LSD is one of the most popular psychedelic drugs in the world. It reached a height of popularity in the 1960’s but is still used today. While some contend that LSD is useful in the treatment of medical conditions, this psychedelic drug poses numerous risks to the recreational user. The dangers of LSD include hallucinations, confusion, and emotional breakdowns.
What is LSD?
LSD, or lysergic acid diethylamide, was created in 1938. Albert Hoffman was the first to produce the psychedelic compound commonly known as “acid” among recreational drug users. The drug is made from ergotamine. This chemical is found in the ergot fungus. Hoffman produced the drug in a laboratory in Switzerland.
For a brief time in the late 1940’s the drug was made commercially available and used for treatment of psychiatric disorders. Today there are many who claim that LSD can be used for treatment of medical disorders such as cluster headaches, and clinical trials to determine its efficacy as a therapeutic drug have been conducted since the earliest days of its appearance.
Unfortunately, LSD is used almost exclusively in a recreational manner. Those who take the drug may be unaware of the dangers of LSD. There is also danger attached to forms of LSD which are not produced in a clinical environment.
The Dangers of LSD
First and foremost, LSD is a psychedelic compound which frequently produces hallucinations and altered consciousness. It can be difficult for the user to differentiate reality from these altered states. This can cause those who take LSD to engage in dangerous or even deadly behaviors.
Other prominent side effects of LSD include delusions, paranoia, and severe anxiety. It should be noted that Hoffman did not become aware of the psychedelic effects of LSD until five years after he created the drug.
Those with existing mental illness may suffer exacerbations of their disorder when taking LSD. There are also physical dangers. The user may experience an elevated body temperature, an increased heart rate, and insomnia. These may seem like minor risks but they are considerable to some individuals who have certain medical conditions.
When LSD is taken in high doses there are even greater risks. This can happen because the body develops a quick tolerance to the drug. Users find themselves needing higher doses to produce effects. Higher doses of LSD can lead to what is commonly referred to as a “bad trip.”
Bad trips can compel users of LSD to become combative. They can also create extreme panic attacks and anxiety. Distortions of perception are common and hallucinations can last for up to 12 hours when large doses of LSD are taken. During this period of time the user is frequently unable to separate reality from hallucination. In this state, it is common for individuals under the influence of LSD to put themselves and others at risk of physical harm.
Even though some claim that LSD can be beneficial and even a gateway to spiritual enlightenment, the fact remains that LSD poses significant risks to those who use it.