Acid, or Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), is a hallucinogenic drug. This means that when consumed, it causes the user to have unusual experiences such as hearing sounds, seeing illusions, and feeling things that are not actually there. A drug with an extensive history of both medicinal and recreational use, LSD use does not come without risks. An acid trip can last 12 hours or more, and when it goes wrong it can go terribly wrong. This substance is common at raves, parties, and music festivals, so knowing what acid looks like and understanding the risks is imperative, especially for young adults and teenagers.
Let’s talk about what acid looks like. Acid can be found in a number of different forms. One of the most common forms produced by illicit manufacturers in the United States is a crystal form. The substance is often odorless and colorless with just a mildly bitter taste, making it difficult to identify and distinguish from other crystallized substances. However, the crystal is usually liquified for distribution. When liquefied, the LSD may be added to a carrier such as small tablets, capsules, gelatin squares, or a small piece of absorbent paper. Some forms of LSD have alternative names which they are referred to. The small acid tablets are “microdots” and the gelatin squares are “window panes”. Sometimes the small pieces of absorbent paper are decorated with colorful designs or characters and given the nickname “loony toons”. Acid papers may also be referred to as tabs or blotters.
Dangers of an Acid Trip
A substance that has been used in the past to treat severe depression and other mental health issues, LSD may have some benefits. However, for most people, the risks of taking acid will heavily outweigh to benefits. Here are 3 types of possible risks to consider:
Poor Quality LSD
Just like with other illegal substances, there is no way for the end consumer to know what is in the product when LSD is illicitly manufactured. Although acid is rarely cut with other substances, it can be poorly made. There is no way to know how much impurities can affect a person who trips on illicit LSD. It is possible that low-quality LSD may contribute to inducing a bad trip.
A “Bad” Trip
Many people have a positive experience when they trip on LSD, but one of the biggest risks is for the trip to take a bad turn. This may include a nightmare-like experience where the user hears, sees, and feels things that make them feel any number of negative emotions. As the experience will be like no other experience they have had before, you cannot predict how someone will act during a bad trip.
Physical Dangers of an Acid Trip
In addition to the mental effects of this type of experience, there are also potential physical risks of tripping on acid. Bad trip or good trip, it is compeltely possible for the user to do things that can be physically dangerous. This could vary from eating something they shouldn’t to causing self-harm. Even during a positive trip, a dangerous place may seem very inviting.
In reality, it is the unknown and the endless possibilities that make taking LSD such a risk. For this reason, even when LSD has been used for medicinal purposes it is done in a safe and controlled environment.
Questions for Thought
Do you think you would be able to identify acid if it were put in front of you? Would you take acid if it was available to you? Would you take certain actions to limit the risks if you took LSD?