Alcohol & Drugs
A picture of LSD

What’s the deal with lSD?

LSD or lysergic acid diethylamide is an odourless white powder with hallucinogenic properties. Hallucinogenic drugs or psychedelics make the user feel as though they are in an altered state of reality. Basically they be trippin'.

Acid is commonly distributed in squares of blotting paper and small pieces of gelatine which have been soaked or dipped in the liquid form of LSD. What is distributed as LSD however may in fact be other chemical compounds such as NBOMe or the 2C family of drugs (part of the new psychoactive substances group) - these substances can be dangerous, inconsistent in quality and have the potential (if taken in large quantities) to cause death.

How does it work?

Trips are taken by placing a piece of the LSD laced blotting paper under the tongue. It is then absorbed into the blood stream sublingually.

Effects

There is no such thing as a safe level of drug use. Substance use carries risk. It’s important to be careful when taking any drug. If injected, the effect of LSD is felt almost immediately. Smoking, snorting or swallowing the drug may vary the length of time it takes for LSD to come on. The effects on any one person will vary depending on:

  • A person’s body weight
  • General state of health
  • Regular use of substance
  • If taken in combination with other drugs including prescription medication
  • The amount that is consumed
  • Quality of the drug (this varies from batch to batch for most illicit drugs)

Short Term Effects

An LSD trip can last anywhere between 4 to 12 hours. This will differ depending on the quantity and or quality of drug consumed. Effects include:

  • Increased feelings of relaxation and euphoria
  • Audio and visual disturbances (seeing and hearing things)
  • Confusion and trouble concentrating
  • Increased and or irregular heart beat
  • Hypertension and quickening of breath
  • Sweating and chills
  • Facial flushing
  • Vomiting
  • Numbness

Hallucinogens change our perception and experience of the world. And it's real hard to predict the effect that LSD will have on any given person. State of mind plays a role in a users experience. A bad trip can be both a frightening and unpleasant experience. Delusions, paranoia, anxiety and hallucinations so intense that a person becomes erratic isn't going to be the kind of magic carpet ride that you hoped for if an acid trip starts going south.

Long Term Effects

Regular use of LSD may result in flashbacks. These can occur days, months or even years after the drug is consumed. A flashback can make a person feel as though they are reliving the experiences they had whilst high on acid.

Y'know kind of like a Return-to-Woodstock moment, or this:

Safety

If you're going to use any form of drug, go about it safely. You make the choices that determine what substances you put into your body. Whatever your choice, it's important to remember that being safe and responsible (that's with yourself and with others) is the golden rule. We've got some helpful tips to consider.

  • Set limits for yourself, and stick to them
  • Don’t let other people pressure you into doing drugs
  • Try to avoid mixing drugs with other drugs or be informed about the risks
  • Try to be aware of exactly what you are taking and how much 
  • Eat before you party and stay hydrated with water
  • Tell some trusted friends what you're planning to do

Mixing with Other Drugs

The effect of LSD in combination with other drugs including over-the-counter or prescribed medication is unpredictable and dangerous. Here are some of the known interactions between acid and other drugs including prescription medications:

LSD + Amphetamine or ecstasy can increase the chances of a bad trip and can also lead to panic.

LSD + Alcohol may increase the potential for nausea and vomiting.

Living with HIV

Let's be frank, recreational drug use (whether it's legal or not) is likely to interact or even interfere with the treatment regime of a person living with HIV. Changes in the concentration of ARV's is a result of two or more drugs interacting. These changes in concentration are known to be the very thing which ultimatley leads to treatment failure and toxicity.  

Interactions with HIV Medications

If you're HIV+ and a recreational user, check in regularly with your GP or an experienced HIV medical practitioner. Know your limits, know your body and be aware of the impact that other substances may have on your treatment.

We're unaware of any interactions or cross interaction between LSD and ARV's but this does not mean that it's safe to cut sick pretending you're Hunter S Thompson in Fear and Loathing in Los Vegas. Always exercise caution if mixing drugs.

Taking Hormones

For trans, gender diverse or intersex people who are taking some form of hormone therapy, it's important to be aware and informed of how your body processes these treatments.

Currently, there is limited information into the interactions and cross interactions of hormone therapy and recreational drug use but that doesn't mean we'll stop asking for it. Whether your hormones are prescribed by a doctor or you've sourced them yourself from the internet, make it a priority to get regular health checks. Sometimes, a change in dosage or preparation of hormones is needed and a qualified medical practitioner is the person best placed to advise you of this.

Interactions with Hormones

If you're not comfortable talking about your gender, gender identity or bodily difference with your doctor, get in touch and we can make recommendations for a service that is best placed to support your needs.

At this point we're unaware of any interactions or cross interactions between LSD and hormones, but this does not mean that it's a fail safe. Always exercise caution if mixing drugs.

Treatment

Feeling like you're becoming out of touch with reality? If you've been hitting the LSD way too hard and it's begun to have a negative impact on your health, your relationships with family and friends, your ability to focus on work or study or perhaps even the bottom line on your bank account - it's time to TouchBase with somebody who can help.

There are a number of treatment options and support services available for you, for your family or friends if they need it. Whatever your recovery goals are, if it is to control, reduce or stop using, reach out for some support.

Counselling & Support

Counselling can be provided individually or in a group situation, and is available to people who use alcohol or other drugs, and to their family members or support people. A support service can offer counselling or direct you to a service appropriate for you. Speak to your doctor, alcohol and other drugs treatment service or local community health service.

Find help and support services.

Rehabilitation

Rehabilitation programs take a long term approach to treatment to help you achieve your goals with your alcohol or other drug use. Residential withdrawal is also available from some treatment services.

Find out more about withdrawal.

Complementary therapies

These include treatments such as massage and relaxation therapies, which can be useful to help you manage withdrawal symptoms. 

Peer support 

These programs are provided for people who use alcohol and other drugs, and their family members or support person/s. 

Withdrawal & Rehab

Psychological withdrawal is more common than physical withdrawal from LSD. People coming off hallucinogens after a period of use may experience:

  • Fatigue and or general irritability 
  • A reduced ability to experience pleasure

Sometimes the best way to overcome anxiety and feeling strung out is with a little mindfulness meditation. Alternatively, you could just wack on some Enya and take some deep breaths.

Important notice

Please note: The information given on this page is not medical advice and should not be relied upon in that way. Individuals wanting medical advice about LSD should consult a health professional.