LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide)

By Kate Hollister and Mia Len

What is LSD?

LSD is the strongest known hallucinogen. It causes you to hallucinate, seeing things that aren't there. It can be bought on the internet, or the streets. It is a colorless, odorless, and bitter crystal. It can be dissolved in water, taken as a pill, or soaked on paper to be eaten. Taking LSD has numerous dangerous side effects. LSD is also commonly known as acid, purple dragon, dots and trips, and blotter.

Where did LSD Originate from?

It was made in 1938 in Basel, Switzerland from ergot, a fungus, by Dr. Albert Hoffman. When he first tried it, he got flashes of lights and colors, and head weird noises. He didn't know where he was, either.
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LSD is flavorless and is mostly used on a small piece of paper as shown below. Less common ways to take LSD are in a sugar cube form or in pill form.

Taking LSD will have dramatic side effects that can last for several hours.

The side effects can last from 8-14 hours, and sometimes even more. You may feel euphoria, as well as a scary feeling while you are hallucinating. The hallucinations experience are known to be scary and unpredictable, causing the user to become violent, panic, and involved in accidents. You cannot control your actions while under the effect.

How is LSD Administered?

As mentioned above, LSD can be taken as a pill, sugar cube, or piece of paper, but most ways are orally. The most common way is being dissolved into liquid, then soaked into blotter paper with different patterns to tell the producer. Some people smoke LSD, however the quality isn't good. In the rarest cases, LSD can be injected into the muscles, but the effects are even more dramatic and gives you an even stronger feeling.
Trippy Visual "Rainbow Candy" -Twisted LSD- Taste [HD]

How long do the effects of LSD Last?

One dosage of LSD will kick in about 30-90 minutes after consumed, however, the effects last up to 14 hours. If you take more dosages, the effects will kick in quicker, and it could last for over 14 hours. At the end of the "effected" period, the effects start to wear off, but you will feel depressed or tired during this time, which is called the "Calming Down". While the effects of LSD do go away after some time, you will remember everything about your experience, unlike many other drugs.
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What are the Laws or Social Concern about this Drug?

If you are already mentally unstable before using this drug, you could get LSD Psychosis, which is having severe mood swings, visual disturbances, as well as depression and anxiety. You could also risk getting flashbacks, weeks, months, or even years after you take LSD. There is no legal use since it doesn't help medically with anything. It is a Schedule I drug and has been illegal since 1965. Having 1-9 grams of this drug could lead to a mandatory 5-40 years in jail. Another concern is that if it's bought off the street, you may not even be taking what you think you are. The dosage of LSD may be more than expected, or there are a combination of drugs. It may also be a drug that isn't LSD, such as PCP or Mescaline.

This is what users say it feels like to take LSD.

Virtual LSD ! Amazing optical illusion ! No danger !

What are the short and long term effects of use?

Taking LSD may cause brain damage for the rest of your life, as well as psychotic episodes, leading to schizophrenia. Schizophrenia would last the rest of your life. LSD doesn't cause mental illnesses, but it will help speed up any possibility of their being an illness in the brain. While taking it, the brain chemistry is changed, which are the hallucinations. You can become violent, as LSD takes you on a "trip", and you won't know what's going on. After using it more, you may have a bigger tolerance, which cause lead to depression, fatigue, wanting to have it more and more, as well as psychiatric reactions.
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How is LSD used in medicine? And how does it interact with other medications or substances?

LSD was known for lower inhibitions, making it easier for people to remember and express their repressed thoughts and experiences. Which is why medical experts gave it to people with mild mental illnesses, such as depression. They used it in order to speed up and/or improve psychotherapy. However, later on they discovered that their ideas were inaccurate. Having the patients take LSD often caused patients to have "bad trips". So, they concluded that the effects of LSD were not safe for medical use. Many medical experts also recommend not mixing other substances with LSD. Studies show that by using another substance while on LSD, can cause a higher risk of experiencing a "bad trip".

What are the physical and psychological affects of LSD?

There are many different affects of taking LSD, a majority of these affects are psychological, however there are also multiple physical affects. Physical affects of LSD include; irregular heart rate, drowsiness, tremors, nausea, and profuse sweating. LSD also effects the retinas and how they process information, and conduct it into the brain. The psychological affects of LSD are much greater than the physical affects, it is known to be one of the most mind altering substances. LSD can cause panic attacks, suicidal thoughts, homicidal thoughts, severe depression, and fear of going insane. Users of LSD, can also often have something known as "flashbacks". These can occur within a few days after taking LSD, to a year after taking LSD. These "flashbacks" can be horrifying and disturbing. The use of this drug can also cause mental illnesses such as, depression, schizophrenia, personality disorders, and anxiety.
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How is neurotransmission affected?

Researchers at this point are not 100% sure on what LSD does in the central nervous system, due to the fact that there hasn't been any research or experiments on how it effects the brain. Which makes it unclear on whether it inhibits or stimulates neurotransmission. However, they do know that it interferes with the way the brain's seratonin's receptors work. Seratonin is a neurotransmitter, meaning that it is responsible for communication between brain cells. It regulates appetite, muscle control, sexuality, mood, sleep and sensory perception.

What is the tolerance/withdrawal/overdose of this substance?

LSD is usually not fatal, however the psychological affects can often be so strong that they can cause thoughts of suicide, leading to death. A paper square smaller then a quarter inch soaked in LSD, can produce a trip lasting 12 hours. Overdosing on LSD is possible, but does not occur very often. This often occurs for long term users due to the fact that they develop a tolerance to the drug, requiring them to use a larger amount in order to get the high that they want. Symptoms of overdoses include vomiting, seizures, elevated body temperatures, and brain bleeding.
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What support systems exist for those addicted to LSD?

LSD is not physically addictive, but it can cause psychological addiction. LSD creates an environment that users strive to recreate over and over again, due to their persistent desire to the drug. Drug treatment, such as a rehabilitation center, is one of the best ways to get over this addiction. Due to the fact that LSD addiction is psychological, there isn't one easy and simple way for the user to get over their addiction. The best way to defeat it is to be with people who are trained to help get over and overcome addictions. Patients say that it is extremely beneficial to be surrounded by counselors, medical staff, and a drug free environment in order to get over their drug addiction.