Does LSD have any long term harmful effects on the brain?

Does Lysergic acid diethylamide, or more commonly known as LSD, have any long term effects on the brain? I know it can cause death. I have read several articles talking about how useful its effects are. I am NOT contemplating taking it, but am just interested on whether it has any lasting effects, such as killing brain cells, or damaging the brain in the long term. Any other risks associated with it? I hear it is such a beneficial drug, yet it is outlawed, so I am just trying to find out about it. If it has such effects, what are they?

15 Answers

  • As quoted from The Institute for the Study of Drug Dependence –

    There are no known physical dangers attributable to long term LSD use. In particular there is no reliable evidence that LSD causes brain damage or damage to future children. Adverse psychological effects are possible after one trip, but are more common in regular users. For some users, the experience of hallucinating can be acutely distressing with various symptoms including paranoia; phobia and ideation take time to subside.

    Case studies of prolonged serious adverse psychological reactions are reported in the literature, but appear to be rare.

    These reactions can be psychotic in nature and generally occur among those with existing or latent mental illness, most commonly after repeated LSD use, when LSD has perhaps acted as the final straw. Among drug users such individuals are marked out as acid casualties, those who have taken so much LSD over a period of time that they never quite come back to normal consciousness.

    A number of LSD users report a short-lived vivid reliving of a past trip without use of the drug known as a “flashback”. Part of LSD is media portfolio as a horror drug were claims that users could have flashbacks lasting days or even weeks. In truth an LSD flashback (which can occur up to months after using the drug) only lasts a few minutes and is rarely dangerous although it can leave the person feeling anxious, disorientated or distressed. Flashbacks are most likely to happen in situations reminiscent of past LSD experiences or sometimes when a past user is smoking cannabis.

    There is no physical dependence to LSD, but tolerance to the drug builds up rapidly. After 24 hours to achieve the same effect a much larger dose is necessary. After 3 to 4 days of increasing the dosage, a limit is reached whereby no dose would be effective. A break of around three days would be required for LSD sensitivity to return. Small minorities of those who have ever used LSD become psychologically dependent.

  • Long Term Effects Of Lsd


    Nothing goes wrong with your spine when you trip, and your brain doesn’t bleed. These are nothing but rumors and myths. The only harmful side effects can bring out underlying psychological disorders right then, or bring them on earlier. Of course after a very long term of use you may develop some mental issues, and there’s also a chance of harming oneself of others if you have a bad trip. LSD has more pros than cons. It’s been known to help a lot of things, even autism. I’d say it’s a fairly safe drug if you have a strong enough mind. The trip can be very spiritual, but usually you just act like a kid again. I’d say the best setting for a trip is with your close friends that you’re comfortable with and in a place where you don’t have to worry about parents or authority figures. Plan a lot of things to do during the trip, and also have a ‘safe spot’ if you start to freak out. My used to be a specific blanket and I’d listen to really happy music (like the beatles) Having a friend to help talk you out of it is good too. Hope I helped:)

  • As far as I know it can not realistically cause death, without taking 10s of thousands of recreational doses simultaneously, making it practically harmless in terms of death.

    LSD does have profound mental effects though, I assume these are why it is illegal.

    It can cause confusion, and is quite dangerous when taken in silly situations, because the user doesn’t necessarily understand what is going on. If one has a bad experience it can also trigger mental illnesses.

    It doesn’t kill brain cells. It doesn’t cause chromosome damage. It is never rat poison / mixed with rat poison.

    Basically it is illegal because society doesn’t trust people to be able to use hallucinogens responsibly and it is reinforced by endless propaganda about how dangerous it is.

    It has little to no known long term effects on the brain, but sometimes heavy users of LSD find residual LSD effects after they stop taking LSD. For some reason this only happens with LSD and not other hallucinogens.

  • Long Term Effects Of Acid

  • Dido, you are quite correct that LSD does have beneficial, therapeutic effects, contrary to what some of the other responders have said. They need to read some of the earlier literature to understand this. LSD was actually introduced as a useful therapy in Psychiatry, but because Western society discovered the abuse potential of this drug, it had to be withdrawn from all use. We still do basic laboratory research on this drug, and someday, it or another analog may gain acceptance for psychiatric use.

  • i know someone took lsd in 1991 and it changed his personality, for the worse. Lsd may not kill you but it will definately hurt your mind

  • NO more lasting effects than aspirin or artificial sweeteners. In fact, there are less! Why aren’t those other things illegal? Oh, wait- they don’t induce change for the good, I forgot. Please help me understand why it’s outlawed, I don’t understand it.

    Manslaughter charges for LSD is ridiculous!

    What should we do?

  • what?? lsd has useful effects, is this anything like drinking beer to get money for the bottle returns?

    epilepsy CAN be attributed to lsd and its components, epilepsy is the oldest disease of the mind. its NEVER fully controlled (seizures occur every few years or of diminished severity)

    street drugs are the worst, only talk to physicians and doctors about drugs, no street workers or lamerz

  • LSD can’t kill you, unless you’re high on it and do something stupid, like jump out the window. You can’t OD on LSD, either.

    I’ve never heard of LSD having useful effects, or of it being a beneficial drug. Are you thinking of something else, like opium? LSD is a chemical drug that causes hallucinations; it doesn’t cure diseases or anything like that.

    LSD can have permanent effects on a person in the form of flashbacks. If you have a bad trip, it can come back at anytime (even years down the road).

    Not that I’m advocating the use of LSD, but it’s probably one of the “safer” drugs out there (if only because you can’t OD on it). Still, I think you’re much better off staying away from all drugs, LSD included.

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