Physical Effects of LSD Abuse

What Does a LSD High Feel Like?

LSD creates an intense high, resulting in a hallucinatory multi-sensory experience that lasts from eight to twelve hours. As the LSD takes effect, about 20 minutes to two hours after ingesting the drug, users experience euphoric feelings and the beginnings of bodily sensations and tingling. Shortly thereafter, LSD users find that boundaries between the self and the surrounding world fall away. Details in sound, sight, taste, and touch become heightened—colors may appear brighter and sounds become louder or more enveloping. In some instances, these sensations overlap, resulting in synesthesia—a bizarre mixing of the senses, where colors are felt, sounds are visualized, or sights are tasted.

At the peak of an LSD high, during a period of two to six hours, LSD users can experience intense hallucinations, including perceiving objects that are not present, and seeing motion in stationary items. The intense sensory and hallucinogenic effects often last for 8 hours, and then take an additional 4 hours to gradually fade away.

What Are the Physical Effects of LSD?

While LSD is primarily a psychedelic drug, there are several physical effects that occur during an LSD trip. Pupil dilatation is one of the first external cues that the LSD is taking effect. The digestive system becomes affected, as well, resulting in nausea that endures for roughly the first hour—although for a minority, feelings of nausea can last the duration of the LSD “trip.” Most people feel extremely alert while under the influence of LSD, and find it difficult to sleep until the effects of the drug wear off. Less frequently, LSD users experience temperature regulation issues, encountering hypothermia (abnormally low temperatures) with profuse perspiration, while others experience hyperthermia (fever) with the chills and goose bumps. Often people find themselves clenching their jaws during an LSD trip, or sensing a metallic taste in their mouths.

Can You Overdose From LSD?

While you cannot physically overdose on LSD, as it is a nontoxic substance, LSD users can experience psychological damage from use. Higher doses have a greater likelihood in resulting in an intensely negative experience know as “bad trip,” which can be reexperienced in flashbacks later. Because LSD users cannot end the effects of LSD but are instead held captive to the experience, negative thought and emotions can manifest themselves in visualizations and dominate the experience. It is even possible for a particularly traumatic trip to result in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

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