Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) is a psychedelic drug first synthesized in 1938 from ergot, a fungus that grows on some types of grain. It is sold in the form of tablets, capsules, and sometimes as a liquid, and it is typically taken orally.
The experience resulting from LSD is often called a “trip.” These trips can last for several hours. Users can experience visual, auditory, and tactile hallucinations, as well as an altered sense of time and self. “Cross-over” sensory experiences are also common (e.g., smelling a color). In some cases, users have also reported feelings of terror, fear of insanity, and fear of death.
When a person takes LSD, their pupils dilate, and their body temperature, heart rate and blood pressure all increase. LSD can also cause sweating, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, dry mouth, and tremors. Little is known about the effects of long-term LSD use on a person’s body, but many users experience flashbacks in which they relive drug experiences up to several years after the initial drug use. In cases of heavy use, these flashbacks may persist and severely inhibit a person’s ability to function socially and occupationally. This condition is known as hallucinogenic induced persisting perceptual disorder (HPPD).
LSD, like some other hallucinogenics, is not considered addictive, because it does not commonly lead to compulsive drug-seeking behavior. Users do experience increased tolerance over time, however, requiring larger doses to produce the same affects. Since LSD is derived from a plant, it is highly unpredictable, which can make increased usage over time particularly dangerous.
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