What Happens if You Drink Alcohol and Take LSD?
Mixing LSD and Alcohol
The effects of LSD are often unpredictable due to variables that include the dose taken, the user’s mental state, and the place where the drug is consumed. Dosages are difficult to determine, and there have been instances of the absorbent paper found with hallucinogenic drugs other than LSD.1 Alcohol consumption further increases the unpredictability of LSD, making this drug even more dangerous and life-threatening.
Mixing alcohol with other drugs is common for many drug users. Alcohol acts as a depressant, and some people may drink while on acid because they believe that alcohol lessens the more intense effects caused by LSD. While alcohol can dull the hallucinogenic effects of LSD, it can also exacerbate other effects of the drug.
According to the Zendo Project, a non-profit psychedelic peer support program, mixing alcohol and LSD often leads to panic, fear, aggression, and outright hostility.2 They report that some of the most critical mistakes that users of LSD make is taking the drug after they’ve already been drinking or neglecting to let the drug take effect before adding alcohol into the mix.
According to a report by the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General, LSD can reduce the perceived effects of alcohol.3 When individuals mix LSD with alcohol, they often become more relaxed and may be more likely to drink heavily. This can be very dangerous, as it increases the risk for alcohol-related problems, including alcohol poisoning.
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What is LSD?
Lysergic acid diethylamide, also known as LSD or acid, is a commonly used synthetic drug that results in hallucinations and altered sensations. LSD binds to specific serotonin receptors in the brain, modifying the activity of neural pathways and altering the perception of meaning.4
The drug can be found in many forms, but it is typically diluted in liquid and then soaked onto sheets of absorbent paper. The paper is then cut into small, individual dosage units that are placed on the tongue. Following ingestion, the effects of LSD occur within 30 to 60 minutes and can last for as long as 10 to 12 hours. Although the effects of LSD vary based on the individual and the dose taken, a user may experience the following effects when on an LSD “trip”:1
- Distorted visual perception of shapes, colors, movements, touch, and sound (such as “hearing colors” or “seeing sounds”)
- Altered sounds
- Feelings of obtaining true insight
- Distortion of time
- Anxiety and depression
- Rapid heart rate
- Increased body temperature
- High blood pressure
- Dilated pupils
- Profuse sweating
- Loss of appetite
- Dry mouth
LSD & Alcoholism Treatment Options
When you mix drugs like LSD and alcohol, you increase the risk of overdose and death. If you or someone you love is abusing alcohol and taking LSD, please know that there is help available from professionals at an addiction treatment center. Although LSD is typically not addictive when taken on its own, the highly addictive nature of alcohol sometimes makes it possible to become addicted to both drugs if taken together. If this is the case, there are many rehab centers that can provide specialized treatment for dual addictions.
- Drug Enforcement Administration. (2020). D-Lysergic Acid Diethylamide.
- The Zendo Project. (2019). 7 Ways To Help Someone Who’s Having A Bad Trip.
- Office of the Surgeon General. (2016). Facing Addiction in America: The Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs, and Health.
- Preller, K.H., Herdener, M., Pokorny, T., Planzer, A., Kraehenmann, R., Stämpfli, P., …& Vollenweider, F.X. (2017). The Fabric of Meaning and Subjective Effects in LSD-Induced States Depend on Serotonin 2A Receptor Activation. Current Biology, 27(3), 451-457.