Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

LSD is a hallucinogen that alters the users’ perception of reality

LSD is a hallucinogen that alters the users’ perception of reality
beginning of content

LSD (acid)

2-minute read

LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) is a powerful drug that changes users’ perception of reality. People who use LSD have ‘trips’, which can be enjoyable or can be very frightening. LSD is an illicit drug, and is very dangerous if taken with other drugs.

What is LSD?

LSD is a chemical extracted from a fungus. It’s also known as acid, trips, tabs, microdots, dots and Lucy.

It comes as an odourless white powder that can be dissolved in water. It may also be soaked up on blotting paper, sugar cubes or microdots (little gelatine balls), or taken as a liquid, tablet or capsule.

LSD is usually swallowed, but it can be sniffed, injected or smoked.

LSD effects

Trips, or hallucinations, start about an hour after taking LSD. People taking LSD can see sights and hear sounds that aren't really there. They can feel wonderful and relaxed, or scared, anxious and paranoid.

People having trips can feel sick and vomit, and they can have seizures. They can also feel dizzy, have a racing pulse, breathe fast, have trouble seeing, or have chills and sweats.

A bad trip can involve terrifying hallucinations. People on a bad trip can misjudge dangerous situations and do things they would not normally do, like try to fly or try to kill themselves. The Reachout website has some tips on how to help a person having a bad trip.

Trips can last up to 24 hours. Coming down from a trip takes a few days.

Some people who have used LSD can have flashbacks, and become dependent on the drug.

Using hallucinogens with ice, speed or ecstasy can lead to a stroke.

Find out about LSD's effect on mental health. You can find information on getting help on the Drug Help website or by calling the National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline on 1800 250 015.

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: January 2019

Back To Top

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Top results

LSD - Alcohol and Drug Foundation

LSD belongs to a group of drugs known a psychedelics. When small doses are taken, it can produce mild changes in perception, mood and thought. When larger doses are taken, it may produce visual hallucinations and distortions of space and time.

Read more on Alcohol and Drug Foundation website

LSD as a therapeutic treatment - Alcohol and Drug Foundation

emerging research is beginning to change the perception of LSD from a drug that can negatively affect mental health and wellbeing, to one that can alleviate the symptoms of anxiety and depression. Its' benefits are also being studied to help overcome drug dependency.

Read more on Alcohol and Drug Foundation website

Hallucinogens: what are the effects? -

The effects of hallucinogens, such as LSD, vary from person to person and depend on the amount taken.

Read more on myDr website

Hallucinogens Definition, Effects and FAQs | Your Room

Hallucinogens are often called trips, magic mushrooms, LSD or acid. Learn about their effects and answers to other commonly asked questions.

Read more on NSW Health website

New psychoactive substances - Alcohol and Drug Foundation

New psychoactive substances (NPS) are a range of drugs that have been designed to mimic established illicit drugs, such as cannabis, cocaine, ecstasy and LSD.

Read more on Alcohol and Drug Foundation website

Hallucinogens: what are they? -

Hallucinogens, also known as psychedelic drugs, affect all the senses and cause hallucinations.

Read more on myDr website

Psychedelics - Alcohol and Drug Foundation

Psychedelics (also known as hallucinogens) are a class of psychoactive substances that produce changes in perception, mood and cognitive processes.

Read more on Alcohol and Drug Foundation website

Hallucinogens - Better Health Channel

Hallucinogens target specific centres of the brain to alter its understanding of sensory input.

Read more on Better Health Channel website

NBOMes - Alcohol and Drug Foundation

NBOMe (N-methoxybenzyl) is the name for a series of drugs that have hallucinogenic effects.

Read more on Alcohol and Drug Foundation website

Types of drugs | Australian Government Department of Health

Drugs can be grouped together in different ways — by the way they affect the body or by how or where they are used. Find out which drugs we are focused on reducing in Australia.

Read more on Department of Health website

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information and advice

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo