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05 Dec Understanding LSD Addiction

Welcome to part 6 of our 7 part Understanding Addiction Series. We have so far discussed crystal meth, alcohol, cocaine, heroin, and ecstasy. . Today, we will discuss LSD addiction. LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide) is a hallucinogenic drug made from the fungus that grows on rye and other grains — specifically the lysergic acid that is found in the ergot fungus. It is produced as a crystal, and then liquified for distribution. It can be sold in tablets, capsules, and most of the time, on absorbent paper known as blotters. Some street names are: Acid, Loony Toons, Lucy in the sky with diamonds, Superman, California Sunshine, and Dots.

LSD takes users on a hallucinatory “trip.” They will experience euphoric feelings and strange sensations, such as sharper colors, inanimate objects that appear to breathe, visions, slowed time, a journey to a mystical place, sharp colors, synesthesia, etc. The effects start to take place between 30 and 60 minutes after use. However, LSD is a gamble. You are just as likely to experience a “bad trip” as you are to experience a blissful one. Users often lose control, become temporarily insane, and trigger underlying mental problems (such as schizophrenia, and paranoia). Even on a positive trip users can experience dangerous side effects due to their impaired judgement. For example, an LSD user could try to walk off the edge of the building to see the ground better because they had a warped depth perception. Flashbacks also are a common problem due to LSD, and a LSD user can have a flashback of a bad trip long after taking the drug.

What are the negative effects of LSD use?
Some negative physical effects can occur during and after LSD use such as nausea, dilated pupils, sweating, chills, tremors, and increased heart rate and blood pressure. However, unlike many other drugs, the negative effects of LSD are more mental than physical. Users often experience delusions, hallucinations, distortions of reality (including time and space, causing them to make dangerous decisions), terrifying thoughts, panic attacks, flashbacks, depression and psychosis.

Why do people begin using the drug?
Most people begin using hallucinogens because they wish to connect to a “higher power,” to have fun, to deal with stress, or to experience music in a different way. The way that the drug affects your senses is profound, and many people seek it out as a way to have an emotional catharsis. Every trip is different, so people love the novelty of the experience. However, just like other drugs, you can begin to develop a tolerance to LSD. You will need more and more of the drug to produce the same high, increasing your risk for dangerous psychotic effects and bad trips. The psychotic effects listed above are permanent.

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