Acid, trips, tabs-LSD is known by many names and is synonymous with stories past decades. It is still commonly used (relative to other illegal drugs) and so is a relevant drug for youth workers to know and understand.

WHAT

LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) is an illegal hallucinogen commonly referred to as ‘acid’.

OTHER NAMES

Acid, window, trips, tripper, tab, stars, smilies, rainbows, paper mushrooms, micro-dot, Lucy, liquid acid, lightning flash, L, hawk, flash, drop, dots, cheer, blotter.

HOW COMMON IS USAGE?

In 2013, 9.4 per cent of Australians aged over 14 years had used hallucinogens other than cannabis and ecstasy (National Drug Strategy Household Survey, 2013).

APPEARANCE

Tiny squares of paper decorated with pictures, liquid in a vial, or a pellet. 

USE

Swallowed or absorbed through the skin.

EFFECTS

Distortion of objects and reality, including visual and auditory hallucinations. A trip can be good or bad – it may conjure a sense of relaxation and happiness or agitation and panic. Effects are felt within 20 minutes to two hours, and can last between six and 12 hours.

OVERDOSE

If someone is having a bad trip, take them to a quiet, comfortable area, stay with them, and reassure them. LSD is also known to exacerbate mental health conditions.

COMMON MIXERS

Not commonly mixed, but combining drugs will likely increase effects.

Didn’t find what you’re looking for? Try the YouthAOD toolbox for further in-depth information or ask YoDAA

SOME COMMON HARM REDUCTION STRATEGIES

Encourage a young person to: -

  • avoiding taking multiple tabs, especially if they are unsure if they are taking real LSD or not.
  • plan their “recovery time” after their trip
  • understand the risks involved in mixing other drugs and alcohol, including prescription medication.
  • If a young person is experiencing a “bad trip” take them to a quiet room and stay with them until they are calm
  • let someone know if you are not feeling well after using.
  • Talk to a young person about having a person to call in case they are feeling worried, paranoid or start to panic.
  • call an ambulance if you are worried at any point about themselves or a friend. Remind them that an ambulance will not call the police.
  • try a small amount first, wait to see how the drug affects them before taking more. 
  • never using alone.
  • take regular breaks from use to avoid dependency.
  • stay hydrated when they are using
  • think about the dangers of drinking and using drugs and driving or getting in a car with someone who has been drinking or taking drugs.
  • be in a safe and comfortable space.
  • make a plan prior to using, get them to plan to only use a certain amount, get them to make a “just in case” plan, and get them to plan how they are going to get home.

Didn’t find what you’re looking for? Try the YouthAOD toolbox for further in-depth information or ask YoDAA