Acid, blotter, California sunshine, microdot, trip,
yellow sunshine, and many others. LSD can cause time and space distortions,
emotional swings, and with higher doses, hallucinations. The effects can last
from 8 to 10 hours
Abbreviation of LYSERGIC ACID DIETHYLAMIDE, also called LYSERGIDE, potent
synthetic hallucinogenic drug that can be derived from the ergot alkaloids (as
ergotamine and ergonovine, principal constituents of ergot, the grain deformity
and toxic infectant of flour caused by the fungus of grasses, Claviceps
purpurea). LSD usually is prepared in the laboratory by chemical synthesis. Its
basic chemical structure is similar to that of the ergot alkaloids. LSD also is
related structurally to several other drugs (e.g., bufotenine, psilocybin,
harmine, and ibogaine); all can block the action of serotonin (the indole amine
transmitter of nerve impulses) in brain tissue. LSD is possibly the most used
Hallucinogen in the US. It is also the most potent. Since it is so potent and
easily dissolved, it is generally diluted and dissolved in liquid. Dealers can
then package LSD by placing drops of solution onto a piece of absorbent paper
(blotter paper) or a sugar cube, but it can also appear in pill form.
The first effect is generally a slight distortion of sensory perception: the
user sees wavering images and a distortion of size. After that, with high
doses, users can experience hallucinations ranging from simple color patterns
to more complex scenes. Users often experience a confusion of senses and
sometimes a feeling of profound understanding and enlightenment. As the drug
effect wanes, users often feel a vague sense of otherworldliness and
LSD users begin by experiencing slight numbness, muscle weakness or trembling.
There is a mild fight-or-flight response: heart rate and blood pressure
increase a little and pupils dilate. Many users feel nauseous and/or dizzy.
After that, users begin to feel a range of visual distortions and
It is believed that LSD's effect has something to do with
the neurotransmitter serotonin. Scientists have found that there are two major
groups of serotonin receptors. LSD acts on both classes, by blocking one while
it stimulated the other. The serotonin group stimulated, serotonin 2, was
found to be responsible for causing hallucinations. However, the research is
still inconclusive, since other drugs (such as antidepressants) that increase
serotonin levels in the brain do not seem to cause hallucinations.
First, it is difficult to know whether one is definitely taking LSD, since
it has been shown that about 50% of patients admitted to hospitals for LSD
toxicity had actually been given other dangerous substances. Also, since it is
synthesized in underground labs, LSD is often poorly synthesized and can
contain other byproducts. LSD does not generally cause any dangerous physical
reactions. However, the psychological consequences can be extreme. "Bad
trips" are quite common. Mood shifts, time and space distortions and impulsive
behavior can make the user increasingly suspicious of the intentions and
motives of those around her and may act aggressively against them. However,
there is no proof of any long term effects, or whether LSD can cause psychosis.
On the other hand, the chance for flashbacks increases as the number of
hallucinogenic experiences increases.
drug warriors ·
$400bn business ·
Kuhn, Cynthia, Scott Swartzwelder and Wilkie Wilson. Buzzed : the straight facts about the most used and abused drugs
from alcohol to ecstasy. New York: W.W. Norton, 1998.
portions reprinted from:
"LSD" Britannica.com. Vers. 2001
1999-2001. Encyclopædia Britannica.
1 Sep. 2000
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