LSDThe use of drugs among Americans is rapidly rising. They can be boughtand sold almost anywhere, from the streets to hallways of schools. A drug onthe rapid rise from the 70’s is LSD. Some people attribute this to the fact itis extremely inexpensive, $2-4 a hit, the wrong belief by users that it is asafer drug than marijuana because it isn’t physically addicting.
However, LSDis a hallucinogenic drug that is very dangerous, despite popular belief.LSD stands for Lysergic Acid Diethylamide. Lysergic acid is extractedfrom the fungus Ergot, and then left to crystallize until it is pure. It wasfirst accidentally discovered by Albert Hoffman in 1938 in Switzerland, who wassearching for possible therapeutic uses of Ergot. Hoffman continued hisexperiments, but never came in contact with the crystals until1943. (LSD can beabsorbed through the skin.) Hoffman then sent LSD around the world to be testedand investigated to find medical uses.
Lysergic acid deviates were found torelieve migraines and control postpartum hemorrhage because it causes veins tocontract, but also caused gangrene of the limbs, and so further experimentationwith the drug was abandoned.In the late 50’s, however, LSD was used by theCIA as an interrogation drug for spies. However, it was proven to be unreliableand was later replaced with other interrogation drugs.
LSD comes in the forms of crystals, liquids, tablets, gelatins, orblotting squares. The squares have designs on them such a flowers, dragons,shapes, animals, and cartoon characters to make them more attractive to youngchildren. Often called acid, white lightning, stamps, microdot, and gratefuldead, LSD is usually taken orally.There are 4 levels of experience an LSD user will go through.
The firsttakes place within 45 minutes of ingestion. The user begins to feel enhancedsenses. Colors are brighter, sounds are more distinct, and a user may feeldizzy. The second level is the plateau. Between hours one and three, the userwill “see” sounds and “hear” objects. This experience of a mingling of thesenses is called synethesva. Patterns within material such as sweaters andblankets appear.
A user may see figures within smoke from incense, or spendextended periods of time examining lines on the palm of their hand. Clock timebecomes distorted and slows almost to a stand still, whole minutes seem to passlike hours. Slight hallucinations may appear.
The third stage from hours 4-7is the climax. Colors are greatly magnified, while once familiar shapesdistorted beyond recognition. The hallucinations become intense, and totalunreal objects may appear. A user may go through a profound “mystical”experience where they find insight or enlightenment about themselves or theworld around them. The fourth stage is the downfall where the drug wears offand the user re-enters the normal world. LSD was very popular in the late 60’sfor its properties of “realization”, transcendence, or the all-knowing effectthat LSD often gives.
But the use of LSD quickly faded because of it’sdangerous and harmful side effects.LSD causes depth distortion and impairs rational judgment, which oftenleads to accidents and injury. Often the user doesn’t realize they are injureduntil the drug wears off, and then the user usually doesn’t remember theaccident.These negative side effects cause users to jump out of windows orrun in front of moving cars. And also because the source of LSD isunpredictable, a user may get a tainted dose, causing a severe panic attackresulting in the need to commit suicide to escape it.
A user often has enlargedpupils, rapid heartbeat, nausea, chills and trembling, convulsions, extreme moodswings, fear of insanity or death, and severe anxiety. A user who uses highdoses often may suffer permanent psychosis. Any user, even a first time usermay suffer from flashbacks, where LSD, stored in the spinal cord discs, escapesand comes in contact with the brain. The user may feel as if they were usingthe drug again for several minutes or less until the LSD wears off.No matter who uses it, LSD is a dangerous and illegal drug. The chancesof injuring or killing one’s self should cause would be users to think again.
The attraction to children can also be minimized by a watchful parent. LSD is apotent dangerous drug, that can cause permanent damage, such as long termpersonality changes, and can shatter the strongest hold on reality, and causepermanent insanity. No person can be fully responsible for their behavior whileunder the influence of any drug, and LSD is no exception.