What Are the Physical Effects of LSD Abuse: Psychedelics

What Does an LSD High Feel Like?

LSD creates an intense high, resulting in a multi-sensory hallucinatory experience lasting 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 after that, 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 mixture of the senses, where colors are felt, sounds are visualized, or sights are tasted.

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

What Are the Physical Effects of LSD?

While LSD is primarily a psychedelic drug, several physical effects occur during an LSD trip. Pupil dilatation is one of the first external cues that the LSD takes effect. The digestive system becomes affected, 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 vigilant 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 goosebumps. 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, LSD users can experience psychological damage from use as it is a non-toxic substance. Higher doses are more likely to result in an intensely negative experience known as a “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 thoughts 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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