LSD is a powerful drug that affects mood and causes perception distortions. Hallucinations are a well-known side effect of LSD and can be a reoccurring problem that can continue even after LSD use is stopped.
Perhaps because of increased information surrounding the dangers of LSD use, the drug is not very widely used. However, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) still estimates that more than 200,000 people use LSD for the first time each year. Only 9.7 percent of the population above the age of 12 has used LSD once in a lifetime.1
LSD Street Names
Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) often appears as a white powder or a clear, colorless liquid. It can also be known on the street as:
- Kool aid
- White lightning
- Window panes
In most cases, this drug is taken orally (in the form of a powder or liquid), but it can also be inhaled, injected and applied directly to the skin.
The effects of LSD are unpredictable and will depend on the dose, and the personality, mood, expectations of use, and the surroundings of the person who is using this drug. In most cases, the effects of this substance peak at four to six hours after use and gradually diminish after that time.
LSD may lead to the following effects:
- Increased color perception
- Altered mental state
- Thought disorders
- Temporary psychosis
- Loss of appetite
- Dry mouth
- Speech difficulties
- Body image changes
- Impaired depth, time and space perceptions
The emotional effects of LSD may vary, but LSD may lead to a severe and sudden sense of panic, fear, depression, or desperation. Individuals may feel several emotions at once or swing rapidly from one emotion to another under the influence of this drug. “Bad trips” may consist of severe, terrifying thoughts and feelings, fear of losing control and despair.
The rate of LSD abuse is a little higher in the age group of 18 to 25 year olds versus high school aged. But this is the age group that sees the largest amount of LSD use. The NSDUH reports that 12.1 percent of young adults in the 18 to 25 age group have tried LSD once in a lifetime. However, this is down from 15.9 percent in 2002.2 So the use of LSD is declining in all age groups—at least in the short term.
Although LSD use is rather low compared to other more popular drugs, most LSD abuse occurs through experimentation. Often times, experimentation happens most often at parties or social gatherings. LSD is not the most common hallucinogen, but it is one that is used and present in social environments.
LSD is not often used on a daily basis due to its intense nature. The likelihood of a “bad trip” is well-known, and that keeps many would-be LSD abusers from trying the drug for casual use. Just one “bad trip” can be the grounds for not using LSD again for many. However, individuals can build a tolerance for this drug, and the mental effects can be devastating. It is possible to be psychologically addicted to LSD, and the use of this drug can absolutely be problematic for some.
LSD Addiction Help
If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to LSD or any other substances, please call our toll free helpline. Someone is available 24 hours a day to help you learn more about LSD safety, substance use disorders, and treatment options.
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- National Institute on Drug Abuse. Drug Facts: Nationwide Trends. June 2015. https://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/nationwide-trends
- Results from the 2013 National Survey on Drug Use and Health:Summary of National Findings. SAMHSA. 2013.http://www.samhsa.gov/data/sites/default/files/NSDUHresultsPDFWHTML2013/Web/NSDUHresults2013.htm