Drug and Alcohol

After Effects of LSD: Exploring the Long-Term Effects of LSD

What are the after effects of LSD? LSD is a drug that can stay in the body for a long time … and create some unusual side effects, too. Learn more.

After Effects of LSD: Long-Term Effects of Acid

Table of contents

Written by

Brian MooreBrian Moore

Content Writer

Reviewed by

Jeremy ArztJeremy Arzt

Chief Clinical Officer

October 13, 2023

The Forge Recovery Center

Imagine a key that unlocks the hidden realms of your mind, transporting you on a mesmerizing voyage where time bends, perceptions morph, and reality dissolves into a swirling mosaic of colors. LSD, the infamous substance renowned for its mind-expanding effects, has fascinated and confounded explorers, scientists, and artists.

Yet, while the immediate journey may be fleeting, the profound after effects of LSD can leave an enduring impression. 

LSD is a potent hallucinogenic substance that has captivated the human imagination since its discovery in the 1940s. Initially synthesized for its therapeutic potential, LSD quickly found its way into counterculture and exploration of altered states of consciousness. With its ability to induce profound sensory distortions, LSD became a catalyst for mind-expanding experiences, artistic inspiration, and even spiritual quests. In this article, we will delve into the enigmatic world of LSD's aftermath, exploring the remnants that linger long after the trip, forever altering how we perceive ourselves and the world around us.

After Effects of LSD: What Is LSD?

LSD, or lysergic acid diethylamide, is a psychedelic drug that can significantly modify and warp one's perceptions and sensations. This long-lasting drug can last up to 12 hours and is also one of the most powerful mood-altering drugs currently on the market.

Many academics and scientists think that LSD can affect the neuronal receptors in the brain that are responsible for regulating serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that has a role in the control of various systems, including those that regulate perception and behavior. For example, controlling your motor functions, your mood, your hunger, your sensory perception, your sexual behavior, and your body temperature are among these.

When someone takes LSD, their sense of reality might become severely warped. For example, they may have hallucinations in which they hear noises, see images, or feel sensations that are not actual but appear real when they are hallucinating.

After Effects of LSD: What is Taking LSD Like?

Generally speaking, the effects of LSD are highly unpredictable. Many factors affect the person when it comes to the use of LSD. Factors include the amount taken by the user, their state of mind and personality, and the surroundings in which they have consumed drugs. Generally seen, the user usually experiences the first effect of the drug within 30 to 90 minutes after the drug consumption.

The first effect is usually the dilation of the pupil. Other effects include the fluctuation in the body's temperature, which can get higher or lower. In contrast, the patient's BP and heart rate can either increase or decrease due to the effects of LSD consumption.

Moreover, sweating and chills are also common symptoms of after-use. The loss of appetite, lack of sleep, a dry mouth, and tremors are some of the experiences that LSD users go through. Other symptoms include visual changes where the user fixates on the intensity of particular colors.

After Effects of LSD: Symptoms of LSD Overdose

Because LSD is probably one of the most potent drugs ever discovered, even shallow doses of this substance can produce observable effects on the user. A "typical" dose of LSD is anywhere from 75 to 150 micrograms, measured in millionths of a gram. This is around 3,000 times less than the quantity of aspirin found in a tablet. Since the production of LSD is unlawful, the quantity of the drug present in various batches can vary greatly.

As a result, it is very simple to consume a higher dose than intended unintentionally. In addition, the risk of having a negative trip or experiencing some other form of psychological trauma is significantly increased when one consumes excessive LSD.

Although an overdose of LSD poses a risk to a person's mental health, this substance has a low level of toxicity, and a very high dose is required to cause a dangerous bodily reaction. In fact, there is no documented instance of a human being passing away due to an LSD overdose; however, it has been shown to be fatal in animal research.

In the few instances in which individuals have accidentally consumed significant overdoses of LSD, the following symptoms have been reported:

  • High body temperature

  • Puking

  • Stomach bleeding

  • Trouble breathing

  • Coma

CTA background

We’re here to help you find your way

Would you like more information about mental health or drug addiction? Reach out today.

After Effects of LSD: Common Experiences and Side Effects After LSD Use

LSD causes delusions and hallucinations when taken in sufficient quantities, particularly in the visual realm. The user's perception of time and of themselves is altered. The shapes and sizes of objects and their movements, colors, and noises all become twisted.

Even the sense of contact and the typical feelings experienced by the body transform into something peculiar and unsettling. Sensations may seem to "cross over," causing the person to think they are simultaneously looking at colors and listening to noises. These shifts can be unsettling, and they might bring on a state of panic.

The after effects of LSD include dramatic shifts in mood, which can range anywhere from a state of "bliss" to extreme horror. The worst aspect of taking LSD is that it makes it impossible for the user to differentiate between experiences caused by the drug's use as opposed to those that are a natural part of their environment.

Not only do they feel a strong desire to continue taking more of the drug to re-experience the same sensation they had before, but they also become dissociated from the normal activities that make up their lives.

As a result, while under the influence of LSD, some people have intense and terrible thoughts and feelings, along with the fears of going insane and dying, as well as a sense of hopelessness. A "bad trip," which can last for up to twelve hours, is difficult, if not impossible, to stop once it has already begun.

Some people never get better after experiencing a psychosis brought on by acid.

More After Effects of LSD

There is a reduction in one's capacity to make rational decisions and recognize typical risks. For example, an individual who is under the influence of LSD might experiment by attempting to step out of a window to obtain a "closer look" at the ground. Instead, he may think it'll be amusing to stand in the middle of the junction and look at the sunset, utterly oblivious that he is in the midst of a busy intersection.

Long after their last dose of LSD, many people report having flashbacks, which can be described as a reoccurrence of their trip while under the drug's influence.

Only a small portion of the dangers posed by LSD use are bad trips and flashbacks. In addition, users of LSD could experience psychosis that lasts for an extended period or acute depression.

Users of LSD eventually build up an addiction to the drug since it stays in the body for so long. To put it another way, some people who use it repeatedly must take ever-higher doses to experience the same "high." This amplifies the bodily effects and raises the potential for a negative flight that could result in psychosis.

After Effects of LSD: Short-Term Effects of LSD Use

The recreational and spiritual uses of acid and other traditional hallucinogens like psilocybin, also known as magic mushrooms, and peyote, also known as mescaline, are the most common motivations for their consumption.

These drugs, often referred to as "psychedelics," cause users to experience fleeting symptoms comparable to psychosis and typically last anywhere from six to ten hours. These altered feelings and sensations of unreality are usually dubbed a "trip," which can lead to the following.

  • Hallucinations

  • a heightened awareness of stimuli such as sounds and odors

  • skewed perception of the passage of time

  • Integration of the senses, like "hearing" colors or "seeing" noises

  • A feeling of dissociation, as if the mind had left the body.

  • Impulsive behavior

  • Emotions that are constantly in flux

  • Feelings that are magical or religious

CTA background

We’re here to help you find your way

Do you have more questions about mental health or drug addiction? Reach out.

After Effects of LSD: Long-Term LSD Effects on the Body and Brain

LSD isn't regarded to be a substance that is addictive. However, it is a powerful stimulant that can result in intense experiences for the user. On the other hand, some evidence suggests that the significant alterations in brain chemistry that LSD causes can have long-term impacts. These long-term shifts may become less noticeable but can last for years.

One of these conditions is "hallucinogen-persisting perception disorder," or HPPD for short. When someone who has used LSD in the past has the sensations of a previous experience or sentiments of an earlier trip, this phenomenon is generally referred to as flashbacks. This may involve the appearance of halos surrounding lights or optical trails emanating from light sources.

After Effects of LSD: Serotonin Syndrome

In extremely unusual cases, LSD use has been linked to serotonin syndrome. People who already depend on psychiatric drugs are the ones who tend to experience this condition the most frequently.

Serotonin syndrome symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea

  • A state of agitation or restlessness

  • Abnormally fast or irregular heartbeats

  • Inflammation of the body or an elevated temperature

  • Seizures

  • Hallucinations

  • a lack of coherence or cohesion

  • Variations in blood pressure that occur quickly

LSD has the potential to create psychosis in individuals who are genetically predisposed to the condition. LSD does not, by itself, induce psychosis; nonetheless, to appreciate the risks involved, it is vital to learn your family's medical history. In addition, there are risks involved when engaging in risky behaviors like using recreational drugs.

After Effects of LSD: LSD Withdrawal Treatment

Even in people who have consumed LSD regularly for extended periods, most people do not experience withdrawal symptoms once they stop using the drug, and there are currently no medications approved by the FDA that may alleviate LSD withdrawal.

On the other hand, the profound effects that LSD has on one's perceptions, state of mind, and emotions have the potential to cause persistent mental health issues. This can result in the user's life becoming less functional, so drug rehab programs or expert psychological assistance may be profitable for addicts who want to quit.

Abuse treatments for hallucinogens are poorly understood, and more study is required. At this time, no one treatment is particularly effective for LSD abuse. Counseling and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) are two general approaches to modifying troublesome habits and bolstering sobriety.

CTA background

We’re here to help you find your way

Do you need advice about mental health or drug addiction? Reach out today.

Feel Like You’re Losing Control of LSD & Want the Trip to End? Talk to The Forge Recovery Center

The after effects of LSD can be extremely unpleasant. If you feel like your LSD use is out of control, you’re not alone in your struggle. The Forge Recovery Center will help you leave LSD use behind.

Guided by a trauma-informed philosophy, our evidence-based, effective treatment for issues around hallucinogenic drugs like LSD has helped many move past drug use and into happier lives. We’ll be in your corner throughout the entire recovery process.

If you’d like to learn more about our effective drug addiction programs, reach out to The Forge Recovery Center today.

Newsletter banner

Sign up for our newsletter

Stay updated with the latest news, resources, and updates from The Forge Recovery Center.