LSD: Description of the drug

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Lysergic Acid Diethylamide or popularly known as LSD, an odorless and colorless drug is a hallucinogenic drug derived from lysergic acid. This chemical comes from a certain type of fungus, with no medical use, so any consumption is deemed illegal.

The drug was first discovered in 1938 and since then people manufactured and abused LSD since the 1960s. The drug commonly sold on blotter paper, and also has various forms such as:

  •    tablets or capsules
  •    candies
  •    as a liquid
  •    thin gelatin squares
  •    soaked in sugar cubes

Street names of the drug include:

  •    Acid
  •    Blotter
  •    California Sunshine
  •    Cid
  •    Doses
  •    Dots
  •    Golden Dragon
  •    Heavenly Blue
  •    Hippie
  •    Lucy
  •    Microdot
  •    Pane
  •    Purple Heart
  •    Superman
  •    Tab
  •    Yellow Sunshine
  •    Zen

What makes the drug addictive?

LSD affects the psychological well-being of the person, so physical dependence rare occurs. However, people mistake physical cravings for habits. Users who take the drug often associate the usage with certain occasions and whenever they are in any social situations. In these conditions, users find it hard to quit LSD addiction because it also involves their friends from stopping.

Here are some of the factors that lead to LSD addiction

  •    Tolerance can easily develop into LSD addiction

When users take LSD on a regular basis, they eventually develop tolerance to this drug. They need to take higher doses of LSD to get the same hallucinogenic effect. Once tolerance develops, it is even harder to quit because the body will experience withdrawal symptoms. Once the drug wears off, users often feel depressed and anxious. To avoid these feelings or emotions, they need to take the again, going into a cycle of usage and crash. In some instances, they mix LSD with other drugs to get the same ‘high’ effect. Over time, users have higher chances of a drug overdose because of tolerance.

  •    Mental and Emotional Issues can lead to LSD addiction

LSD is known for its hallucinogenic effect, and users take this as a break from reality, a short break from their own personal problems. Users suffering from depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder and other mental illness may use LSD to escape. The drug significantly affects the normal release and uptake serotonin. Serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the brain controls emotions like:

   hunger

   body temperature

   muscle control

   sensory perception

LSD can instigate impairment in the serotonin levels in the brain which can lead to depression that may last for several years.

  •    Social Environment can lead to LSD addiction

Social influence seriously impacts the user’s choice in their lives. The attitudes and the perception to drugs of friends, family, and co-workers can play on how an individual view drugs. This is particularly true when attending social gatherings, if someone in the group uses LSD it can easily instigate a trend.

  •    Genetics

Some experts associated genetics and environmental factors to addiction. Research shows that addiction often runs in families. If someone uses illegal drugs in the family, it shows that using drugs is a norm.  

Signs and symptoms of the drug

LSD addiction can cause significant negative effects on the physical, social and mental state of the user. Some of the signs and symptoms of LSD abuse include but not limited to:

  •    Taking more of the drug
  •    Mixing LSD with other drugs to get intense high
  •    Spending a lot of money to fund LSD addiction
  •    Neglecting responsibilities or hobbies previously enjoyed

Side Effects of the Drug

Tolerance can easily build up; this means that users need to take more of the drug to get the same high effect. In this condition, drug overdose is not uncommon that could lead to coma even death.

One of the main problems for LSD addiction is the unpredictability of the side effects. Usually, when users take LSD they can experience the effect after thirty to ninety minutes. This may include:

  •    dilated pupils
  •    high or severe paranoia
  •    changes in body temperature
  •    erratic heart rate and blood pressure
  •    sweating
  •    chills
  •    loss of appetite
  •    sleepiness or drowsiness
  •    dry mouth
  •    tremors
  •    distorted visions
  •    extreme mood changes
  •    unable to discern reality
  •    imaginary enlightenment
  •    delusions

As a hallucinogen, LSD can produce extreme mood changes ranging from blank stares to extreme fear or panic. The worst effect of LSD is when users cannot differentiate the real emotions from the ‘reality’ of the drug.

LSD addiction is a habit forming, which users take more of the drug when the first dose starts to subside. This can build tolerance and in higher doses of LSD, it produces visual hallucinations and delusions. It ranges from the user’s sense of time to seeing sounds and hearing colors. When combined, it produces panic and fear in users.

Some of the effects of LSD, when taken in higher doses, can produce:

  •    delusions and visual hallucinations
  •    alteration in time and sense of one’s self
  •    visual distortions that include shapes and sizes of objects and colors
  •    distorted sense of hearing
  •    bizarre body movements
  •    impaired sense of danger
  •    flashbacks
  •    bad trips
  •    long-term psychosis
  •    severe depression

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