(Lysergic Acid Diethylamide)
LSD is one of the most commonly used hallucinogens in Australia. It was first developed in the 1940s in Switzerland and explored as a treatment for some mental illnesses.
Acid; LSD-impregnated paper squares: trips, tabs, blotters
(There are hundreds of different printed designs on the paper, and each has its own name eg. Superman, Bart Simpson)
Forms and Appearance
LSD can be absorbed into any suitable substance and therefore can be sold in many forms. Pieces of blotting paper, sugar cubes, microdots and small square flakes of gelatin have all been used.
The most popular form today is absorbent sheets of paper. These are divided into squares and impregnated with LSD. The sheets are then printed with a small motif, hence many of slang terms used. The designs may consist of patterns, symbols, cartoon characters or pictures of current events.
Methods of Use
LSD is normally taken orally.
Effects of Use
- Seeing things in a distorted way or seeing things that don’t exist (hallucinations)
- The person usually knows that what they are seeing is not real
- Intense sensory experiences (e.g. brighter colours, sharper sounds)
- Mixing of senses (e.g. colours are heard or sounds seen)
- Distorted sense of time ( e.g. minutes can be as slow as hours)
- Distorted sense of space
- Distorted body image. The person feels they are floating or being pulled down by gravity
- Boundary between the self and surroundings becomes blurred
- Changed and intense thoughts
- Swings in emotions
- Accidents and occasional suicides during or after taking LSD have occurred
The most disturbing long-term effect is the potential for ‘flashback’ experiences. A ‘flashback’ is a spontaneous and unpredictable recurrence of the drug experience. It can occur days, weeks and even years after the drug was last taken. It usually lasts for a minute or two and involves some kind of visual hallucination, mostly seeing shapes and patterns that don’t exist. Flashbacks can be sparked off by using other drugs, stress, fatigue or physical exercise. Regular users are more likely to experience flashbacks.
Tolerance and Dependence
Tolerance to LSD develops rapidly but goes away quickly once regular use is stopped. Cross-tolerance can also develop, i.e. using one type of hallucinogen makes you tolerant to other hallucinogens.
LSD does not produce any physical dependency. Although most users do not experience any psychological dependence, some feel unable to enjoy their lives without the drug.
There are no physical withdrawal effects from LSD, and most users will not suffer any psychological effects.
Fatal overdose with LSD is not thought to be possible.