A pair of Canadian researchers, one with the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, the other Vancouver Coastal Health, has made headlines with a case study of three people who accidentally massively overdosed on LSD, The study appears in the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs. The researchers, Mark Haden and Birgitta Woods, were most surprised by the unexpectedly positive outcomes.
Most drugs such as cocaine, methamphetamine or even alcohol are lethal when taken in large doses. Even marijuana can kill if enough is ingested. But medical science has not been able to say for sure whether too much LSD can kill. Hallucinogens such as LSD are known to impact mood, behavior and perception, but doctors cannot say for certain what happens when people take more than the loosely prescribed standards set by non-medical professionals on the street. Also, researchers cannot intentionally administer an overdose to see what happens to human subjects—their only real option is to look at case studies of individuals who have taken abnormally large amounts of the drug to learn more about what it did to them. In this new effort, the researchers chose three exceptional case studies with unexpectedly positive outcomes that resulted from massive overdoses of LSD.