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Can you die from taking acid?

Can you die from taking acid?

Taking acid rarely causes death.

Most often, death can occur as the result of getting high on acid. In fact, suicide, accidents, and dangerous behavior have been linked directly to taking acid. More here on the dangers of LSD. We invite your questions about taking acid at the end.

What’s in acid?

Acid is the street name for LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) which comes as a liquid, in tablets or capsules, or on small sheets of paper. Acid doesn’t have any smell or color but has a slightly bitter taste and is used to induce hallucinations. LSD is classified Schedule I under the Controlled Substances Act, meaning that it has a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use.  Can you get addicted to acid?  Possibly.  But LSD addiction is rare.

How does LSD work?

LSD’s effects are unpredictable, and often its biggest effect is on the mind. Acid works by disrupting the interaction of nerve cells and the neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin controls behavioral, perceptual, and regulatory systems, including mood, hunger, body temperature, sexual behavior, muscle control, and sensory perception. Physiological effects include elevated heart rate, increased blood pressure and dilated pupils. Sensory effects include perceptual distortions that vary with dose, setting, and mood. Psychic effects include distortions of thought associated with time and space.

How long does acid stay in your body?

Acid – how long does it stay in your system?  Effects last for about 12 hour after dosing, although LSD can be detected in urine 2-5 days after use.

The effects of taking acid

On some acid trips, time may appear to stand still, and forms and colors seem to change and take on new significance. Even if a person stops taking LSD, he or she can still have some of the mental effects for days, months, or even years. Weeks or even months after some hallucinogens have been taken, the user may experience flashbacks — fragmentary recurrences of certain aspects of the drug experience in the absence of actually taking the drug. The occurrence of a flashback is unpredictable, but is more likely to occur during times of stress and seems to occur more frequently in younger people. With time, these episodes diminish and become less intense.

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Acid overdose

Cases of fatal overdose on acid are possible, but rare. Emergency room and EMS data supports the claims that, while not often, deaths can occur when a person takes LSD. This is particularly true when it is mixed with alcohol. Cases of acid trips have been reported where overstimulation of the nervous system triggered heart attack, stroke or respiratory failure. Again, these cases are rare.

Other causes of death on acid

A number of deaths can be indirectly linked to ingestion of acid. The actual causes of death however are not always from the actual drug itself. Some people who take LSD die because their minds trick them into doing dangerous things. And LSD-related deaths generally occur due to suicide, accidents, and dangerous behavior. Also, there is the possibility that poisonous additives may have been mixed with the drug, amplifying its danger and unpredictability.

Questions about dying on acid

Many frightening stories have circulated throughout the drug community for years of people on LSD thinking they can fly and dying from falls, or believing they are invincible and inadvertently committed suicide. Unfortunately, many young people believe these to only be scare tactics by the very people who are trying to protect them. The question you may need to ask yourself, is it really worth the risk?

If you still have questions about taking acid, please leave them here. We will be happy to respond to legitimate concerns with a personal and prompt response.

Reference Sources: DEA Drug Fact Sheet: Hallucinogens
DEA Drug Fact Sheet: LSD
Girls Health [dot] Gov: Drug glossary

Photo credit: Sprengben [why not get a friend]

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17 Responses to “Can you die from taking acid?
john
10:02 pm December 18th, 2012

hi i wanted to know i over dosed on a vile when i was young. I started to hear demons and see ghost, is this all normal? I also got suicidal once a year and go in to a depression and start hearing demons.

9:42 am January 14th, 2013

Hi John. LSD users can also experience flashbacks, or recurrences of certain aspects of the drug experience. Flashbacks occur suddenly, often without warning, and may occur a year or more after LSD use. In some people, flashbacks can persist and cause significant distress or impairment in social or occupational functioning, a condition known as hallucinogen-induced persisting perceptual disorder (HPPD). I’d suggest that you contact a psychiatrist for a full exam and possible diagnosis of what may be going on in the brain.

mason
12:02 am May 4th, 2013

… on a vile?? you mean you took something w/o knowing what it was? listen buddy take LSD responsibly. If you’re not sure how much or what it is obviously you’re starting off on the wrong foot

Josh
9:46 pm September 7th, 2014

Can you die off LSD? Not what the things you do on it , but can the drug kill?

3:38 pm September 10th, 2014

Emergency room and EMS data supports the claims that, while not often, deaths can occur when a person takes LSD. This is particularly true when it is mixed with alcohol.

Joshua
8:02 pm January 17th, 2015

There are so many issues with this article, I’ll start with sources and basically that only one of them actually links to a source. Which is “DEA Drug Fact Sheet: LSD”. Which is here dea.gov/druginfo/drug_data_sheets/LSD.pdf

LSD does not have a bitter taste, if it does it is most likely a type of NBOMe. NBOMes are similar to LSD but carry a lot more negative effects. NBOMes also cause a numbing sensation if taken orally. LSD generally does not taste of anything or at the very least a slight metallic taste.

Can you get addicted to acid? No. Absolutely not, there is no evidence of any sort of direct correlation that would cause addictive behavior to LSD. If anything perhaps an extremely weak mental addiction, like people develope with computers. But that would be so incredibly rare as to become pointless to draw attention to.

Death. Due to Acid, as in what? Chemically or behaviorally? Chemically there are no truly confirmed deaths due to LSD intake as the dose to overdose ratio is incredibly large. A single 100 microgram dose would have to be multiplied thousands of times for even the slightest risk of death, yet people have survived even that so we don’t really know what the LD:50 for LSD is.
Behaviorally there are many cases of people killing themselves on purpose or accident while on LSD. This can be due to mistakes from hallucinations or that someone who is depressed cannot deal with their enhanced emotions and will kill themselves, these are also incredibly rare.

Well, there’s the study by Sidney Cohen which was cited here recently, Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, 130, 1960. The following is from Jay Stevens’ Storming Heaven: “Cohen surveyed a sample of five thousand individuals who had taken LSD twenty-five thousand times. He found and average of 1.8 psychotic episodes per thousand ingestions, 1.2 attempted suicides, and 0.4 completed suicides. ‘Considering the enormous scope of the psychic responses it induces,’ he concluded, ‘LSD is an astonishingly safe drug.'”
from https://www.erowid.org/chemicals/lsd/lsd_faq.shtml
That’s from the 1960’s though. Then again I’m not finding anything modern that gives these kinds of values.

LSD has potential uses, such as treatment of alcoholics or end of life anxiety.
Flashbacks might be normal experiences that people can receive after extremely emotional events, people with PTSD or on weddings experience them as well.

Yes, it is possible the poisonous additives have been mixed with LSD or simply replace the LSD, as with NBOMes, however this is not the fault of the drug itself and merely the society in which we have established ourselves. No there is not strychnine.

In response to “Many frightening stories have circulated throughout the drug community for years of people on LSD thinking they can fly and dying from falls, or believing they are invincible and inadvertently committed suicide.” Yeah, many frightening stories indeed. Thanks for circulating them I guess. People who kill themselves on LSD are due to misjudgment of the environment or the willingness to kill themselves due to whatever emotional issues they have. Not because they believe themselves to be god or that they can fly. In some cases, people would blame their children’s suicide on LSD so they wouldn’t have to deal with their child had willingly decided to kill themselves in incidents completely unrelated to drugs.

Uniscious
10:13 am January 21st, 2015

Hi there viewers! Here is a little information that should be known about LSD.

First of all, the effects of the drug are limited to the amount of serotonin reserves in your brain. Say for instance you want to trip again after you’re done tripping. It wont work. While it may take a specific dose to release all that serotonin, going over it has absolutely no effect other than releasing it faster, which in turn can cause a “bad trip” due to not being able to handle the rush. LSD is not a narcotic so it is rather difficult to abuse. And due to the way it functions, it is impossible to form addictions or even dependencies to it.

Nobody has ever overdosed from LSD. The reason being that a typical tab of LSD carries roughly 50 – 250 ug (micrograms). It is the single most powerful substance by volume on the planet and carries 1/100th the toxicity of alcohol. There are hundreds of research chemicals which are sometimes combined with LSD because they are cheaper to manufacture, not scheduled or illegal, but produce similar effects. Many of these chemicals can, however, cause death.

The lethal dosage is ESTIMATED to be at 10,000 ug which is 100x the normal dose. You would literally need to eat almost an entire sheet for this to happen, so it’s basically common sense that nobody has ever done it. It is true, however, that people have died by accidents occuring during a trip, but not from the substance itself. Again, there are no proven records of death in the drug’s history.

Regarding long term effects, it is very difficult to define these things. The commonly listed long term effects of LSD can also occur without LSD. However, because LSD’s primary function is to cause you to approach things and ideas as though you have never even seen or thought about them before, you begin to question very simple things. This is the same act that philosophers have done for thousands of years, this one simply pushes critical thinking.

All this being said, as a promoter, and annual user of LSD, it is not something you do if you aren’t ready. LSD is a tool. It has been used to tackle extremely complex mathematical and engineering questions and has accomplished major breakthroughs. It has been used to treat addictions and mental disorders with great success but the people who choose assistance from psychedelics do not make this choice lightly. It is something you must very carefully think about. Many illusions of life may disappear, and many illusions may be created.

a girl
7:01 am January 29th, 2015

i just turned 15 and I’ve thought about taking acid, I don’t know really much about it. I want to take the little square forms. how many of those do I need? Can I overdose? Will I be “stupid” after I take it? Will I be normal again or will I have mental brain issues or sum & act different & dumb. basically will taking acid fuck up my life? Please someone help me with this

A boy
8:01 pm February 7th, 2015

You’ll be stupid for about 8 hours. It won’t fuck up your life.

It may change your life in positive ways, to have the mind altering experience, to make you question perception and reality… if you take it, be with people you trust.

kitty
9:46 pm March 22nd, 2015

Hey, I’m 19 years old about to turn 20 in 4 days and my friends have taken acid already and as I type this my friend has already taken acid in sheet form… I’ve really thought about taking acid… I know if I’d do it it’d be in a closed rooms with two of my most trusted friends so I feel like I’m not in any danger of trying to “fly” or anything that will cause me physical harm… I’m mostly Afraid of dying or not being able to handle it… Any advice?

1:19 pm March 23rd, 2015

Hi Kitty. I’m sorry but there is no safe way of taking acid. Anything can happen and you can get hurt in various ways, not just from “flying”. You know the saying “better safe than sorry”…well this drug is not the substance to play with. Please don’t use it simply because of curiosity (or for any other reason)!

J
6:25 pm April 4th, 2015

My main worry is of dying by means of a heart attack. If I had done E before and been fine off this (more of a stimulant), am I relatively safe when it comes to taking acid?

10:00 am April 6th, 2015

Hi J. You can never know what can happen when you take acid. You may have fun at the expense of damaging your health and hurt yourself unintentionally. I’m sorry that I don’t have a solid answer to your question, but I cannot tell if you can be hurt or not. Plus, I am not familiar with your general health state. If you have a heart condition, I wouldn’t advise you to do anything that might put your life in danger.

Cordes
11:56 am May 15th, 2015

im an avid supporter of LSD and other hallucinogens I’ve tripped more than a few times and I’ve even shown my friends the wonders of it, while some of the things said here may be true they are extremely exaggerated acid doesn’t make you think you can fly and even if you did believe that, that’s why you have sober friends around who can help you on your journey LSD has little to no health effects the biggest thing is an elevated heart rate although it’s different for those with mental health problems as it may cause psychosis but for those of you wanting to know if it’s ok to try yes just be sure you have a support base around you and are really prepaired for what you’ll see

jo
5:05 am May 27th, 2015

Hey can anyone tell me if seeing things move when I’m not high on acid is that bad ? Should I stop useing I inlet done it about 13 to 14 times and I’m only 15

Jack
3:07 am May 30th, 2015

So I dropped 100ug tab though it was broken up and one was taken at like 10:00 and the other at 11:00pm. It is now 12 hours later and I can’t sleep and everything Is still a bright colour and I feel like I’m barely tripping.. Am I In a permanent trip and how can I get to sleep

Rocco
8:38 pm June 10th, 2015

Im really concerned, i feel amazing on lsd but i look in the mirrior and underneath my eyes is a dark black , i look like a walking dead man and i dont understand why. I do stay hydrated, i cannot find anything on the internet about beneath your eyes turning black off acid

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