Need LSD facts? LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) is a man-made hallucinogenic drug that has often been abused since the 1960’s. In large doses it produces delusions and visual hallucinations causing a distortion of the user’s identity and their sense of time. Here are some important LSD facts to help you identify the drug and what the symptoms of usage are.
- Identification. LSD comes in a liquid and is often put in little bottles. It can also be packaged as sugar cubes, tablets, gelatin squares, or on blotter paper. The drug has no color and no odor and tastes bitter. It is usually taken orally. The most common street names for LSD are acid, boomers, and yellow sunshine. It is also called Lucy in the sky with diamonds, battery acid, Elvis, Superman, Zen, Dots and several other names
- Users. Over 20.2 million people in the United States over age 12 have used LSD at least once in their life. Almost three-quarters of a million of these were young adults from age 12 to 17, and 4.5 million were individuals from 18 to 25. Over eight percent of high school students admitting to a one-time use, and four percent admitted to using LSD in the past year, according to the University of Michigan’s Monitoring the Future Survey.
- Risks of Use. How LSD affects people depend on the surroundings when they take the drug, the amount they use, and their mood, personality and expectations at the time. It can cause despair in some users and in other cases cause them to be terrified. They may fear they are going insane, dying, or losing control. Some people have even been involved in fatal accidents when taking LSD.
- Physical and Mental Effects. Individuals who have ingested LSD may have dilated pupils, rapid heartbeat, elevated temperature, loss of appetite, elevated blood pressure, inability to sleep and tremors. Once a person has taken LSD they are subject to having flashbacks at any time even after they no longer take the drug. They may have distorted impressions of their surroundings, streams of colored lights, and see psychedelic patterns which can last up to 12 hours. If the person has a “bad trip” they may experience panic, paranoia, and a high level of anxiety. It can also cause psychoses which can include schizophrenia or severe depression. Even though LSD is not considered to be addictive, it can cause the user to become tolerant and need larger and larger doses to get the hallucinogenic effects they are looking for.
- First Introduction. LSD was first introduced in 1938 as a therapeutic drug to expand the mind and reach mystical perceptions. It was not until the 1960’s that it became used recreationally. It is still used in the U.S. mainly for experimentation even though it is illegal and considered a Schedule I substance like heroin under the Controlled Substances Act. Ecstasy and PCP have become far more popular at raves and parties than LSD. In other countries it is still used to help with meditation.