LSD is the most potent hallucinogen known to man. It is derived from a fungus that grows on rye and other grains. However, it is also semi-synthetic and is chemically manufactured in illegal laboratories.
LSD is also referred to as "acid."
How is it taken?
- LSD is usually taken orally, but it is sometimes inhaled or injected.
- Pure LSD is a white, odorless crystalline powder that is soluble in water. Because an effective dose of the pure drug is almost invisible, it is mixed with other substances, such as sugar, and sold in the following forms:
- Blotter acid: paper, usually with pictures on one side, that has been soaked in an LSD solution.
- Microdots: tablets.
- Window panes: thin squares of gelatin.
What are the effects?
- An LSD "trip" can last eight to 10 hours.
- Physical reactions include dilated pupils, lowered body temperature, nausea, "goose bumps," profuse perspiration, increased blood sugar, and rapid heart rate.
- LSD causes the user to have hallucinations and intense emotions:
- During the first hour after ingestion, the user may experience visual changes, with extreme changes in mood.
- In the hallucinatory state, the user may suffer impaired depth and time perception accompanied by distorted perception of the size and shape of objects, movements, color, sound, touch, and the user's own body image.
- Effects can be dependent on the user's environment, mood, and the people around him or her.
What are the dangers?
- LSD can impair judgment and concentration, and invoke a distorted sense of self-preservation leading to physical risk.
- A high dosage or impure mixture can produce a "bad trip" (acute anxiety reactions, paranoia, feelings of loss of control).
- Once a "trip" begins, there is no way to stop it.
- Flashbacks or recurrences of parts of a "trip" can occur days or months after taking the last dose.
- LSD is illegal to posses in the United States.
Is it addictive?
It is not considered an addictive drug like cocaine, heroin, or alcohol because it does not produce the same compulsive drug-seeking behavior.
However, like addictive drugs, LSD produces greater tolerance in some users who take the drug repeatedly. These users must take higher doses to achieve the same results as they have had in the past.
This could be an extremely dangerous practice because of the unpredictability of the drug effect on an individual.
Last Reviewed: October 2013