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AKA: LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide) or a trip

  1. The basics
  2. Highs and lows
  3. Taking acid
  4. Acid with other drugs
  5. Useful info
  6. Acid and the law

The basics

Acid is a psychedelic and hallucinogenic drug made from a fungus called ergot. It comes in small squares of blotting paper or card called tabs.

Its effects will start 30 to 90 minutes after swallowing, peaking in the first 2 to 5 hours and lasting up to 20 hours. This is known as ‘tripping’.

How it’s used

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.

Highs and lows of acid

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 as though 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.

Lows and bad trips

These can be frightening, with hallucinations that 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’re having a bad trip, the following can help:

  • Stay calm, reassure yourself that what you’re experiencing is from the drugs and that it will go away.
  • It’s better to surrender to the experience rather than trying to control it.
  • Try to focus your attention on something pleasant – play calming music or try meditating.
  • Change the setting: get away from crowded, noisy places or turn down the music and lights.
  • Avoid heights (don’t climb up on things) and mirrors, as these can result in unexpected, often unpleasant experiences.

Taking acid

Sex on acid

LSD can make you feel horny and heighten your sense of touch. 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 with someone you know well and trust.

Read more about sex on drugs ››

A long term relationship?

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.

Acid with other drugs


Antidepressants can lower or boost the effects of LSD. Some antidepressants 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.

Anti-HIV medication

There are no known dangerous interactions between LSD and antiretroviral medication.

Useful to know

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 to be sedated.

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.

The law

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.

Next drug: Heroin ››

‹‹ Previous drug: Speed

Published: 20/08/2018
Next review: 20/08/2021