on can vary from one person to another. 

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What to Do If You Suspect an Acid Overdose

If you or someone else has taken a potentially dangerous dose of acid, it's essential to seek medical help immediately. LSD is very unpredictable, and even the smallest difference in dosage can lead to drastically different effects.

At the same time, don't be afraid to reach out for assistance. LSD overdoses are incredibly rare, and medical professionals are trained to provide the best possible care in any situation.

Is a Bad Trip the Same as an Acid Overdose?

No, they are not. While a bad acid trip can be incredibly unpleasant and intense, it's not the same as an overdose. An overdose occurs when someone takes more of the drug than their body is capable of handling, while a bad trip is simply a very strong psychological reaction to the drug.

Bad trips usually happen due to psychological factors like fear or anxiety, so it's important to remember that they are not the same as an overdose.

Acid Addiction Treatment & Recovery

The treatment for LSD addiction can be determined by a professional expert. They assess the patient's condition and then proceed with the best possible treatment. Also, a professional will provide dual diagnosis treatment to patients who are suffering from co-occurring disorders like depression or bipolar disorders.

Inpatient Drug Rehab

Inpatient drug rehab is often the best choice after drug detox. It provides a safe environment with around-the-clock medical supervision. Deciding whether a patient should choose inpatient or outpatient drug treatment depends on factors like intensity of addiction, length of addiction, and polysubstance abuse. 

Inpatient programs have various options, and people can find their suitable one with proper health evaluation. These programs are more intense and comprehensive as compared to outpatient programs. The patients under his program stay at the facility to receive rehab services. Inpatient programs heavily rely on group therapies and individual counseling sessions. They also offer family and couple therapy as part of their program.

The ideal length of treatment can be anywhere between one to three months. This duration is not fixed and can vary from case to case.  

Outpatient Drug Rehab

Outpatient programs are another option for treating LSD addiction. In this program, the patients are not required to stay at the facility for treatment. They can stay at their own residence and can visit rehab for treatment. The timings can be scheduled according to the suitability of the patients. A person can attend the appointment weekly or daily per health evaluation.   

Various Forms of Treatment

Several treatment therapies have a pivotal role to play in recovery. Many inpatient and outpatient programs use CBT or cognitive behavioral therapy to assist patients in identifying their negative patterns and replacing them with positive ones. This habit will make the patient's life more productive and effective in dealing with old negative patterns of abuse. They also help patients learn about triggers and stressor points and ways to deal with them.

Besides CBT, programs also employ motivational interviewing and contingency management. In motivational interviewing, the patients must find internal motivation and reason for the change. Contingency management is where the patient gets tangible rewards for staying sober. 

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Think Acid Is in Control of Your Life? Avoid an Acid Overdose and Reach Out to The Edge Treatment Center

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction to LSD, it's important to seek help as soon as possible. The Edge Treatment Center offers comprehensive treatment plans tailored to each individual and their needs.

Our team of professionals has the expertise and experience necessary to provide substance abuse care that works. We focus on helping our clients build a strong foundation for long-term recovery by developing personalized treatment plans that address both the physical and psychological aspects of addiction.

At The Edge Treatment Center, we understand the unique challenges that face those who are struggling with LSD addiction and we’re here to help. Contact us today for more information or to schedule an appointment. We look forward to working with you on your journey towards a healthier life.

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