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Drug Information



What is LSD?

LSD stands for Lysergic Acid Diethylamide, and is also known as acid. It is derived from ergot, a fungus that grows on rye and other grasses. It is usually seen in the form of tabs, small squares of paper impregnated with LSD with a printed image on. Occasionally microdots are available which are very small tablets containing LSD.

How is it used?

The most common way to use LSD is to allow the tab to dissolve under the tongue. Tablets can be swallowed.

What are the effects?

The effects of LSD begin about half an hour to one hour after taking and can last up to 12 hours. How a person feels when they take the drug can influence the experience they have. An unpleasant experience seems more common when individuals feel emotions such as anxiety, nervousness and depression before taking LSD.

The experience can involve shapes and sounds becoming distorted, stationary objects moving and colours intensifying. Users often report a heightened self-awareness and talk of having a mystical experience. Feelings of dissociation from the body (feeling that you are outside or separate from your body) are also commonly reported.

It is possible when using LSD to have both good and bad experiences. Something may occur during the trip (the experience) to cause anxiety and change a good trip into a bad trip.

Some users experience flashbacks, short vivid re-experiences of part of a previous trip. These can leave the individual feeling disoriented, anxious and distressed, but are rarely dangerous.

There are no known physical health problems associated with LSD use, although there is some evidence to suggest that LSD can trigger underlying mental health problems and produce delusions, paranoia and schizophrenia-like states.

Physical dependence is not a feature of LSD use but tolerance rapidly develops, so after three or four days’ use LSD would usually have no effect.

Legal Status

LSD is a Class A drug.

  • The maximum penalty for possessing a Class A drug is seven years in prison and/or unlimited fine.
  • The maximum penalty for supplying a Class A drug is life imprisonment and/or unlimited fine.


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