Everything you need to know about LSD

What is LSD?

LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) is in the class of drugs known as hallucinogens. It is one of the strongest mood-altering drugs out there and is also referred to as “acid.”

What does LSD look like?

LSD is sold as tablets, capsules, liquid, on sugar cubes, in thin gelatin squares (commonly called “window panes”), or on absorbent paper that has been soaked with LSD and cut into tiny squares and covered with colorful artwork or designs.

How is LSD used?

LSD is usually taken orally, but gelatin and liquid forms can be put in the eyes. It is odorless, colorless and has a slightly bitter taste.

Effects of LSD

The effects of LSD are unpredictable and depend on the amount taken; the user’s personality, mood and expectations; and the surroundings in which the drug is used.

Physical effects include:
* Dilated pupils
* Increased body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure
* Sleeplessness
* Loss of appetite
* Nausea
* Goose bumps and/or profuse sweating

Psychological effects include:
* Delusions and visual hallucinations
* Extreme mood changes
* Impaired depth and time perception
* Distorted senses, such as sight, touch and sound
* Panic over effects
* Acute anxiety or depression after an LSD “trip” for various periods of time

Long-term effects include:
* Sudden flashbacks that can occur within a few days or even years after LSD use

Consequences of LSD

LSD is not considered an addictive drug because it doesn’t produce the same compulsive drug-seeking behavior as cocaine, amphetamines, heroin, alcohol or nicotine. Most LSD users will voluntarily decrease use or stop altogether over time.

Although LSD is not considered to be addictive, it can have lasting consequences. Powerful hallucinations during an LSD “trip” can lead to acute panic attacks within the user and can lead to prolonged anxiety and psychotic reactions long after the effects of the drug have worn off. These mental effects can add to existing psychiatric problems.

LSD Facts and Statistics

* More than 22.7 million people aged 12 or older reported using LSD in their lifetime. (NSDUH, 2007)
* Four percent of high school seniors have tried LSD in their lifetime. (NIDA, 2008)


This blog is for informational purposes only and should not be a substitute for medical advice. We understand that everyone’s situation is unique, and this content is to provide an overall understanding of substance use disorders. These disorders are very complex, and this post does not take into account the unique circumstances for every individual. For specific questions about your health needs or that of a loved one, seek the help of a healthcare professional.