Anna Waldron and Alissa Rampino

What is this drug?

LSD stands for Lysergic Acid Diethylamade. It is the best known and most commonly used hallucinogen in the United States. LSD is the most potent of the commonly used hallucinogens. It is similar to peyote, psilocybin, and PCP which are also hallucinogens. Typical doses of LSD are between 20 and 80 micrograms.

LSD was discovered in 1938 by Albert Hofmann. It is manufactured from Lysergic Acid, which is found in Ergot.

LSD is sold in tablets, capsules, liquid or gelatin cubes.

It is commonly referred to as "windowpane", "Lucy in the sky with diamonds", or "microdots."

How is LSD administered?

LSD is most commonly taken orally, however, it can be injected or dissolved. The most common use of LSD is an absorbent paper that you place on your tongue. It can also be taken in tablets or capsules and swallowed, or injected. Another, less common method of using LSD is putting it in a gelatin cube and dissolving it into your eyeball. LSD can also be diluted in liquid, because of it's potency.
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How long do the effects last?

The effects of LSD, or "trips," can last up to 12 hours. The effects of LSD usually start within 20 to 30 minutes, and the effects peak in about two to four hours. Although the effects only last about 12 hours, later in the users life flashbacks can occur causing the person to enter a trip even though they did not take the drug.

What are the laws or social concerns around LSD?

LSD is an illicit drug, and punishment can range from 5 years of jail time to a life in prison. Fines are also included in punishments and can range from $2 million to $8 million.

LSD is widely abused across America. In 2013, more than 24.8 million people 12 and older reported they had used LSD in their lifetime. This number had increased between 2012 and 2013.

What are the physical and psychological effects? How us neurotransmission effected? What are the long and short term effects of the drug

When LSD enters the body it initially disrupts the interaction of the nerve cells and the neurotransmitter serotonin. It gets distributed through the brain and spinal cord causing sensations and feelings to change. Some psychological effects include mood swings that can include feeling multiple feelings at once, visual hallucinations, sense that time is altered, feelings of new senses, can cause panicky feelings and a sense of losing control. This is called a “Trip.” There can be good trips and bad trips. Long term users can experience flashbacks which are recurrences of certain aspects of the drug experience. Flashbacks can occur suddenly without warning and can seriously harm you if you are not in a safe environment. For example, if you are driving on the highway and you start having a flashback you could crash your car not having a sense of where you are. Having these flashbacks is called Hallucinogen-induced persisting perceptual disorder (HPPD).

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

LSD is not considered and addictive drug because it does not produce a compulsive drug seeking behavior like other addictive substances. However, long time users tend to continuously start using more and more because they build up a tolerance. This makes it so the users must repeatedly take the drug and must progressively take a higher dosage to achieve the same intoxication as before. This is extremely dangerous. Taking too much of a drug can lead to parts of the body shutting down, coma, or even death. Although there are no reported deaths currently from LSD.

Is there a medicinal use for LSD?

Currently there are studies going on to see if there are successful uses for LSD as medicine. It has been tested on terminally ill patients but there were no steady results to find or monitor. There have been small college studies such as testing the drug on alcoholics or other drug abusers and it was said to help but not enough sources have had a solid answer. So currently there is no legal use for LSD as medicine.

What support systems are out there for abusers of this drug?

There are many rehabilitation clinics all over the country and world. There are many places that help people with addictive, fearful or self-sabotaging tendencies get honest with themselves, take control of their lives, and stand in their own power and happiness. In these clinics there are single, and group therapy sessions to help people cope with the reasons the started drugs, are stopping drugs, and the emotional attachment they have to drugs. Since LSD is not an addictive substance it is easier to get a person to stop taking it. So the main purpose of the rehabilitation centers is to make sure the users no longer feel the need or the want to do the substance anymore.
Another key support system for a drug abuser is family and friends. The best thing that you can do if a loved one is abusing a drug is to be there for them and give them the support they need to quit their habit and get their life back on track. There are many at home options for quitting a drug addiction too. There are medication patches that can take urges or cravings away and there are just normal house hold distractions. According to the FDA the best support system is medical help.