Classification: hallucinogen or psychedelic drug Slang Names: acid, LSD-25, microdots, purple mikes, windowpane, blotter Method of Use: orally, injected (rare) Dependence potential: psychological dependence
Lysergic Acid Diethylamide, LSD, is a derivative from ergot, a fungus that grows on rye and other grains. It was discovered in 1938 and was used in the early 1950s for experimentation by doctors and therapists to treat individuals with mental disorders, alcoholism, epilepsy and terminal cancer. These experiments proved unsuccessful but the interest in LSD grew as reports of its alleged mystical effects peaked curiosity in many. In response to the growing use of LSD, legislators passed laws in the mid-1960s banning the manufacture and use of this drug. However, illegal laboratories and black market dealers were already producing the drug.
LSD is one of the most potent of all drugs because it is active in extremely small amounts. One dose is usually 50 to 300 micrograms which is equivalent to 0.00005 to 0.00003 grams. One ounce is able to supply approximately 300,000 doses. LSD is odorless, colorless and tasteless. It is sold on the street in tablets or capsules. In its liquid form it is placed in or on another substance and allowed to dry. These substances include sugar cubes, postage stamps, "microdots" - tiny balls of compacted powder, "windowpane" - small squares of gelatin sheets or cellophane and "blotter" - small squares of paper. When added to the gelatin sheets or blotter paper it is divided into small squares, with each representing a dose, then the LSD is licked off or swallowed.
LSD users are unlikely to take it while at school, work or home where they might be observed. Especially during the early stages of its use, these drugs are generally taken in a group situation under conditions that will enhance their effect such as at a party.
The Body's Reaction to LSD
LSD is quickly absorbed from the stomach and intestines and effects are felt within 30 to 40 minutes. The physical effects of LSD include dilated pupils, higher body temperature, increased heart rate and blood pressure, sweating, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, dry mouth and tremors.
Within an hour after ingestion of LSD, psychic effects occur which causes a distortion in sensory perception. All of the body's senses are affected by LSD, but vision is affected the most. The color and texture of things become more vivid and perception is increased. Psuedohallucinations - unreal images that the LSD user can distinguish as unreal - are common occurrences. Hallucinations - the user believes an imaginary vision is real-is uncommon at ordinary doses. Synesthia is also frequent among LSD users. Synesthia is the occurrence of one type of stimulation that triggers the sensation of another stimulation such as hearing a sound that causes the visualization of color. The sensor input to the LSD user can become so distorted that they may "see" music or "hear" color. Other psychic effects experienced by users include a loss of body image, a loss of a sense of reality, a distorted sense of time, difficulty in concentrating and a short attention span. Users also develop an extreme preoccupation with philosophical ideas and may perceive that they can "solve the problems of the world."
LSD users can experience emotional changes while taking the drugs. They exhibit dramatic mood swings - often going from extreme happiness to deep depression. Minor events - such as the sun going behind a cloud - can trigger these mood swings. Users may also laugh at times of sadness or cry during happy occasions.
Tolerance - the need for increased amounts of the drug to produce the same effect-occurs quickly with the continued use of LSD but disappears quickly when use is stopped. Crosstolerance - the developed tolerance to one drug due to the use of another drug within its pharmacological class - occurs with the use of other hallucinogens such as mescaline (from the peyote cactus) and psilocybin (from certain mushrooms).
Flashbacks - in which the person spontaneously experiences a drugs effects without taking the drug-can occur without warning for up to a year or longer after the use of LSD. Flashbacks are most likely to occur among frequent users rather than those who seldom used the drug and the longer the time since the use of LSD the less likely the chances of experiencing one. Flashbacks can occur at any time or place and may be initiated by stress or the use or other drugs. The reason flashbacks occur are unknown but it is thought that they may represent behavior learned under the influence of LSD or may be the result of unresolved emotional-psychological conflicts which arose during a "trip."
What is a "Bad Trip"
Acute panic reactions can also occur with the use of LSD. This reaction results in what is referred to as a "bad trip" and the user feels as if they are in extreme danger. These scary sensations may last a few minutes or several hours. The user may experience confusion, anxiety, panic, suspiciousness, a feeling of helplessness and a loss of control. Sometimes, LSD and other hallucinogens can unmask mental or emotional problems that were previously unknown to the user. If the panic reactions become intense, a drug-induced psychosis can occur. This psychosis may be brief or it may last for several years and is almost impossible to predict when, where, or to whom a reaction will occur.
A "bad trip" is generally a confusing and frightening state that will pass in time. When someone is experiencing a panic reaction, do not leave them alone. Remain calm, because they are extremely sensitive to the mood of those around them and may become more fearful if they see others panicking. Try to create a calm atmosphere by turning off bright lights and keeping the room quiet. Reassure the person that what they are experiencing is the result of a drug and the feelings will pass. Talk to them about nonthreatening things such as a pleasant memory or distract them with visual toys or calming music anything that will get their mind out of the panic state. This will help draw the user out of the frightening experience and into a familiar place. Panic reactions can usually be handled by a calm and rational person but if the user becomes uncontrollable, it is best to seek medical or professional help.
LSD and Driving
There are numerous reasons why the combination of LSD and driving are dangerous. The drugged driver's vision is distorted and they may see imaginary objects in the road swerve to miss them, and lose control of the car. Or, a real image may be so distorted that the driver thinks it is an illusion and will not attempt to avoid it - therefore causing an accident. Whatever the case, LSD causes the user to distrust their senses and could result in a serious injury or death.
Signs and Symptoms of LSD Use
The following signs and symptoms are common among LSD users:
Extremely dilated pupils
Warm skin, excessive perspiration and body odor
Distorted sense of sight, hearing and touch
Distorted sense of time, self and place
Mood and behavior changes, the extent depending on emotional state of the user and environmental conditions
Source: Valencia Community College Project Infusion Module, Orlando, FL. Reprinted with permission.
Phencyclidine (PCP) interrupts the functions of the neocortex, the section of the brain that controls the intellect and keeps instincts in check. Because the drug blocks pain receptors, violent PCP episodes may result in self-inflicted injuries
The effects of PCP vary, but users frequently report a sense of distance and estrangement. Time and body movement are slowed down. Muscular coordination worsens and senses are dulled. Speech is blocked and incoherent.
Chronic users of PCP report persistent memory problems and speech difficulties. Some of these effects may last 6 months to a year following prolonged daily use. Mood disorders-depression, anxiety, and violent behavior-also occur. In later stages of chronic use, users often exhibit paranoid and violent behavior and experience hallucinations.
Large doses may produce convulsions and coma, as well as heart and lung failure.
Lysergic acid (LSD), mescaline, and psilocybin cause illusions and hallucinations. The physical effects may include dilated pupils, elevated body temperature, increased heart rate and blood pressure, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, and tremors.
Sensations and feelings may change rapidly. It is common to have a bad psychological reaction to LSD, mescaline, and psilocybin. The user may experience panic, confusion, suspicion, anxiety, and loss of control. Delayed effects, or flashbacks. can occur even after use has ceased.
[1mType What is it called? What does it look like? How is it used?[37;0m[1m-------------------------------------------------------------------------------[37;0m
[36;1mPllencyclidine PCP Liquid Taken orally [36;1m Angel dust Capsules Injected [36;1m Loveboat White crystalline powder Smoked-can [36;1m Lovely Pills be sprayed [36;1m Hog on cigarettes, [36;1m Killer weed parsley, and [36;1m marijuana
[36;1mLysergic acid LSD Brightly colored tablets Taken orally [36;1m diethylamide Acid Impregnated blotter paper Licked off [36;1m Green or red Thin squares of gelatin paper [36;1m dragon Clear liquid Gelatin and [36;1m While lightning liquid can be [36;1m Blue heaven put in the [36;1m Sugar cubes eyes [36;1m Microdot
[36;1mMescaline and Mesc Hard brown discs Discs-chewed, [36;1m Peyote Buttons Tablets swallowed, or [36;1m Cactus Capsules smoked [36;1m Tablets and [36;1m capsules- [36;1m taken orally
[36;1mPsilocybill Magic mushrooms Fresh or dried mushrooms Chewed and [36;1m 'shrooms swallowed[37;0m
[32mSource: "What Works. Schools without Drugs." U.S. Dept. of Education.[37;0m [1m^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^ END OF FILE ^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^[0m