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What the Yuck: Does acid cause brain damage?
August 19th, 2011
01:34 PM ET

What the Yuck: Does acid cause brain damage?

Too embarrassed to ask your doctor about sex, body quirks, or the latest celeb health fad? In a regular feature and a new book, "What the Yuck?!," Health magazine medical editor Dr. Roshini Raj tackles your most personal and provocative questions. Send 'em to Dr. Raj at whattheyuck@health.com.

Is it true that acid causes permanent brain damage? I'm worried because years ago I took it once!

I wouldn't worry. Some past LSD users experience occasional flashbacks - hallucinations or reliving of a "trip" - that last a few minutes and aren't permanent.

Rarely, you can develop frequent distressing flashbacks or visual disturbances called Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder. But if you haven't experienced either of these problems yet, you're probably okay.

In the short term, using LSD can lead to psychosis or severe depression, but those conditions happen at the time of use, not years later.

Are you worried because you heard that acid stays in your system forever? Don't believe it; the drug is usually gone the next day.


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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.