Effects of Acid – Acid is another name for LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), a very potent hallucinogen. Lysergic acid is found in the fungus ergot, and so powerful that doses need be only in micrograms. Effects are said to be stimulating, pleasant, and mind-altering, but can also lead to sometimes terrifying experiences, also known as having a “bad trip.”
Acid is illegal in the United States and classified as a Schedule I drug by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). This means that LSD has a high potential for abuse, and has no accepted medical use.
What is LSD?
LSD is produced as a crystalline form and then combined with other ingredients or diluted as a liquid for production in ingestible forms. It is colorless and odorless and has a mildly bitter taste.
LSD is a mind-altering drug, thought to cause hallucinogenic effects by interacting with the serotonin receptors in the brain. Serotonin is a “feel good” neurotransmitter that helps control mood and behavior.
LSD is found on the streets in a variety of forms, such as the following:
- Blotter paper – LSD soaked onto sheets of absorbent paper that are cut into small, individual dosage units
- Thin squares of gelatin (window panes)
- Tablets known as Microdots or capsules
- Liquid on sugar cubes
- Pure liquid form
Also, some people may snort/inhale LSD through or inject it into a vein.
Common Street Names for LSD:
- Mellow Yellow
- Window Panes
Effects of Acid
The physical effects of acid can be unpredictable and no one can know for sure when they used it if they will have a good or bad “trip.” Effects are often felt about 30-45 minutes after ingestion, peak around 2-4 hours, and may last 12-24 hours.
Effects include the following:
- Distorted perception of shapes and colors
- altered sounds
- Anxiety or depression
- Rapid heart rate, increased body temperature, and hypertension
- Extreme changes in mood
- Psychosis is the event of an overdose
- Impaired depth and time perception
- Distorted shape of objects, colors, sound, touch, and body image
- Scary thoughts and feeling
- Fear of losing control, insanity, or death
- Synesthesia (hearing colors, seeing sounds)
The physical effects can also include nausea, loss of appetite, difficulty sleeping, dry mouth, tremors, and seizures.
Hazards and Flashbacks
After using LSC, the ability to make sound judgments and see everyday hazards may be impaired, making the user particularly vulnerable to injury. In some cases, LSD users may also develop psychosis, such as severe depression or schizophrenia.
After a trip, the user may experience acute depression, anxiety, or flashbacks (hallucinogen persisting perception disorder) which are characterized by a return to the effects of the LSD trip days, weeks, or months later.
A flashback can occur suddenly, usually among those who are chronic users of hallucinogens or have an underlying mental health condition. Healthy people who ingest acid only occasionally may also have flashbacks, however.
LSD can also produce tolerance, meaning that the person using needs greater doses to achieve the same effect.
In some individuals, it may take up to 90 minutes to achieve effects – as a result, some users may take multiple doses in a short time in an attempt to initiate a trip. This could lead to an accidental overdose.
LSD overdose symptoms may include the following:
- Markedly dilated pupils
- Dangerously elevated blood pressure
- Tachycardia (rapid heart rate)
- Muscle shakes or tremors
- Extreme drowsiness
- Excessive sweating and flushing
- Tingling or prickling sensations.
Signs of a severe LSD overdose (Rare may include:
- Irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia)
- Bleeding inside the skull
- Dangerously high body temperature
- Blood clotting malfunctions
- Breakdown of muscle tissue, which may result in kidney failure
- Coma, although rare
LSD Use in the U.S.
In 2016, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NHSDA) estimated that 8.3% of the 18-25 aged population had used LSD at some point in their lives, and those who had used LSD and were older than 26 years was 10.8%. Moreover, rates of LSD use have remained relatively low among youth in the U.S. in recent years.
LSD is not known to produce a chemical dependence – this means that it is unlikely for withdrawal symptoms to manifest upon cessation of using acid. For this reason, detox may be unnecessary.
Still, LSD, like any psychoactive substance, can be psychologically addictive and therefore, difficult to quit entirely. Persons addicted to acid should participate in a drug treatment program that includes behavioral therapy, counseling, 12-step program meetings, and group support.
Our center offers a comprehensive approach to addiction treatment that also includes complementary, holistic practices such as yoga, meditations, and art and music therapy. Our medical and mental health care providers have expertise in addiction and give our clients the tools they need to recover from substance abuse and enjoy long-term sobriety.