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Can LSD Kill You?

Learn about the potentially devastating effects of LSD use.

As one of the more commonly used hallucinogen drugs, LSD produces vivid hallucinations as well as “out-of-body” experiences. Like most all hallucinogen drugs, a person’s mood state when using can influence the type of drug effects he or she experiences, according to Columbia Health. In effect, the answer to “can LSD kill you” depends on a person’s usage habits and the types of drug experiences he or she has.

LSD Effects

LSD produces pronounced effects in many of the body’s major systems. While users tend to experience the effects of the drug in their minds, the brain chemical processes affected by LSD impact any process regulated by the central nervous system. In this respect, the question, “can LSD kill you,” speaks to major systems throughout the body.

Major systems affected by LSD effects include:

  • Body temperature regulation
  • Heart rates
  • Breathing rates
  • Nerve cell communications
  • Cognitive processes
  • Emotions

LSD Effects on the Brain

According to Medscape, LSD exerts its greatest effects on the brain’s serotonin system. Chemically speaking, LSD’s chemical make-up bears some similary with serotonin, an essential brain neurotransmitter chemical.

Serotonin levels play a key role in regulating:

  • Sensory signals
  • Emotional responses
  • Perception
  • Cognition
  • Mood states

With frequent LSD use, the effects of the drug offset normal serotonin levels in the brain. Over time, these imbalances compromise the brain’s ability to regulate bodily processes. Once chemical imbalances reach a certain point, a person will start to wonder, “can LSD kill you” as his or her physical and psychological health sees a steady decline.

LSD Poisoning

LSD poisoning occurs in cases where the amount of the drug in the system exceeds the brain and body’s rate of metabolism. While rates of LSD poisoning run lower than rates associated with other forms of drug abuse, it does occur to a certain extent.

In 2011, LSD-related events accounted for 4,819 hospital emergency department visits, which equals out to 1.5 per every 100,000 people. Can LSD kill you? Yes. LSD poisoning is one of the culprits.

Bad Trips

LSD effects

LSD is known for its notorious “bad trips”.

LSD produces varied effects that can be unpredictable in terms of the type of drug “high” a person experiences. At any given time, a person may experience a “bad trip” or a “good trip.” Bad trips can bring on any number of unpleasant effects that can make a person feel as if he or she is going insane.

Can LSD kill you in this respect? Yes, as people experiencing bad trips may engage in dangerous, life-threatening behaviors.

Psychological Effects

LSD effects on the brain’s serotonin system greatly disrupt a person’s emotional stability over time. With continued drug use, users enter into a state of severe depression.

LSD also disrupts the brain’s sleep cycles, which further exacerbates depression symptoms. Before long, users start to entertain thoughts of suicide and may actually act on them. Yet another resounding yes to the question, “can LSD kill you.”


Concerns regarding can LSD kill you become even more so warranted in cases where a person already struggles with mental health issues. Someone struggling with depression and/or anxiety-based disorders is even more so exposed to the overall dangers of LSD abuse.

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