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Last updated : April 21, 2018
LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide) is a synthetic chemical, made from a substance found in ergot, which is a fungus that infects rye (grain).1
LSD belongs to a group of drugs known as hallucinogens (also known as ‘psychedelics’). When small doses are taken, it can produce mild changes in perception, mood and thought. When larger doses are taken, it may produce visual hallucinations and distortions of space and time.2
Sometimes, what is sold as LSD can actually be other chemicals such as NBOMe or the 2C family of drugs (part of the new psychoactive substances). These can be quite dangerous, as their quality is inconsistent, plus the potential to take too much of these other substances can be fatal and a number of deaths have been reported due to people taking them.3
In its pure state, LSD is a white odourless powder. However, it usually comes in squares of gelatine or blotting paper that have been dipped or soaked in LSD.2 LSD is also sometimes sold as a liquid, in a tablet or in capsules.
Acid, trips, tabs, microdots, dots, Lucy.
LSD is usually swallowed, but it can also be sniffed, injected or smoked.1,4
There is no safe level of drug use. Use of any drug always carries some risk. It’s important to be careful when taking any type of drug.
LSD can affect everyone differently, based on:
The effects of LSD usually begin in 30 – 45 minutes and can last for 4 to 12 hours.3 The following may be experienced during this time:
If you take a large amount, the negative effects of LSD are more likely to happen. If you experience any of the following symptoms, call an ambulance straight away by dialling triple zero (000). Ambulance officers don’t need to involve the police.
Sometimes you can experience a ‘bad trip’ , involving a disturbing hallucination. This can lead to panic and risky behaviour, like running across a road or attempting self-harm.1,2
In the following days after using hallucinogens, the following may be experienced:
People who regularly use LSD may eventually experience flashbacks. Flashbacks are hallucinations that occur weeks, months or even years after the drug was last taken. This can be disturbing, especially when the hallucination is frightening.2
Flashbacks can be brought on by using other drugs, stress, tiredness or exercise and usually last for a minute or two.2
In addition to flashbacks, regular use of LSD may eventually cause:
The effects of taking LSD with other drugs − including over-the-counter or prescribed medications − can be unpredictable and dangerous, and could cause:
Tolerance develops rapidly to the effects of LSD. After the third or fourth consecutive days of taking LSD, no amount of the drug can produce the desired effects. However, after a short period of abstinence (about 3-4 days) normal tolerance returns.2
Taking LSD regularly does not appear to result in physical dependence but there have been reports of psychological dependence occurring.1,2 People withdrawing from LSD may experience:
If your use of LSD is affecting your health, family, relationships, work, school, financial or other life situations, you should seek help and support.
chills, confusion, dilated pupils, euphoria, facial flushes, fast breathing, fast heart rate, feeling of wellbeing, hallucination, headache, increased body temperature, irregular heart beat, nausea, sweating, trouble concentrating, vomiting.