LSD or Lysergic Acid Diethylamide is a hallucinogenic drug (which means you’re likely to experience a distorted view of objects and reality, including in the form of hallucinations). It originally derived from ergot, a fungus found growing wild on rye and other grasses. LSD is commonly called ‘acid’. The experience is known as a ‘trip’ and these trips can be good or bad. A trip can take from 20 minutes to an hour to start and usually lasts about 12 hours. Once it's started you can't stop it. And until you take a tab of acid you can't tell how strong it is or how it's going to affect you. How the trip goes can be affected by who you are, how you're feeling and how comfortable you are with the people you’re with.
Slang: Street names for drugs can vary around the country. Acid, blotter, cheer, dots, drop, flash, hawk, L, lightening flash, liquid acid, Lucy, micro dot, paper mushrooms, rainbows, smilies, stars, tab, trips, tripper, window. Sometimes LSD is known by the pictures on them e.g strawberries.
- A ‘trip’ can appear to involve a speeding up and slowing down of time and movement.
- Colour, sound and objects can get distorted and you can experience double vision.
- Trips can heighten the mood you’re already in.
Chances of getting hooked
There is no evidence LSD is addictive.
LSD is a Class A drug - illegal to have, give away or sell. Possession can get you up to seven years in jail. Supplying someone else, including your friends, with LSD can get you a life sentence and an unlimited fine.
You can also be refused a visa in some countries if you hold a drug conviction.
Appearance and use
As a street drug it's usually sold as tiny squares of paper with pictures on them. But it can be found as a liquid or as tiny pellets.
Prices can vary from region to region. The prices given here are an average of street prices reported from 20 different parts of England.
£1 - £5 a tab
It's rare to get acid that’s impure. Some people think it hasn't worked, so they take more and find it's too much to handle. Acid can take up to two hours to take effect.
- LSD or ‘acid’ has very random, and sometimes very frightening, effects. Trips feed off a person's imagination.
- If panic sets in, the experience can be scary and confusing. Bad trips can be terrifying.
- Flashbacks sometimes happen. This is when part of the trip is subsequently re-lived after the original experience. (This usually occurs within weeks or months after taking the LSD but can be longer).
- There's no evidence to suggest LSD does any long-term damage to the body or long-term psychological damage.
- Avoid taking acid if you're in a bad mood. People have been known to harm themselves during a bad trip.
- LSD could have serious, longer term implications for somebody who had a history of mental problems and may also be responsible for triggering a mental health problem that had previously gone undetected.