Prevalence and Trends in LSD Use Among Young People in the US

"Past-year use of LSD, one of the major drugs in the hallucinogen class, has been hovering for about a decade at its lowest levels recorded by the study (Figure 5-4e). In 2015 the levels of use for students in 8th, 10th, and 12th grade were 0.9%, 2.0%, and 2.9%, respectively. Consistent with most other drugs, use increased during the 1990s relapse and peaked in the mid-1990s. It then subsequently declined to its lowest levels ever in the early 2000s, where it has since plateaued.
"LSD was one of the first drugs to decline at the start of the 1980s, almost surely due to increased information about its potential dangers. The subsequent increase in its use during the mid-1980s may reflect the effects of “generational forgetting”—that is, replacement cohorts know less than their predecessors about the potential dangers of LSD because they have had less exposure to the negative consequences of using the drug.3
"We believe that the decline prior to 2002 might have resulted in part from a displacement of LSD by sharply rising ecstasy use. After 2001, when ecstasy use itself began to decline, the sharp further decline in LSD use likely resulted from a sudden drop in the availability of LSD, because attitudes generally have not moved in a way that could explain the fall in use, while perceived availability has."


Miech, R. A., Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E. (2016). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use, 1975–2015: Volume I, Secondary school students. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The University of Michigan, p. 161. Available at