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Short & Long-Term LSD Effects

Short & Long-Term LSD Effects

Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), also called acid, is a recreational drug mostly used for its hallucinogenic effects.

It is derived from a fungus and created in underground labs before being distributed illegally. It typically comes in the form of a pill, but it can also be injected or inhaled.

The Effects of LSD on the Mind & Body

LSD is considered a common club drug because of its frequent use at night clubs and music festivals. People will take LSD in these environments because they believe it will enhance their experience. Along with some strong initial LSD effects, there are also some possible lingering and long-term side effects from LSD use.

Short-Term Effects of LSD

Taking LSD leads to a trip where the user still feels effects for around 12 hours depending on the dosage, means of administration, and the individual.1 During this trip, the user will experience a variety of effects mentally and physically. Although many people take this drug for the blissful high it provides, not everyone will have a positive experience. Some people may have a bad trip and experience unwanted negative effects.

The short-term effects of LSD include:

  • Euphoria
  • Altered perception
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Increased body temperature
  • Hallucinations
  • Possible anxiety and paranoia
  • Confusion
  • Having an out-of-body experience
  • Feeling that what’s happening isn’t real
  • Distorted sense of time
  • Openness
  • Feeling closer to others1

These LSD effects can also vary depending on if there are other drugs or alcohol in a person’s system. Mixing drugs can be dangerous and lead to unforeseen complications. Because LSD is created in underground laboratories and not regulated, it could also be laced with other harmful substances or drugs without the user’s knowledge. If you find that you are frequently abusing any number of club drugs as well as engaging in heavy drinking often, you should look for a type of addiction treatment program that meets your needs and can help you stop before serious problems develop.

Long-Term Effects of LSD

Research on LSD effects in the long run is somewhat mixed and still needs to be investigated. The long-term effects will be different from person to person and depend on their LSD use.

Some long-term effects of LSD include:

  • Flashback hallucinations when not using LSD
  • Increased risk of bloodborne infections from injection
  • STI from risky sexual behavior when using
  • Tolerance1,2

While people do not develop a physical dependence or require a medical detox for LSD like with many other abused drugs, people can quickly become tolerant to LSD’s effects and require a stronger dose to feel the same effects. This could lead them to take a high dose that is more likely to result in a bad trip. There is also some evidence to suggest that small doses of LSD in a therapeutic setting could be used in mental health treatment as well as treatments for other illnesses, but research in this area is relatively new and still needs to be explored.1

Because short-term effects are unpredictable and long-term LSD effects are still mostly unknown, it is safer not to experiment with this drug. Especially if you are abusing other drugs at the same time, you could be putting yourself at risk.

Drug abuse, whether it involves illicit or prescription medications of any kind, can be dangerous. If you believe you or someone you know has a drug problem, do not wait to get help. Our nationwide drug treatment centers provide care for substance abuse and mental health problems for people around the nation who are suffering with these problems in varying degrees of severity.

To get more information about our many programs and facilities, reach out to one of our staff at 888-280-4763.


  1. NCBI - Modern Clinical Research on LSD
  2. NIH - LSD Flashbacks - The Appearance of New Visual Imagery Not Experienced During Initial Intoxication: Two Case Reports
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa, Director of Digital Marketing
Alyssa is the National Director of Digital Marketing and is responsible for a multitude of integrated campaigns and events in the behavioral health and addictions field. All articles have been written by Alyssa and medically reviewed by our Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Darrin Mangiacarne.
Short & Long-Term LSD Effects
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