LSD is one of the most potent, mood-changing
chemicals. It is manufactured from lysergic acid,
which is found in the ergot fungus that grows on rye
and other grains.
It is produced in crystal form in illegal laboratories,
mainly in the United States. These crystals are
converted to a liquid for distribution. It is odorless,
colorless, and has a slightly bitter taste.
Known as “acid” and by many other names, LSD is
sold on the street in small tablets (“microdots”).
capsules or gelatin squares (“window panes”). It is
sometimes added to absorbent paper, which is then
divided into small squares decorated with designs or
cartoon characters (“loony toons”). Occasionally it is
sold in liquid form. But no matter what form it comes
in, LSD leads the user to the same place-a serious
disconnection from reality.
LSD users call an LSD experience a “trip,” typically
lasting twelve hours or so. When things go wrong,
which often happens, it is called a “bad trip,” another
name for a living hell.
Effects of LSD Use
LSD is a mind-altering drug. It is thought LSD causes
it’s characteristic hallucinogenic effects via interaction
with the serotonin receptors in the brain. Serotonin is
a neurotransmitter that helps control your behavior
and mood, governs your senses, and moderates your
The physical effects of LSD are unpredictable from
person-to-person. Usually, the first effects of the drug
when taken by mouth are felt 30 to 45 minutes after
taking it, peak at 2 to 4 hours, and may last 12 hours
or longer. Use by the intravenous (IV) route will
produce a much quicker action, usually within 10
minutes. Effects include:
distorted visual perception of shapes, colors
anxiety and depression
flashbacks (a return of the “trip” experience) days or
rapid heart rate, increased body temperature and
high blood pressure
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