LSD (Acid) Detox & Treatment

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LSD (Acid) Detox & Treatment

Lysergic acid diethylamide, LSD, or Acid is an illicit drug used recreationally to alter the way a person perceives reality. When individuals use LSD, the desired effects sought after include:

Seeing, feeling and hearing sensations that are described as surreal or dream-like, developing a trance-like or dream-like state, or a change in mood, sometimes described as blissful (1)

Lysergic Acid Diethylamide LSD, drug abuse has potent effects that are long-lasting. But its addictive properties can be more psychological than physical.

In recent times, persons experimenting on LSD abuse have turned to “microdosing”, with the intention to experience the effects of LSD that can ease anxiety and mood-related concerns. (1)

Street LSD (Acid)

When LSD drug is available in the following forms:

  • On small dot on blotted paper (in liquid form)

  • A pill

  • A powder form

Usually, 70 micro milligrams of LSD hallucinogenic drug is enough to elicit the effects of LSD. But the typical dose is 100-200. (3)

How Long Do The Effects Of LSD Last?

This will highly depend on the user, but, in the beginning, at least fifteen minutes and an hour to four hours according to most users, but up to 12 hours for prolonged effects. (4)

Some street terms associated with LSD substance abuse are:

  • Trip:

A trip is a span of time where a person is under the influence of LSD. Saying a person is having an LSD trip is like saying a person is currently intoxicated with alcohol.

  • Tripping:

This refers to the act of using LSD addictive drug to achieve perception-altering results.

  • Acid freak: 

This refers to a person who uses LSD quite often.

Other less popular street names for LSD drug include:

  • Acid/Battery acid

  • Dots

  • Pane/ Window pane

  • Smilies

  • Tab

  • Zen (4)

LSD Drug Addiction Treatment

LSD drug abuse leads to psychological dependence on the drug. This can only be treated at an LSD addiction treatment facility.

Physical Dependence

Evidence so far concludes that LSD is not physically addictive. However, using the drug can pose hazards to a person’s physical, mental, and emotional health, and can lead to addiction. (5)

It however has a psychological dependence which refers to the need to increase the dosage amount in order to feel the effects of LSD. This includes using other hallucinogenic drugs to increase the high.

Physical harms when people abuse LSD and other drugs are:

  • Risk of overdose

  • With vulnerable individuals – a risk of developing schizophrenia; usage can trigger a psychotic state, or can trigger re-occurring negative flashbacks

  • Risk of developing severe disorientation and hallucinogen persisting perception disorder, where a person does not know who they are, or what is going on. (5)

Individuals at high risk of developing negative physical withdrawal symptoms include the following:

  • People already diagnosed with a mental health issues such as persistent psychosis

  • People who have a problem with drug and alcohol substance abuse problems.

  • People using other illicit drugs (called poly-drug use)

  • People who use prescription medication, especially anti-anxiety and/or antidepressants

  • People using other prescription medications, like Opioid painkillers, Gabapentin and Pregabalin

Some of the more serious LSD withdrawal symptoms according to the national institute of drug abuse include visual hallucinations, panic attacks, visual disturbances, and other health risks.

In case of these symptoms, one should consult with a medical provider, who’s responsibility is rendering medical advice and professional treatment advice.

Too much LSD combined with other addictive substances can also increase mental health issues and can lead to an increased blood pressure as well. (5)

Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder – HPPD

For persons who have developed a habit of LSD abuse, there is a greater chance of developing long-term effects of hallucinogen abuse such as; Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD), otherwise known as LSD addiction. The symptoms of HPPD include: (6)

  • LSD abuse or using than originally intended

  • Spending more time using or acquiring LSD

  • Ignoring other activities previously enjoyed, especially social activities

  • Using LSD and other drug addiction drugs even in the face of potential financial or social troubles

  • Failing marks in school or work, or absenteeism

  • Getting distressed if LSD access is threatened or prohibited

  • Having a defensive stance when the use of the drug is the topic of contention

  • Having cravings to use the drug at a regular rate

  • Becoming tolerant to the drug in such a way that higher dose are needed to feel the sought-after effects

  • Using LSD or alcohol addiction as a way to cope with everyday stressors

When these signs develop, it is best to consult a certified addiction professional at specific treatment centers, or a treatment LSD rehab clinic, such as Abbeycare.

Treatment providers use a variety of treatment options to deal with most withdrawal symptoms, including specific adverse consequences of the medical detox.

LSD requires counseling from a specific treatment center listing.

The work of treatment providers listed for LSD users is to provide professional treatment centers advice and help with physical symptoms of withdrawal. (6)

What Is Microdosing?

Microdosing is the practice of taking small amounts of the d-lysergic acid diethylamide drug in order to test how one can benefit from its psychological action while trying to minimize the adverse consequences alleged to be caused by the drug. (7)

Because of this recent trend of microdosing, some people find it advantageous to incorporate LSD into their daily habit. The reported positive experiences connected to LSD are:

  • Easing of anxiety and/or depression

  • Boosting creativity

  • Better artistic endeavours

  • Regulation of ADHD

  • A relaxed, peaceful state

  • Experiencing a spiritual/mystical state

Currently, microdosing and its psychological risks is under investigation in the UK, and a clinical trial of LSD microdosing is underway.

microdosing can easily lead to a drug seeking behavior and addiction. When one realizes that they are increasing the dosage on a daily basis, they should consult with a specific treatment provider to receive the proper care. (7)

Harms Associated

Bad Trip

LSD users complain about “bad trip.”

‘Bad trip’ is an experience where the LSD address leads to negative consequences that can lead to emotional distress. (8)

Bad trip can lead to disturbing side effects of LSD substance use disorder such as:

  • The person may see/feel/taste/hear unpleasant things that are not really there.

  • The person may start to remember unpleasant past events, or traumatic events.

  • The person may become unhappy, and moody.

  • If the person is frightened, the hallucinations can cause panic or paranoia

Side Effects Of LSD Drug Abuse

Physical side effects include: (9)

  • Fever-like symptoms (increased temperature)

  • Fast heartbeat

  • Slow reflexes/clumsiness

  • Dizziness/vomiting

Physical side effects are underreported with LSD use. Instead, persons who use LSD complain most about psychological side effects.

Side effects that are unfavourable to a person’s mental/emotional health include:

  • Flashbacks, especially of painful life events

  • Fear or anxiety triggered by disturbing hallucinations

  • LSD addiction and/or tolerance

  • Usage of LSD with other recreational substances

  • Under the influence of LSD, the person is prone to make unreasonable choices that can lead to accidents

Most likely, LSD sold in the streets may not be 100% LSD. Sometimes it may be laced with other substances, that can cause complications.

As the manufacturing process of LSD is done in secret, the correct dose cannot be ascertained all the time.

The effects of LSD can vary depending on the “brand” or batch of drug produced. This is quite dangerous because unlike medicines that can be bought openly in standard doses, LSD’s effects are likely unpredictable. (9)

The Risk of Overdose

Most cases of LSD overdose happens when the person is taking LSD with other drugs. These drugs can include: (10)

  • Alcohol

  • Cocaine

  • Ecstasy/ MDMA

  • Prescription pain medication (especially Opioid Painkillers)

  • Stimulants (like Adderall®, Concerta®, Ritalin®)

But overdosing on LSD alone is not a common complaint. If and when it does happen, the following symptoms can be found:

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Gastrointestinal issues

  • Fever/Increased body temperature

  • Breathing problems

  • Unconsciousness

  • In severe cases, coma, which if not intervened, can be fatal.

A treatment provider dealing with poly-drug use or the misuse of several drugs can help handle addiction to LSD.

Withdrawal Symptoms and Treatment

Tolerance to LSD develops quickly. (11)

A dose taken for three consecutive days will not usually elicit another response on the next dose. As a result, persons may need to take a higher dose to produce the sought-after effects of the drug.

Research evidence does not point to specific physical signs of withdrawal from LSD. It is apparent that psychological withdrawal is felt more often than physical LSD withdrawal symptoms. (12)

With chronic (long-term) use of LSD, these psychological symptoms show as:

  • Cravings for LSD

  • Mild jitteriness/nervousness

  • Distraction and an inability to focus on tasks

  • Reactivity (quick to anger) with minor stressors

  • If the person used LSD to alleviate low feelings, low or depressive feelings may be pronounced

These psychological symptoms vary from person-to-person and can be subject to several factors. One of the most important determinants is the person’s emotional/mental health status prior to establishing the use of LSD as a regular routine. (12)

LSD Treatment: Detox > Rehab > Aftercare

The addiction treatment for LSD is taken in three main stages which starts with detox, followed by rehab and then aftercare.

LSD Detox

This is the process of eliminating LSD from the body. It is an intense treatment where the toxins are extracted from one’s bloodstream. (13)

In a rehab centre, experts can monitor health-related concerns that can affect withdrawal from LSD. Although for the most part, the withdrawal symptoms affect a person more emotionally than physically.

There are circumstances when a person can be vulnerable. With full-time care available, these possible risks can be minimised.

Professionally assisted LSD detox allows persons to remove themselves from environments that can trigger or encourage the use of LSD (even if these triggers are not acknowledged).

Having a supportive environment in LSD detox eases the person to the next stage where significant changes in behaviour are lead to happen. (13)

LSD Rehab

At the Abbeycare Clinic, the standard 28 day programme is used for LSD Detox and Rehab. This programme can address the problems associated with LSD use because:

LSD Aftercare

This will focus on a detailed, easy-to-follow aftercare plan that ensures the recovery from LSD addiction endures.

With this in mind, much energy is given to constructing an after-care plan. With the help of experts and other co-sufferers, clients will be guided to make a day-to-day guide incorporating:

  • Details on how to contact the sponsor

  • Details on group schedules/meetings

  • Ways to cope with triggers/cravings

  • Emotional and social support when testing situations arise


What if I use other drugs aside from LSD? Can I be admitted to rehab too?

Yes. Abbeycare routinely works with individuals struggling with poly-drug (multi-drug) use. After consultation with our management team, it is highly possible that one is admitted to our rehab programme.

Is it possible to overdose on LSD?

Not exactly. Physically, it is not likely to overdose on LSD. But taking too much of the drug can cause distressing hallucinations that may trigger irrational behaviour.

Much of the harms associated with LSD use are associated with reactions to some disturbing hallucinations (seeing/sensing things that are not factually present).

How long does LSD detox take?

It depends. Three to four days after using LSD, the person can start feeling feel fewer of the withdrawal symptoms discussed.

With LSD, the withdrawal symptoms are usually connected with the need to use the drug as a means to lift moods and boost creativity. Taking away the option to use the drug can create anxiety and irritability, which can lead to insomnia or a change in appetite.

How much does LSD treatment cost?

The price for treatment is subject to agreement from Abbeycare’s admissions and clinical teams, following the initial conversation. Use the Abbeybot below to get an instant answer.

Or contact us directly to for specific enquiries.


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About the author

Melany Heger

Registered Psychologist and Freelance Writer, Jinjin Melany passionately writes about mental health issues, addiction, eating disorders and parenting since 2015. Read more about Melany on LinkedIn. Content reviewed by Laura Morris (Clinical Lead).

Last Updated: February 2, 2024