LSD (acid, trips, tabs, A)
||LSD can take you on a joyful trip. You’ll be able to ‘see’ sounds
and ‘hear’ colours for half a day or so, after dropping a tab. The acid
journey might also put you in the fear-filled grip of illusions and
paranoia. With heavy use you could also spend the rest of your days suffering bouts of depression because the drug has altered the way your brain works.
LSD (d-lysergic acid diethyl amide - 25) is a powerful hallucinogenic drug
usually sold as small paper squares/tabs which was strongly associated with the
hippie culture of the 1960s. LSD interferes with sensory processing and affects
neurotransmitters in the brain (like serotonin). Other synthetic hallucinogens
(e.g. DOB) are sometimes sold as acid.
effects vary according to the user’s
previous experience of the drug, their mood,
and the quantity and strength. The trip can be
very unpredictable, even for experienced users.
Some users describe LSD as a ‘spiritual’ experience.
Tripping (immediate effects):
LSD changes one’s perception of reality by causing a sensory overload. Most
users take LSD orally, and the effects come on between 20 minutes and 2 hours
and usually last 6 to 12 hours, with the strongest effects 3 to 5 hours after
taking it. Tripping with good friends usually creates a much better time than
doing it alone.
The most common effects of tripping are:
- Heightened sensory experience where sound and images are intensified
- Distorted awareness of ability.
- Thinking becomes more intense.
- Uncontrollable laughter.
- Unstable or changing emotions.
- Muscle twitches or numbness.
- Slight increase in pulse and blood pressure, pupils becoming
- Increased body temperature (sometimes hot/cold sweats).
- Blurring of boundaries between self and environment.
- With high doses users may lose their sense of self, or not feel
connected to their bodies.
- Increased energy because of stimulation of the central nervous
Long term effects and risks:
- Flashbacks, though these are rare.
- Depression and other mental health problems, sometimes leading to
- Heart and blood pressure problems.
- Problems with memory and concentration.
- No use is the safest choice with LSD. People with heart problems should never use.
- Consider your personal safety and plan a safe night before using.
It’s best to trip only if you’re in a positive mood, and while with
- Take less than a whole trip the first time to find your tolerance.
Otherwise, you could easily lose it. Being with an experienced tripper
and in a safe environment with trusted friends is vital.
- Take a small amount at first to gauge the strength, which tends to
vary between tabs.
- Mixing with drugs and alcohol can increase health risks. Mixing LSD
with stimulants (e.g. speed) increases the chance of a bad trip –
sensory overload can lead to panic. Combining LSD with Ketamine can be
extremely disorientating and should be avoided.
- The experience relates to your own thoughts, feelings and
surroundings, so positive thinking can help if you’re having a bad trip.
- If you have mental health problems, don’t take LSD.
- Taking large doses of LSD can bring back suppressed memories. If you have a history of trauma, consider this before taking a trip.
- The strength of LSD varies. The pictures (trademarks) can be used as
rough guides to strength. Ask friends who have tried them. Remember,
different batches of the same design can also vary in strength.
If you’re having a bad trip – avoid dwelling on personal problems, use
support, or change the scene or music. If you start to panic, reduce breathing
to a steady rate and rationalise things. And remember – you’ll eventually come
IF YOU ARE WORRIED about your own or someone else’s LSD use, contact CADS
on (09) 845 1818 or www.cads.org.nz