Our Blog

Is Microdosing Psychedelic Drugs Dangerous?

Imagine if you could reduce symptoms of anxiety or depression, make socializing easier, and increase your focus and energy through the use of a psychedelic drug—without the hallucinogenic effects. That’s the lure of “microdosing” for those who seek the perceived benefits of this kind of drug using only a fraction of a full dose. Before any attempt to try microdosing psychedelic drugs, it’s essential to learn the risks involved. 


Microdosing psychedelic drugs involves taking a fraction (5%-10%) of a full dose of a psychoactive drug. In most cases, the substance used is illegal. Common substances used include LSD and psilocybin, also known as “magic mushrooms.” The practice of microdosing can lead to developing a tolerance to the drug. Treatment is available for people whose microdosing has led to a substance use disorder. 


What Substances Are Used in Microdosing?

You will be familiar with some of the substances commonly used in microdosing. They’re legal products that are widely available, including nicotine and the prescription medication Methylphenidate. Cannabis and Cannabidiol (CBD) are other substances used in microdosing. 


Other substances used in microdosing include:


● Ayahuasca- a psychoactive brew or tea

● Ibogaine-a root bark cultivated in Central Africa

● Ketamine-a medication used for pain relief and sedation during surgery.

● Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)

● Mescaline (peyote)-a naturally-occurring psychedelic 

● Methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDMA)-a psychoactive drug commonly known as ecstasy or Molly

● N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT)

● Psilocybin (“magic mushrooms”)


The most common substances used in microdosing are psilocybin and LSD. These psychedelic drugs are often easier to obtain. They’re also the most researched drugs from the list above. 


Is Microdosing Psychedelic Drugs Legal?

Microdosing itself is not illegal, but many of the substances used in microdosing are illegal. Legality is determined by their classification as Schedule I Controlled Substances. 


“Substances in this schedule have no currently accepted medical use in the United States, a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision, and a high potential for abuse.”


Ecstasy, LSD, and peyote are all considered Schedule 1 Controlled Substances and, therefore, not legal in any part of the United States. 


Is Microdosing Psychedelic Drugs Beneficial?

People who have experimented with microdosing have reported a range of benefits. They include an improved mood, more creativity, reduced symptoms of depression, greater empathy, and improved mental clarity. A general feeling of well-being appears to be a common result, too. That said, unwanted side effects may be an outcome of microdosing as well. 


Does Microdosing Psychedelics Create a Risk for Addiction?

People who take psychoactive drugs through microdosing may experience a higher tolerance over time. As their tolerance increases, their consumption of the drug goes up. They may take more doses at one time or use the drug more often to achieve the same effects. At this point, they are no longer microdosing as they have developed a substance use problem. 


As illegal drugs are not regulated or labeled, their contents should always be considered questionable. Other substances may be mixed in and taken without the knowledge of the user. These may be addictive substances on their own. 


Does Microdosing Create Mental Health Risks?

Microdosing psychedelics can have a negative impact on a person’s mental health. Symptoms of anxiety, for example, can worsen over time. A change in mood and disruption of social time can affect a person’s mental health. For example, someone with a history of psychotic disorders producing confusion, hallucinations, and delusions can bring on these symptoms (and others) by using psychoactive drugs. 


Is There Help Available for Microdosing?

Someone who’s been microdosing psychedelics, such as LSD, can find treatment to help them get on the road to recovery. If they are someone who began microdosing psychedelic drugs in response to unaddressed mental health needs, treatment for substance use and co-occurring anxiety, depression, or trauma is recommended. Dual diagnosis treatment can provide the means for helping a person recognize their own recovery needs and become an active participant in their work towards sobriety. 


Origins Behavioral Healthcare is a well-known care provider offering a range of treatment programs targeting the recovery from substance use, mental health issues, and beyond. Our primary mission is to provide a clear path to a life of healing and restoration. We offer renowned clinical care for addiction and have the compassion and professional expertise to guide you toward lasting sobriety.

For information on our programs, call us today: 561-841-1296.

Contact Us

Call or send us a message to begin your journey to wellness today.

If you or someone you love has a substance use or mental health disorder, Origins Behavioral HealthCare can help. We will work alongside you to provide the most comprehensive treatment available.