Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > LSD
LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) is the most widely used
hallucinogenic drug. Hallucinogenic drugs cause a person to see vivid images,
hear sounds, and feel sensations that seem real but are not. LSD is also called
acid, blotter, or dots. It is odorless and
colorless and has a slightly bitter taste. It can be obtained as a colored
tablet, clear liquid, or thin square of gelatin (window panes) or on blotter
paper. Most often, LSD is licked off blotter paper or taken by mouth. But
the gelatin and liquid forms can be put in the eyes.
The effects of LSD are unpredictable and depend on the amount taken;
the person's personality, mood, and expectation; and the situation in which the
drug is used. Effects are usually felt within 30 to 40 minutes after taking the
drug. The LSD experience is often called a "trip" and can last up to 12 hours.
A "bad trip" may contain terrifying thoughts, feelings, and fears. Also, LSD can cause flashbacks, in which the person suddenly relives
certain aspects of the experience without having taken the drug. Flashbacks may
occur a few days or more than a year after use of LSD.
Serious psychiatric conditions can develop after even one use of LSD.
The cause of these effects is not known. The effects include:
LSD is not considered an addicting drug. But it does require
increasingly higher amounts to obtain the same effect (tolerance).
LSD is typically out of a person's system within 24 hours, and
standard drug screens (toxicology tests) are not able to detect it. But
special laboratory tests can be used to detect LSD in the blood.
It is difficult to detect LSD use. Things that point to LSD use may include:
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerPatrice Burgess, MD - Family MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerMichael F. Bierer, MD - Internal Medicine,
Current as ofNovember 3, 2016
Current as of:
November 3, 2016
Patrice Burgess, MD - Family Medicine & Michael F. Bierer, MD - Internal Medicine,
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.