When LSD use first became popular decades ago, many medical professionals noticed an alarming trend that connected the drug to patients with schizophrenia. LSD-induced hallucinations resembled the kind of hallucinations experienced by schizophrenic patients. As a result, a theory began that LSD use could lead to schizophrenia.

Together with the fact that little scientific evidence supported any medical benefits to using LSD (or lysergic acid diethylamide), the hallucinogenic drug was officially banned from use in the U.S.1 Understanding what schizophrenia is and how this mental illness is different from a drug-induced condition can help families recognize problems in their loved one and get help.

Understanding Schizophrenia

Schizophrenia is a mental disorder that manifests itself in the breakdown of thought processes and poor emotional responsiveness. Auditory hallucinations (“hearing voices”), extreme agitation, delusions, and disorganized speech, and thinking are classic symptoms of schizophrenia. These are usually accompanied by social and occupational dysfunction as well.

In most patients, schizophrenia presents itself for the first time between adolescence and early adulthood. Men tend to first display symptoms in their early 20s, while women more frequently begin to show signs of this condition in their early 30s.2

The Link Between LSD Use and Schizophrenia

Genetics are considered one of the primary causes of schizophrenia. However, certain recreational and prescription drugs, like LSD, can magnify or intensify the symptoms of someone with a genetic predisposition to the condition. One in 200 people are affected by this illness, and currently there is no known cure for this form of mental illness.
The effects from LSD use are strangely similar to the common symptoms of schizophrenia. Well-known for its association with the psychedelic subculture of the 1960s, LSD induces auditory and visual hallucinations, synesthesia, an altered sense of time and spirituality, and changes in thought processes.3

LSD and Rapidly Advancing Psychotic Symptoms

Not surprisingly, one of the drawbacks of LSD use is the frequent onset of panic and extreme anxiety, which constitutes part of what users commonly refer to as a “bad trip.” LSD can cause drug-induced psychosis, which mimics the symptoms of schizophrenia. With long-term use, the drug can make the disease far worse than it would be without the substance.

While studies analyzing the connection between LSD use and schizophrenia screeched to a halt after LSD was made illegal, many believe the two conditions are related simply by their common symptoms, as opposed to an actual direct connection for causality. Others consider LSD a catalyst or trigger to the onset of latent or mild schizophrenia.3

Finding Help for LSD Addiction and Schizophrenia

The fact is, there is no conclusive evidence showing that LSD use is or is not related to schizophrenia.4 However, we do know this: LSD abuse is most certainly a problem, whether it is coupled with schizophrenia or not, and both conditions should be treated by reputable and experienced mental health specialists with a proven track record of success.

While no cure presently exists for schizophrenia, stopping LSD abuse will, in most cases, improve your drug-related symptoms and provide greater opportunity for health and happiness.1 Our track record of success in this field is supported by the findings of more than ten independent studies. When you call our 24/7 toll-free helpline, 706-914-2327, we will address your questions and concerns with straight-forward answers and information.

We will not only offer you several positive treatment options, but we can even help you determine how much your personal insurance coverage will pay toward this essential care. Trust a name that stands for excellence in drug treatment and mental health conditions. We truly care… one person at a time.


1 “DrugFacts: Hallucinogens”, National Institute on Drug Abuse, January 2016.

2 “Schizophrenia”, National Institute of Mental Health,February 2016.

3 FNP, Kathleen Davis. “LSD: Effects and Hazards.”Medical News Today, MediLexicon International, 22 June 2017.

4 “LSD and Schizophrenia: Does ‘Acid’ Cause Mental Illness?” Mental Health Daily, 28 Mar. 2014.