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Dangers of Mixing LSD and Alcohol

Learn why it's a bad idea to mix these two drugs.

According to the University of Notre Dame, hallucinogens one of which is LSD is one of the few drugs that might not react negatively with alcohol. Unfortunately, because the effects of LSD are unpredictably it is difficult to say whether this is true or not. Both substances have severe negative effects on the brain and body. Only by knowing the effects of each can you guess at the dangers of mixing LSD and alcohol.

The Dangers of Mixing any two Drugs

lsd and alcohol

Mixing LSD and alcohol will lead to negative effects.

Most people have seen the warnings on prescription drugs and over the counter medications. Almost all of them warn about mixing them with both other drugs and alcohol. It is not surprising that mixing illegal drugs with alcohol, prescription drugs, and even over the counter medications is in general a bad idea. Mixing any of drugs produces one of these effects:

  • Synergistic effect – this is a combined effect where one drugs effect adds to the other. This effect is extremely dangerous when two of the same type of drug are combined. An example of this is alcohol and opiates. Both drugs are respiratory depressants, taking them together often causes respiratory failure.
  • Additive effect – this is when the combined effects are just that, combined together. You experience both effects of the drugs and alcohol. If a particular drug gives 50 percent of the maximum effect and alcohol gives 50 percent of the maximum effect then the maximum effect is produced, essentially 50 plus 50 to equal the maximum of 100. This is different from synergistic as synergistic gives an over maximum effect creating an issue.
  • Antagonistic effect – like all antagonists the effect of the drug or alcohol is counteracted or diminished by the presence of the other.

It is said that alcohol has an antagonistic effect with LSD.

The Effects of LSD

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, LSD is a prominent hallucinogen. It is one of the most widely used in the United States, particularly by college students. Many people use LSD as entertainment or as an escape their reality for a little while. Most of them do not suffer any adverse long term effects so it is only necessary to examine the short term effects of LSD in relation to alcohol. The short term effects of LSD are:

  • hallucinations,
  • distorted perception,
  • distorted time,
  • anxiety,
  • changes in vision,
  • delusions,
  • fear of losing control,
  • panic,
  • rapid heart rate, and
  • increase in blood pressure.

These are just a few of the short term effects of LSD. Since LSD affects everyone differently, many of the effects are difficult to predict.

The Effects of Alcohol

Almost everyone is somewhat familiar with the effects of alcohol on the body. A few of the most common are:

  • slurred speech,
  • anemia,
  • dehydration,
  • confusion,
  • headache,
  • upset stomach,
  • vomiting,
  • diarrhea,
  • distorted vision,
  • decreases in coordination, and
  • drowsiness.

The short term effects of alcohol are extremely well documented and relatively predictable. Most people are well aware of how they will react to alcohol. The common consensus is that alcohol is fine in moderation but extremely dangerous in large doses.

The Combined Effects of Both

Although mixing drugs is always dangerous, LSD and alcohol seem to complement each other. Since alcohol is a depressant and LSD a stimulant, alcohol often mellows to more adverse effects of LSD, particularly for those having a bad trip.

The bad trip phenomenon was first documented shortly after the hallucinogen properties of LSD were first found. Essentially, instead of having pleasant thoughts and visions, the LSD trip turns panicked and fearful. Alcohol is said to take the edge off a bad trip.

In general, alcohol acts as a LSD antagonist. The fact that its effects are opposite the normal effects of LSD, makes it possible for alcohol to calm the more serious and frightening aspects of any LSD trip including the bad ones.

What is strange is that LSD also cancels some of the effects of alcohol, including drunkenness. Many people report that the feeling of being drunk disappears while taking LSD. Unfortunately, it also increases the nausea from both drugs as well as the vomiting and other gastrological effects.

Since alcohol is a depressant, it is not recommended that you drink while you are coming down from LSD. Depression is often a side effect that happens after taking just LSD, when combined with the depressant effects of alcohol it can make a person severely depressed, make the depression last longer, and in some cases make the person suicidal.

Alcohol also might exacerbate the risk taking behavior often seen in people high on LSD. This can lead to a great many legal, financial, and social consequences.

This is not to say that taking LSD, drinking alcohol, and mixing the two are recommended. LSD is unpredictable and because of the unpredictable behavior many people exhibit on LSD, mixing the two is never a good idea. It is also never good to mix drugs, unless you know exactly how you will react to each of them independently.

Help for Combined Addiction

Although LSD on its own is not typically addictive, when combined with the addictive nature of alcohol it is possible to become addicted to both drugs combined. If this is the case, there is help available. Many rehab and treatment centers specialize in dual addictions. As with any drug, recognizing the addiction is the first step in seeking treatment.

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