Fact or Fiction: Get The Truth About Acid

Five LSD Myths Debunked

There are a lot of misconceptions out there about acid, or Lysergic Acid (LSD). For example, some claim that LSD can make you a better person or that orange juice can help stop a trip. Here, you'll find out the real answers as we debunk five of the most commonly cited myths about LSD.

Myth: Dropping Acid Will Make You a Better Person

Truth about acid
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Widespread propaganda during the 1960s promoted the use of acid to supposedly make people more spiritually aware, loving and of a higher consciousness. Many authors still promote this myth.

Truth: Although many people report pleasant experiences on LSD, and even attribute great insights to the drug, these claims are impossible to substantiate. Perhaps more importantly, there are many reports of the exact opposite happening. After taking LSD, people have been found to develop mental and emotional difficulties, and even become violent or abusive.

In fact, LSD is more likely to alienate you from other people and muddle your mental and emotional understanding than to lead you to a superior level of consciousness.

Myth: A Friend or Guide Can Prevent You From Having a Bad Trip

India, Goa, people dancing at rave. Credit: Dario Mitidieri / Gett Images

Well-meaning proponents of LSD have promoted the idea that having a friend or "guide" with you while you are on LSD will prevent you from experiencing a bad trip. The claim: a grounded, intuitive and open-minded person can say just the right thing or support you in just the way you need to ensure you have a marvelous time on LSD.

Truth: While having a supportive friend can often help with a bad trip, even people who have experience with LSD and training in psychotherapy are sometimes unable to prevent others from having a negative reaction to the drug. Friends can easily be perceived as enemies by someone experiencing paranoia while they are tripping. And there are plenty of examples of people having bad trips while in the company of those who care about them.

Myth: Orange Juice or Vitamin C Will Stop a Trip

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Many people believe that a few gulps of orange juice is all it takes to cut out the effects of LSD. 

Truth: By the time the LSD takes effect, your body has already metabolized the drug. The trip is actually the after-effects on your brain, and any improvements felt from drinking orange juice are a placebo effect, or simply the calming effect on the body from taking a drink.

Myth: Once You Have Taken Acid, It Never Leaves Your Body

An LSD Capsule. Credit: Lawrence Schiller / Contributor / Getty Images

A myth sometimes circulated on the drugs scene is that LSD is permanently stored in the body. A version of this myth is that LSD is stored in the spinal fluid and never leaves the body. The entire amount of LSD ever taken by an individual can be released at any time in their life, putting them back into an uncontrollable trip.

Truth: While flashbacks are common after taking LSD, this is the result of memories being triggered, not the release of drug. In fact, LSD is an unstable drug, which breaks down easily and passes through the body quickly.

Myth: Acid Is the Key to Unlocking the Unconscious Mind

Taking LSD. Credit: Lawrence Schiller / Contributor / Getty Images

Many people who take LSD believe that acid unlocks your awareness of your unconscious, giving you access to repressed material from your past and revealing hidden truths about yourself and about humanity.

Truth: Taking LSD might get you thinking about things in a way you haven't thought of before, but it does not give you a key to the inner workings of your mind. Acid is just as likely to get you thinking about things that have no basis in reality as uncovering hidden truths. And just because you have taken LSD and thought about your past, it doesn't mean you know or understand everything that has happened to you. In fact, often genuinely repressed traumatic events emerge during psychotherapy, long after the individual has discontinued the drug. Some people don't remember traumatic events that happened to them at all, and in some cases, this might be for the best.

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