LSD (LYSERIC ACID DIETHYLAMIDE)
LSD is an acronym for lysergic acid diethylamide, a potent hallucinogen created in the 1930s. Though the drug is made into a concentrated form synthetically, lysergic acid is found in ergot, a fungus that grows on grains. It is extremely strong, one doses is only about a microgram. People refer to being high on LSD, or “acid” as it is frequently called, as a “trip.” A trip can be pleasurable, but for many it is a terrifying experience. Bad experiences on LSD are colloquially called a “bad trip.” Effects of the drug normally take hold within 30 to 90 minutes of being administered and depending on the strength quantity of doses can last up to 12 hours. LSD may change one’s perception of time, make colors seem more vibrant, or cause confusion and worry. LSD effects all people differently. LSD is odorless, colorless and has a slightly bitter taste. It is most commonly found as a liquid but can also be found in paper-like tablets or sugar/candy that administer on your tongue.
SIGNS OF ABUSE
The most common sensory impact a person who is high on LSD will experience is visual hallucination. During a trip, shapes and colors become distorted with rippling effects, which cause objects to appear as though they are breathing or pulsing. Other sensory effects include audible echo-like hallucinations, which are less common, and a strong metallic taste in the user’s mouth. Psychologically, LSD can cause feelings of euphoria, but also trigger panic attacks or intrusive negative thoughts during “bad trips.” Physically, a person who is high on LSD will experience an increased bodily temperature causing dry mouth profuse sweating. One’s heart rate will also increase, and muscles are known to experience fits of numbness, weakness or tremors. As of 2018, there have been no documented incidents of death by overdose directly involving LSD. In incidents where LSD is part of someone’s death, it is usually because of an injury suffered during use.
LSD doses are drops of liquid that are normally absorbed by small tablets of paper, or cubes of sugar. It can also be found as a powder or crystal, placed in pill capsule or laced on another drug, such as cannabis. LSD doses are normally chewed, swallowed or absorbed through the tongue, but can also be inhaled or injected intravenously.
Withdrawal from LSD is not known to cause physical pain. However, anxiety and depression can occur at the end of trips when the impact of the drug begins to subside. For frequent LSD users, psychosis and flashbacks of trips are common, even when they are not under the influence of the drug. A person in LSD withdrawal may experience confusion and easily lose track of time or experience an impaired depth perception.