Mixing LSD — or any other drug for that matter — with alcohol is never recommended. That said, LSD and alcohol aren’t necessarily a life-threatening combo as long as you steer clear of heavy doses of either.
When you combine LSD and alcohol, it reduces the effects of both substances. This may sound like a good thing if you’re looking to chill out or come down from an especially bad trip, but it’s not that simple.
When you aren’t feeling the effects of either substance as strongly, you’re more likely to reach for more, which can increase your risk of overdoing it with either substance.
Folks who’ve tried this combo report a bit of an unpredictable experience. Some people find it makes for a happier, more uplifting trip. Others, though, report having very strange trips or just vomiting like crazy.
As with any substance, how you’ll react depends on factors like:
- how much of each you ingest
- whether or not you’ve eaten
- your body size and composition
- any other medications you may be taking
- preexisting physical and mental health conditions
- tolerance to either LSD or alcohol
- your surroundings
All substances come with risks — and LSD and alcohol are no different.
Mixing LSD with alcohol
Speaking of hangovers, mixing LSD and alcohol increases the potential for a rough comedown that can include nausea and vomiting, according to people who’ve been there, done that, and shared it online.
There’s also always the possibility of having a bad trip when you take LSD. Adding alcohol into the equation can make a bad trip worse and potentially make you aggressive, hostile, or even violent.
Before using any substance, it’s important to consider how it might interact with other substances you use or medications you take.
Other recreational substances
Not every substance has been studied for potential interaction with LSD, so it’s impossible to predict the outcome of combining LSD with other substances you may be taking.
We do know, however, that mixing any of the following substances with LSD can result in increased effects of both substances:
Mixing LSD with cocaine or cannabis can cause overstimulation and physical discomfort, depending on how much you use. Generally, the more you use of either substances with LSD, the more discomfort you’ll experience.
LSD can also lessen the effect of certain medications, preventing them from working properly.
Some of these drugs include:
- monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), such as isocarboxazid (Marplan), phenelzine (Nardil), and selegiline (Emsam)
- selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as fluoxetine (Prozac), paroxetine (Paxil), and sertraline (Zoloft)
- benzodiazepines, such as lorazepam (Ativan), diazepam (Valium), and alprazolam (Xanax)
Again, it’s generally best to avoid mixing alcohol with other substances. Interactions can be unpredictable and are never exactly the same for two people.
If you’re still planning to combine the two, there are some precautions you can take to make the process a bit safer.
- Having a trip-sitter. A trip-sitter is someone who stays with you and looks after you during a trip. Your cat doesn’t count. They should be someone you trust and who will stay sober the entire time in case you need help. Ideally, it should be someone who has experience with psychedelics and can spot the signs of a bad trip in the making or signs of an overdose.
- Doing it somewhere safe. You should always be in a safe and comfortable place when tripping.
- Limiting your alcohol intake. Since the risk of drinking too much is higher when you mix LSD and booze, you’ll want to find a way to limit your drinks. Keep just a small amount of alcohol with you, or go somewhere with limited access to alcohol. Also, tell your trip-sitter to stop you at a certain number of drinks.
- Minding your dosing. Taking the right dose is key when using acid. Taking too much increases the risk of negative effects whether you’re drinking or not. Give the LSD time to kick in before adding alcohol to the mix or redosing.
- Staying hydrated. Sipping water can help you stay hydrated. Too much alcohol can cause dehydration and psychedelic drugs increase body temperature, which can also be dehydrating. Water can help you pace your drinking and help reduce hangover and comedown symptoms. Having a few crackers on hand to help settle your stomach and slow the absorption of alcohol into your bloodstream is a good idea, too.
- Considering your mood. Your chances of a bad trip are a lot higher if you take LSD while your head’s in a negative space. Also, alcohol is a depressant, so combining the two when you’re already feeling down will just further bring you down.
When to get help
If you or someone experiences any of the following while using LSD, alcohol, or other substances, call 911 right away:
- irregular or shallow breathing
- irregular heart rate
- hallucinations or delusions
- loss of consciousness
If you’re concerned about law enforcement getting involved, you don’t need to mention the substances used over the phone. Just be sure to tell them about specific symptoms so they can send the appropriate response.
If you’re caring for someone else, get them to lay slightly on their side while you wait. Have them bend their top knee inward if they can for added support. This position will keep their airways open in case they begin to vomit.
It’s best to avoid mixing alcohol with other substances. If you’re going to try this combo, make sure you have a way to restrict your alcohol intake, as you may not feel as intoxicated.
If you’re concerned about your substance use, you have a few options for getting confidential support:
- Talk to your primary healthcare provider. Be honest about your drug and alcohol use. Patient confidentiality laws prevent them from reporting this information to law enforcement.
- Call SAMHSA’s national helpline at 800-662-HELP (4357), or use their online treatment locater.
- Use the NIAAA Alcohol Treatment Navigator.
- Find a support group through the Support Group Project.
Adrienne Santos-Longhurst is a freelance writer and author who has written extensively on all things health and lifestyle for more than a decade. When she’s not holed up in her writing shed researching an article or off interviewing health professionals, she can be found frolicking around her beach town with husband and dogs in tow, or splashing about the lake trying to master the stand-up paddleboard.