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LSD Effects

Lysergic acid diethylamide, better known as LSD, is a chemical that alters a user's mood, thoughts or perceptions. For this reason, LSD effects and the drug itself are grouped into a class of drugs known as hallucinogens or psychedelics. These drugs can cause auditory, visual or somatosensory hallucinations, paranoia or dream-like states.

LSD is water soluble, odorless, colorless and tasteless - it is a very powerful drug - a dose as small as a single grain of salt (about 0.010 mg) can produce some effects. Psychedelic LSD effects are produced at higher doses of about 0.050-0.100 mg. The effects of LSD depend on a user's mood and expectations of what the drug will do and last several hours. The behavioral LSD effects include:

  • "Flashback" reactions - these are the effects of LSD that occur even after the user has not taken LSD for months or even years.
  • Chills
  • Confusion, panic, psychosis, anxiety
  • Distortion of the senses and of time and space
  • Emotional reactions like fear, happiness or sadness
  • Feelings of "strangeness"
  • Hallucinations
  • Increases in heart rate and blood pressure
  • Muscle weakness
  • Vivid colors

LSD effects are unpredictable. As mentioned above, it depends on the amount taken, the user's personality, mood, and expectations, and the surroundings in which the drug is used. Usually, the user feels the first LSD effects 30-90 minutes after taking it. The physical effects include dilated pupils, higher body temperature, increased heart rate and blood pressure, sweating, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, dry mouth, and tremors.

Sensations and feelings change too. The user may feel several different emotions at once or swing rapidly from one emotion to another; the person's sense of time and self change. Sensations may seem to "cross over," giving the user the feeling of "hearing" colors and "seeing" sounds. All of these changes can be frightening and can cause panic.

Tolerance to the effects of LSD develops quickly and users must increase their intake of LSD to get the same effects. The exact neural pathways that are affected by LSD are not completely known. LSD has a chemical structure that is very similar to the neurotransmitter called serotonin. It is thought that the effects of LSD are caused by stimulation of serotonin receptors on neurons, perhaps in the brain area called the raphe nuclei. However, it is still not clear what produces all LSD effects.

LSD was first synthesized from a fungus that grows on rye and other grains. In 1938, Albert Hofmann working in the Swiss pharmaceutical company called Sandoz, produced LSD for the first time. He was hoping that this new drug could be used to stimulate circulation and respiration. However, the tests he conducted were all failures and he forgot about LSD for 5 years. In 1943, Hofmann accidentally ingested (or somehow absorbed) a bit of LSD and experienced some of the psychedelic effects of this chemical: dizziness, visual distortions and restlessness. A few days later he prepared 0.25 mg of LSD in water and drank it. He again experienced the mood and thought altering LSD effects.

What are "bad trips" when it comes to LSD effects? Having a bad psychological reaction to LSD and similar drugs is common. The scary sensations may last a few minutes or several hours and be mildly frightening or terrifying. The user may experience panic, confusion, suspiciousness, anxiety, feelings of helplessness, and loss of control. Sometimes taking a hallucinogen such as LSD can unmask mental or emotional problems that were previously unknown to the user. Flashbacks, in which the person experiences a drug's effects without having to take the drug again, can occur.

What are the LSD effects of heavy use? Research has shown some changes in the mental functions of heavy users of LSD, but they are not present in all cases. Heavy users sometimes develop signs of organic brain damage, such as impaired memory and attention span, mental confusion, and difficulty with abstract thinking. These signs may be strong or they may be subtle. It is not yet known whether such mental changes are permanent or if they disappear when LSD use is stopped.

The effects of Mushrooms (hallucinogens) or 'Shrooms' are similar to LSD. 

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Chronic use of this Chloral Hydrate, a club drug, can lead to liver damages and serious withdrawal symptoms.

Within the year 2010, 1.7% 12th grade students admitted to abusing the club drug ketamine at least once.

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