LSD

Know the facts about LSD and connect with help and support to keep your child safe.

What are some slang terms?
Acid, Blotter, Cheer, Dots, Hit, Mellow Yellow, L, Lucy, Tabs, Window Pane, Yellow Sunshine, Blue Heaven, Microdot, Cubes

What is it?
LSD (D-lysergic acid diethylamide) is the most common hallucinogen, a group of drugs that alter awareness of perception, thoughts and feelings. It is one of the most powerful mood-changing chemicals. It is made from lysergic acid, which is found in ergot, a fungus that grows on rye and other grains.

What does it look like?
LSD is sold on the street in tablets, capsules and occasionally in liquid form. It is a clear or white odorless substance with a slightly bitter taste. LSD is often added to absorbent paper, such as “blotter” paper — paper that is divided into small decorated squares (or “tabs”), with each square representing one dose called a “hit.” The squares may be colored or have images printed on them. Liquid LSD is clear, and is usually sold in a small container, tube or flask. LSD can also be found in thin squares of gelatin.

How is it used?
LSD is taken orally. Gelatin and liquid can be put in the eyes.

What do young people hear about it?
Teens and young adults may hear that LSD will “expand their mind” or give them a carefree, euphoric feeling.

What are the risks?
The effects of LSD are unpredictable and occur based on factors such as on the amount taken, a person’s personality, mood, expectations and the surroundings in which the drug is used. The ability to make sound judgments and see common dangers is impaired, leading to a risk of injury.

In some people, LSD can cause flashbacks, recurrence of certain drug experiences even if the user doesn’t take the drug again. In some people, flashbacks can persist and affect daily functioning, a condition known as hallucinogen persisting perceptual disorder (HPPD).

LSD does produce tolerance, so some people who take the drug repeatedly must take higher doses to achieve the same effect. This is an extremely dangerous practice, given the unpredictability of the drug. In addition, LSD produces tolerance to other hallucinogens, including psilocybin.

  • What are signs of use?
  • Dilated pupils
  • Higher body temperature
  • Increased heart rate and blood pressure
  • Excessive Sweating
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Sleep problems
  • Dry mouth
  • Tremors
  • Uncoordinated movements
  • Panic
  • Paranoia
  • Psychosis
Source: National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA); Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)

Next Steps

Risk Factors & Why Teens Use

Learn about whether your child may be at higher risk for drug and alcohol use, and understand why teens try drugs in the first place.

Spotting Drug Use

A few simple tips and guidelines can go a long way toward spotting issues with drug use earlier rather than later.

Get One-on-One Help

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