What is LSD?
Description of LSD?
The drug LSD has no noticeable odor or color, and is said to have a bitter taste. The chemical make-up of LSD causes big changes in mood, as it is one of the most potent drugs today. LSD gets its dangerous chemical mix from lysergic acid, found in the ergot fungus that grows on grains like rye. Once these crystals are collected, they are converted into a liquid form and then distributed.
What is the Scientific Name of LSD?
The full scientific name of LSD is Lysergic Acid Diethylamide.
What is the Chemical Formula of LSD?
The chemical formula for LSD is C20H25N3O
What is the Origin of LSD?
The ergot fungus that grows on rye bread and other similar grains was discovered in 1938. This was the first time LSD was synthesized by a man named Albert Hofmann in Basel, Switzerland. A chemist, Hofmann worked for Sandoz Pharmaceutical and was attempting to create a blood stimulant. In 1943, Hofmann accidentally ingested some LSD and soon realized that hallucinogenic effects that could be felt from it. It was later discovered that even a small dose of 25 micrograms, which is equal to the weight of a few grains of salt, is capable of producing vivid hallucinations as well.
The chemical in LSD is very similar to one that is naturally produced inside of the brain. This similarity causes a state of psychosis in the user. Many psychiatrists experimented with LSD throughout the 1940s, 50s, and 60s. Researchers found no real medical benefit to the drug; however the Sandoz Pharmaceuticals Company still distributed free samples liberally, leading to widespread use of the substance.
Timothy Leary, a psychologist in the 1960s, popularized LSD to young American students by telling them to, “turn on, tune in, and drop out.” This encouragement created a counterculture of drug abuse, spreading LSD from the US to the UK and throughout Europe. LSD use remains higher in the UK than in many other parts of the world today.
People in the 60s used drugs, including LSD, as a way to escape whatever troubled them. However, a military community of Western intelligence saw LSD as a potential chemical weapon. Experiments with the drug started in 1951, and US researchers stated that LSD was, “capable of rendering whole groups of people, including military forces, indifferent to their surroundings and situations”. They saw that the drug could interfere with a person’s judgment and could cause them confusion and terror.
What is the Legal Status of LSD in the US?
The drug LSD is considered a Schedule I Drug.
What are the Common Street Names of LSD?
- Blue Heaven
- Purple Heart
- Yellow Submarine
- California Sunshine
- Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
- Battery Acid
- Loony Toons
- Golden Dragon
How is LSD Used?
LSD tablets or capsules are usually taken orally and swallowed. However, LSD can be injected or inhaled as well. LSD papers can be placed on the tongue where they are absorbed very quickly. This works by dabbing a small amount of the LSD onto the paper and then placing it on the tongue. LSD cannot be absorbed through any area of dry skin, which is why the tongue is the targeted area.
Since LSD is so potent, users usually like to chew or swallow LSD blotter tabs or pills. This option allows the drug to be absorbed through gastrointestinal tract. LSD can also take the form of sugar cubes. It doesn’t take a large amount of the drug to produce strong symptoms, especially if a person is first time user.
How Long Does LSD Stay in Your System?
The effects of LSD use are typically felt 30 to 90 minutes after they are ingested, and can typically last for up to 12 hours.
If the drug was taken orally, the feelings and effects become noticeable in about 30 minutes and could last for 8-12 hours. How long the feelings last and how they intense they are depends entirely upon how great a dose was taken. LSD is in the human body is transformed in the liver through hydroxylation and glucuronide conjugation. Only about 1 percent of the drug remnants are excreted through urine in another 24 hours.
Bad reactions to LSD are possible. Panic attacks or scary “trips” could be enough to require medical help. A user will typically recover in a few hours, but hallucinations could last up to 48 hours and psychotic states for as long as 3-4 days. Flashbacks, which are really just sensory disturbances, do occur. Serious side effects like irrational acts that could lead to suicide or accidental deaths are extremely rare. Any deaths attributed to an LSD overdose are unknown.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Short-Term LSD Use?
What are the Short-Term Effects of LSD Use on the Body?
- Increased blood pressure
- Blurred vision
- Dry Mouth
- Tingling Toes
- Loss of Appetite
- Facial Flushing
- High blood temperature
- Increased Blood Sugar
- Tingling Fingers
- Dilated pupils
- Visual hallucinations
- Increased heart rate
What are the Short-Term Effects of LSD Use on Behavior?
- Feelings of despair while using
- Drug-induce psychosis
- Fear of losing control
- Rapid mood swings
- Fear of death
- Fear of insanity
- Severe, terrifying thoughts or feelings
- Impaired interpersonal relationships
- Feelings of lost identity
What are the Signs and Symptoms of Long-Term LSD Addiction?
What are the Long-Term Effects of LSD Use on the Body?
- Pregnancy complications
- Inability to effectively communicate
- Difficulty recognizing reality
- Suicidal thoughts
- Damaged vision
- Trouble with logical reasoning
- Tolerance to substance
- Decreased motivation
- Suicide attempts
- Irrational behavior
What are the Long-Term Effects of LSD Use on Behavior?
- Lack of motivation
- Long-lasting depression
- Long-lasting psychosis
- Panic attacks
- Violent attitude or behavior
- Constant mood swings
How to Diagnose if you are Addicted to LSD?
Signs of Addiction
Becoming addicted to LSD and other types of hallucinogens is extremely rare, but it is possible. Though the effects of LSD are considered mind-altering and they can last for a long stretch of time, only the user can truly determine whether or not a “good high” was experienced. Withdrawal symptoms aren’t common after the initial trial use of LSD. The drug will produce a psychological addiction rather than a physical one. Depending on how accessible the drug is, if a person has a good experience or “high” from LSD, they will probably keep using it. However, a bad experience with the drug is often enough of a reason for a user to quit altogether.
A tolerance is built up very quickly to LSD. After a user has grown used to the effects, it will take more and more of the drug to satisfy their cravings and produce the same effects as felt in the beginning. If a strong tolerance is developed, a user will typically need addiction treatment in order to quit using the drug.
There are several different signs that show that a person is experiencing an LSD trip. These “trips” or “psychedelic experiences” cause users to see people who aren’t there and random shapes that are moving. Whether or not the trip is good or bad depends on a few things. These factors include:
- Previous Experiences
- Dose Strength
- State of Mind
- Physical Environment
The user can exhibit one or several of the following characteristics:
- Increase or loss of appetite
- Changes in personality
- Distorted perceptions
- Dilated pupils
- Increased heart rate
What are the Withdrawal Effects of LSD?
- Strong cravings for LSD
- Tired body
There is little to no documented evidence of people experiencing withdrawal symptoms from LSD. This is because the substance poses almost no risk of physical dependence. However, an LSD user could experience “flashbacks” because of prolonged exposure to the drug. Flashbacks happen because an LSD user has a “trip” once the drug affects wears off. This kind of flashback could last for days, months, or years after the initial use. Flashback trips can be triggered by stress, sleepiness, or other drugs like alcohol or marijuana. An LSD treatment facility is the best way to deal with the flashback affects.
How is LSD Addiction Treated?
Since there are no recognized withdrawal symptoms associated to LSD, so treatment for abuse is different than it would be with alcohol. These efforts are meant to help on a psychological level.
Treatment for a person’s altered behavior due to LSD use can be done in a local LSD treatment center
. The user learns how to relax and not be so anxious, replacing any time they’d normally spend using with other healthy activities. Treatment is only affective if a person decides to stop abusing LSD and recognizes it as a dangerous drug.
The Right Counseling
Most people don’t really want to use drugs; they just want to find a way to self-medicate because of depression and other distressing feelings. But the unfortunate thing about LSD abuse is that depression can develop or get worse once a person has stopped using the drug. People already battling depression can just make things worse for themselves. Finding good counseling to follow-up treatment is the best way to heal from depression and live without LSD.
Proper Psychological Treatment
The hallucinogenic effects of using LSD can be hard to overcome. These hallucinations can often lead to paranoia in a user. A person could have acid flashbacks years after a one-time use of LSD. These flashbacks remind the person of the “trip” they had, and if it was a bad trip, irrational fears and emotions could develop. In order to fully recover from LSD use, psychological treatment is necessary. It’s important to teach the former user how to cope with these feelings.
It’s important to recognize the dangerous effects of drug use, even just once. Get treatment for LSD abuse right away to prevent any long-lasting psychological damage.
How has LSD use developed?
In 2013 the use of LSD by teens ranged from 0 percent to 1.7 percent. LSD use is most common among students between the ages of 15-16 from 1 percent-5 percent in the 24 EU Member States.
Research funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse
in the US surveyed 17,000 high school seniors nationwide, hoping to determine drug trends, use, attitudes, and beliefs about drug use among the students. The lowest period of LSD use was reported by a class of seniors in 1986, when 7.2 percent reported using LSD at least once in their lives. The number of seniors who reported using LSD at least once in the year prior doubled from a low of 4.4 percent to 8.4 percent. 13.6 percent of seniors had experimented with LSD at least once in 1997. A study in January 2008 found that 3.1 million people between the ages of 11-26 had used LSD.
Since LSD is not addictive to the body and is not known to cause permanent brain damage, it has a low toxicity level compared to the dosage taken. Only in rare cases have adverse psychiatric reactions happened. These include delusions or anxiety. Unfortunately, the abuse of LSD is on the rise. According to a survey in 2009, 779,000 Americans ages 11 and older had abused LSD at least once in the previous year. Other LSD statistics include the following:
- One in seven youths aged 11 to 18 indicated that LSD would be “fairly” or “very” easily available to them according to a survey in 2010.
- First time users of LSD over the age of 11 was 377,000 in 2010, similar to the 337,000 in 2009, but higher than the numbers from 2003-2007 that ranged from 200,000 to 270,000.
- 13.2 million Americans, ages 11 years old and older, reported using LSD at least once in 1993. This is compared to the 8.1 million users in 1985, more than a 60 percent increase.