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Understanding LSD

LCD is an acronym for lysergic acid diethylamide. It can also be known as LSD-25 or lysergide and is sometimes called acid by users. It is a psychedelic drug that is semi synthetic. It is renowned for its effects which are visuals and hallucinations, synaesthesia (attaching a color to a word or a feeling), spiritual experiences and an altered sense of time. It is also known that it was a huge part of the 1960s. LSD is currently used recreationally and in some psychiatric treatments. It is not thought to cause brain damage and it is relatively toxicity low although it can trigger anxiety and delusions in some users.

A Brief History of LSD

It was first synthesized by chemist Albert Hofmann in 1938. It was done as part of a research to isolate active components of plants and in turn be precisely dosed to patients. He synthesized the plant called ergot which was used as a medication when it came to childbirth. The physician tested it on animals and then handed it over to doctors for human trials. Psychiatrists ended up using it under the name delysid and it became something of a wonder drug in the psychiatric community

The Government and LSD

In the 1950s the CIA had a top secret project called MK-ultra in which they tested a variety of drugs designed for mind control and thought to be truth serums. LSD was the most important drug that they tested along with ecstasy and PCP. Many, many members of the public were given LSD. Some were regular housewives, some were part of the army, some were prostitutes and some were mental patients. Most did not know and had not agreed to consume acid. Some of the experiments were conducted along with psychological torture which ended in many of the subjects becoming suicidal and ending up in asylums in the best of cases. Some took their lives.

LSD was found to be too uncontrollable and therefore useless as a truth drug. The project then moved on to other substances. MK-ULTRA was only recently admitted to by the USA government.

Where and how is LSD produced?

The Drug Enforcement Agency thinks that most LSD is produced in North America: Canada and The United States. It needs to be produced by a pharmacists and is produced in crystal form by experts in fully equipped labs.

What Are The Effects of LSD?

Taking LSD is very unpredictable. A 'trip' can be nice or just the opposite. It depends on the quantity ingested, on the user's personality, state of mind and mood, of the user's expectation and the environment in which the user takes the drug. It cannot be previously known how an user might react to LSD even if he or she has taken it before and even experienced users will not know what is going to happen during the 'trip.'

Psychological effects of ingesting LSD include a sensation of tension and in some individuals, it can also produce euphoria. After a couple of hours the user will start experiencing visions and hallucinations that are then considered part of the 'trip.' Physical effects include pupil dilation, rise in body temperature, heart rate and arterial tension, sweating, loss of appetite, insomnia, dry mouth and tremors.

It is thought that LSD users experience a lot of change psychologically when they take the drug if not physically. The individual might feel several emotions at the same time and if taken in high doses acid might produce delirium and visual hallucinations. The user's sense of time and of him or herself will change and sensations seem to "cross" each other giving the user a sense of smelling colors and seeing sounds. These changes can be scary and cause panic and anxiety in the user. The effects start to wear off after about 12 hours.

When LSD produces a bad experience it is colloquially referred to as a 'bad trip.' The user might lose control over his or her emotions, become very anxious and have panic attacks. In some occasions the user might confuse hallucinations with real life. Although LSD does not cause the user to be violent he or she might believe they are being attack and try to defend against their attacked. There have also been individuals that have committed suicide during a trip.

A lot of LSD users get something called flashbacks even if they have not taken the drug again. This is when they experience the same thing: it can happen suddenly and without notice for up to a year after the individual has taken LSD. Flashbacks generally occur in a heavy or chronic hallucinogenic drug user or individuals with personality problems although they can present themselves in any individual. Chronic consuming of LSD can cause psychiatric disorders like anxiety, depression and psychosis, which can be very similar to certain types of schizophrenia.

How Many People Use LSD?

According to some surveys it is estimated that about 7% of young adults (18 - 25) have used LSD in their lifetime in the United States. The use of LSD seems to have decreased vastly from other years when it was as high as 15.9% in the year 2002.

Is LSD Psychologically and Physically Addictive?

Like all drugs LSD does have some addiction potential but it is minimal. LSD is not a physically addictive drug and is unlikely to lead an individual to become psychologically addicted. When an user stops taking LSD there are no withdrawal effects. However, some people have become dependent on LSD.

Used in conjunction with other drugs it is likely that LSD can lead to a drug dependency. This type of drug dependency is called poly-drug and many individuals whom are addicted to several drugs do tend to abuse hallucinogenic and psychotropic drugs. Users who have taken the drug do build a tolerance and need to take higher and higher doses to get the same effect as the last time they took it which can be extremely dangerous because of how unpredictable LSD is. Taking LSD might also give the user more tolerance to other hallucinogenic drugs.