Acid is also known as LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide) or a trip. It’s a psychedelic and hallucinogenic drug made from a fungus and comes in small squares of blotting paper or card called tabs.
Thirty to 60 minutes after swallowing a tab its effects will start, peaking in the first two to five hours and lasting up to 12 hours.
Where you are and how you feel can affect whether you have a good or bad trip. It’s better to avoid crowds or places you don’t know or don’t feel safe in. A knock at the door or the phone ringing could freak you out, so it’s a good idea to have someone you trust staying with you when you’re tripping.
Acid makes you hallucinate. You might see colours more intensely and patterns could appear. Things might seem to move or melt or you may feel like you’re floating and that time has slowed down. You might feel you’re seeing a new reality and getting a different understanding of life. No two acid trips are the same. It’s a very unpredictable drug; the effects depend on the amount of drug in the tab, your mood when you take it and your surroundings.
You could have a bad trip though, and these can be frightening as hallucinations can last for hours. Some people on LSD have no sense of danger and can put themselves or other people at major risk of harm. If you or someone else is having a bad trip the following can help:
LSD can make you feel horny and heighten your sense of touch and hallucinations can be erotic. Sex on acid can seem to last much longer than it actually does. Because the drug can lower your inhibitions and change how you see reality, it might be easier to act out sexual fantasies. Lower inhibitions can also cloud your judgement about safer sex. Because there’s always a risk of a bad trip, sex on LSD is best done with someone you know well and trust.
Using acid for a long time can cause paranoia and schizophrenia-like mental illness.
Weeks, months or years after taking LSD you might get panic attacks or flashbacks, which is where parts of the trip are relived.
Anti-depressants can lower or boost the effects of LSD. Some anti-depressants and the mood stabiliser lithium can make the effect of the drug a lot stronger and cause dangerous reactions. Check with a doctor before taking acid if you’re on these other drugs. Acid can be very strong and unpredictable, so mixing it with other chems isn’t a good idea at all.
There are no known dangerous interactions between LSD and anti-HIV medication.
If someone’s having a bad trip, take them somewhere quiet and reassure them the drug will wear off in a few hours. But if they are out of control, get medical help as they may need sedating. Acid can trigger mental health problems or make them worse, so it’s best avoided if you have any kind of mental health problem, even depression or anxiety.
LSD is a Class A drug. Possession can mean up to seven years in prison and/or an unlimited fine.
Intending to supply, which includes giving a drug to your mates, can mean up to life in prison and/or an unlimited fine.
Read our page on Drugs and the police for advice if you’re arrested.
This article was last reviewed on: 28/10/11
Date due for next review: 28/10/13