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acid, lsd, tabs, trips
lysergic acid diethylamide



The drug was first introduced in 1938. In the 1950s and 1960s the drug was used in counselling to assist the comeback of repressed and unconscious thought.

Since the 1960s the use of LSD has increased as a recreational drug.



Sold as little squares of paper, usually with a picture, or sometimes as small pills called microdots.


method of use




Acid starts working after about half an hour; it is strongest for the first hour or two, and its effects generally last 6–12 hours, but sometimes much longer.

Acid powerfully changes the senses and emotions, but it is rare that people on acid see things that are not there — acid distorts what already exists and makes people feel very differently about themselves and about the world in general.

Colours are intensified. Shapes, sizes, and time can become elastic and 'out of body' experiences are not uncommon.


health risks

LSD is not physically addictive. It has no physically harmful effects and is not associated with dependency problems, since the effects dwindle if taken for a few days at a stretch until a point where no amount will be effective.

LSD can also induce latent mental health problems and promote psychosis.

A particular risk with LSD is that once it has been taken, the user will have to cope with its effects. There is nothing that can be given to get rid of the effects quickly.

Acid intensifies sensations indiscriminately, so for someone feeling anxious, depressed or suffering from mental health problems, taking LSD is likely to be an unpleasant experience.

It only takes a microscopic amount for the drug to have its effect and so the strength of each new batch can vary considerably.

Acid is measured in units called micrograms. The strength of acid may vary from a low dose of 100–200 micrograms up to a much stronger dose of 1,000 micrograms. This difference in strength will manifest itself as a much longer, more intense trip.

Some people experience 'flashbacks'. These are sudden and intense memories of a trip which can be seen as rather frightening and can occur long afterwards.



There is no physical dependence but tolerance builds up quickly to achieve the same effect. After 24 hours a much larger dose is necessary.


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If someone is panicky and starts breathing rapidly, take them to a quiet place and calm them down by reassuring them that they are safe. Do not give them anything to eat or drink other than sips of water. Help them to breath slowly in and out.

Remember to take time out and cool down. If someone collapses (eyes rolled back, erratic breathing, skin cold and clammy) call an ambulance, tell them what they have taken.

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the law

LSD is a class A drug under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971.

Published in Alcohol & Drugs