LSD is one of the most intense, mood altering drugs known to man. While many people may think of this particular drug as originating in the 1960’s as part of the hippie generation, it had been around for many years prior to that. The following provides information regarding facts about LSD, what it looks like, the history of the drug, properties and effects of the drug, and personal stories of famous people who have used this powerful hallucinogen. Learn about the LSD Drug!
Many people may ask, is LSD acid? That question can be answered when finding out exactly what does LSD stand for. It is the shortened term for Lysergic acid diethylamide. The ingredients for the drug are obtained from a type of parasitic fungus that grows on what is known as ergot, or rye. The drug is usually made by a process of chemical synthesis in a laboratory setting. The drug is classified as a hallucinogen and there is currently no medicinal uses for the drug.
The National Institute on Drug Abuse states that nearly all hallucinogens contain nitrogen, and this particular drug is no exception. The drug works in the brain by interfering with the neurotransmitters. The drug is similar to the neurotransmitter serotonin. Our brain uses serotonin when our senses are being used, especially vision. This interaction with the natural serotonin in our brains explains the psychedelic nature of the drug and how it produces some of the hallucinations that users experience.
While some people may experiment with the drug out of curiosity or because they are seeking an intense thrill, others use it to escape from reality. Drug-addiction-support,org states that the majority of people in LSD treatment were abused as children. People who have experienced severe trauma in their lives may be more likely to seek escape from reality through strong hallucinogens and mind altering drugs. Statistics put out by lsdabusehelp.com states that this particular drug is usually used by those who are under 25.
What Does LSD Look Like and How is it Taken?
The drug is usually taken orally, although it can be inhaled, injected, or applied on the skin. According to drugfreeworld.org the drug is often sold on the street in small tablet form. Sometimes it’s sold in gelatine squares known as windowpanes. It may even be designed with cartoon characters and put on absorbent paper. It is normally produced as a white powder or a colorless liquid. In its purest form, the drug is a tasteless, odorless, colorless solid. The drug can be injected, but this is not normally the way it is used since there are so many other ways to take it. Since the drug is extremely potent in small amounts a user can experience its effects through skin absorption as well. Even though the drug can be experienced this way, it is poorly absorbed through the skin and this is not a highly effective way to use the drug.
There have been many street names for the drug over the last several decades. A few of these names have included doses, hits, acid, tabs, trips, sugar cubes, California sunshine, and electric Kool-Aid. The drug is relatively cheap compared to most other kinds of drugs. A single dose is normally around $5. The average dose today consists of about 20 to 80 micrograms. Approximately 20 to 30 micrograms would be considered the threshold level or what would be considered the bare minimum to achieve any effect. Anything 100 micrograms or more would be considered a strong dose.
The History of LSD
The drug was first created in 1938 by Albert Hofmann in Basel, Switzerland. Hoffman was not looking for a psychedelic drug, but a blood stimulant. Hoffman didn’t realize the drug had hallucinogenic effects until he accidentally absorbed some of it through his fingertips in 1943. In 1947, Sandoz Laboratories commercially produced the drug under the name Delysid. It was to be used as a psychiatric drug. There was hope that it would have several therapeutic uses. The CIA even thought at one time that the drug could be used in chemical warfare and even in mind control.
Even though the official date of the drug being synthesized is 1938, some sources argue that the drug has actually been in existence in various forms for hundreds of years. Narconon.org states that lysergic acid occurs naturally by a type of fungus that grows on grains such as rye and even wheat. Some researchers even believe that this fungus grown on rye may have played a part in the Salem witch trials. Strange, intense behaviors, and even death has been contributed to the accidental use of the drug in its natural form throughout history.
LSD Drug Test
People sometimes ask, does LSD show up on a drug test? This particular drug is usually not tested for in a standard drug test. It is usually ingested in such tiny amounts and leaves the body quite rapidly that it would in many cases be difficult to test for. However, according to information at alcoholism.about.com, it can be tested for using a variety of methods. There is an estimated window of detection time for the drug depending on the method used to test for it. There is not universal agreement regarding how low the drug will accurately show up in any number of tests, including urine, blood, or saliva. This is because it will vary from individual to individual depending on a number of factors including how much of the drug was ingested, the metabolism of the individual, and the person’s hydration level.
A urine test can detect the drug between 8 and 24 hours after use. With higher concentrations of use the time of detection through urine may be longer. A saliva test is accurate for 1 to 2 days while a blood test may only have an accuracy window of a few hours. The drug is usually completely out of the body somewhere between 24 and 48 hours after use. The drug can, however, be detected in a hair follicle test for up to 90 days after use.
LSD Drug Effects
The term “trip” is used for the drug because the effects last longer than most other types of drugs. These effects usually begin anywhere from 20 minutes to 2 hours after ingesting the drug. The effects will be much quicker if the drug is taken intravenously. In some cases a user could start experiencing the effects in as little as 10 minutes after being injected. How long effects last will vary, depending on how much of the drug is taken. The average time is approximately 8 to 12 hours.
While using the drug a person usually experiences an extreme distortion of reality. Sometimes users senses become distorted as well and they may believe they can hear things that are normally seen, and see various sounds. In general, the drug brings about shifts in mood, space and time distortions, and sometimes impulsive behavior. Visual and auditory response time can be impaired by the drug.
The drug can specifically affect an individual physically, psychologically, and through the senses. Physical effects can include sleeplessness, sweating, tremors, dilated pupils, dry mouth, loss of appetite, hypertension, and speech difficulties. Specific psychological effects can include delusions, thought disorders, body image changes, increased color perception, rapid mood swings, and even temporary psychosis. The Drugs and Human Performance Fact Sheets put forth by nhtsa.gov states that the effects of this drug are highly unpredictable and dependent on several factors. These include the level of the dose ingested, the mood and personality of the user, and the environment the user is in when the drug is taken.
Is LSD Addictive?
Generally, the drug is not considered physically addictive. People can, however, become psychologically addicted. Lsdabusehelp.com suggests several types of treatment for those who are abusing the drug. Treatment may start with a screening to determine if the person is suffering from an underlying mental health problem or mood disorder. Then counseling can recognize the psychological reasons the person is using the drug. Strategies can be sought to help people target and overcome the triggers that cause them to use the drug. Behavioral therapy, psychodynamic therapy, and group counseling can all be part of the treatment plan to help an individual stop using the drug.
Some people may wonder if LSD tolerance can be built up. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the answer is yes. Users then may use more of the drug to achieve the same results. This is extremely dangerous since the drug can be so unpredictable. Using higher levels of this drug will increase the chance of experiencing a “bad trip.”
Famous People Who Have Used LSD
Jimi Hendrix, Jerry Garcia, and Jim Morrison are all sixties rock stars who were known to have used the drug. While their deaths are not specifically related to LSD, both Hendrix and Morrison died before they were 30 due to drug overdoses. There are celebrities who have reported taking “bad trips” while on the psychedelic drug and have written about some frightening experiences. Singer Boy George claims in his autobiography, “Take it Like a Man,” that he lost control of his bodily functions after taking the drug. While being out at a club he reported becoming paranoid and feeling scared. He had lost control of himself to the point that a friend had to help him to the bathroom.
Dr. Frank Olson was an American scientist who worked for the CIA. It was reported that LSD had been slipped into his drink by other CIA agents. This famous case, which is surrounded by much controversy, ended tragically after Dr. Olson fell out of a tenth floor hotel room window several days after taking the drug. The CIA alleged that Dr. Olson’s death was a suicide, some believed that he was purposely murdered by the agency, while it may have been a tragic accident. What is generally agreed upon is that Dr. Olson inadvertently ingested LSD.
Dangerous Side-Effects of Using LSD
According to drugwarfacts.org, side-effects that are related to the nervous system can occur after ingestion. Some of the more dangerous effects include hypothermia, increased heart rate, heart palpitations, elevated blood glucose levels, and high blood pressure. Since there is no quality control or oversight in the making of illicit drugs, people can never be completely sure of what they’re getting. The LSD strain or potency level may vary each time an individual takes the drug. It may also be laced with other types of drugs. This can lead to severe physical and mental side-effects when using LSD.
Panic and prolonged mania can happen to an individual after the drug has been taken. Renal failure and impairment with color discrimination can also take place. Severe depression and even schizophrenia may also be manifested in those who have used the drug. It is not uncommon for flashbacks to occur after using the drug. One of the problems with flashbacks is that they are unpredictable and can happen at any time and without warning. They can happen a few days after the last time a person has used the drug or they can occur more than a year after the last time the drug was used.
Some young people may be asking what is LSD drug, how can it affect me, and should I take it. Since there are many potential negative consequences of taking this powerful drug it’s definitely not a drug anyone should considering using. Both short-term and long-term side effects can be frightening as well as physically and psychologically devastating.