LSD is a psychedelic drug that is also known as “acid.” It was first available in the United States on the street in the 1960s. It is colorless, odorless, and tasteless. It takes merely a tiny amount of the drug to feel its effects. It is also easy to conceal. People place it on tiny squares of absorbent paper.
LSD is one of the cheapest drugs to purchase. It is many times available for no cost or for a paltry five dollars for a single dose. It is known as being a very dangerous drug to take. There are stories of people who have a bad trip on it or of the persisting effects of using it.
The question that one will have about LSD is whether the stories bear any relationship to the truth or whether they are really just myths. In the past, there were people who felt that LSD could actually have positive effects on people’s minds and lives. The drug was looked at as something that could expand people’s minds and perhaps even bring about some sort of spiritual awakening. There are even certain religious groups who think that psychedelic drugs can connect a person with higher realms of being. Peyote is utilized to bring about just such an effect.
A Swiss chemist named Albert Hoffman who worked for a laboratory at Sandoz, a pharmaceutical company, first synthesized the drug while working on a project that involved a fungus called ergot that grows on rye. In the time of the Middle Ages, ergot poisoned multitudes of people who ate rye bread.
Hoffman thought that LSD might be useful in stimulating breathing and circulation. However, research didn’t indicate that there was any real effect, and Sandoz abandoned further research.
Hoffman accidentally discovered the psychedelic effects of the substance when he inadvertently exposed himself to it. Afterwards, he purposely dosed himself with LSD, giving himself a large quantity of the drug. At first, he became delirious and panicked. However, he ultimately experienced euphoria from the drug.
After this time, LSD became the subject of psychiatric research and was administered to patients undergoing psychotherapy. By 1960, there was a lot of research that yielded papers on the various uses of LSD.
People think that LSD brings about hallucinations. However, that is not completely accurate. People who take LSD don’t see things that aren’t there. The drug actually alters your perceptions of what is actually out there.
The main effects of LSD are visual. Colors appear to be stronger and lights seem brighter. The perception of time is also different than usual. It might seem that time is running backward or moving faster or more slowly than usual. Rarely, people experience something called synesthesia. This is a confusion of sensations between different types of stimuli. For example, you may experience sound as something visual.
The person who takes the substance will have an experience of euphoria. There is a certain magic and beauty to everything that you take in. Large doses of the drug may give you a feeling that your mind is expanding in some way or that you are on the verge of some kind of awakening.
People who are tripping on LSD are typically impulsive and have poor judgment. Many times, people will have a buddy that they trip with to ensure their own safety.
The possibility always exists of having a bad trip too. It is not known exactly what causes a bad trip, but it can be a traumatic experience that comes along with fear and paranoia. There also isn’t much that you can do for a person on a bad trip. Doctors may give the person a tranquilizer, but there is really not much else that can be done until the drug wears off.
How LSD Works
Researchers aren’t precisely certain what the drug does in the central nervous system. They aren’t sure how it causes its psychedelic effects. It is thought that LSD works in a similar way to serotonin. Serotonin is a brain chemical that is responsible for regulating mood and other things in the human system. LSD might interfere with the way that the brain’s serotonin receptors work.
LSD remains in your system even after you metabolize it. Exactly how long it stays in your system is not known. It is believed that flashbacks come about as a result of the drug remaining in your system over time.
Many people who report getting flashbacks are also mentally ill. Some researchers think that the LSD might have actually caused a mental illness in those who have the flashbacks.
Long-term Effects of Acid Use on the Brain
The long-term effects of acid use on the brain are not well known. However, the drug is thought to affect the brain’s response to serotonin.
The long-term effects of use include:
– Persistent psychosis
– Recurrent hallucinations
Even after you quit LSD, you may continue to have persisting psychoses. These psychoses can include:
– Radically disorganized thought patterns
– Distortions of perceived reality
– Dramatic mood swings
Psychosis is defined as a condition where you have a dissociation or disconnect from the real world. It is characterized by hallucinations and delusions. Delusions are false beliefs.
Long-term Effects on the Body
Long-term use of LSD results in a tolerance to the drug. As this is the case, people who regularly abuse the drug may need large doses to get the desired effects. This can be dangerous, however. Toxicity may occur. The results of this toxicity may include:
– Heart failure
– Death or severe injury due to impaired judgment
The truth of the matter is that the effects of LSD on the brain are not well understood. This is the case both with respect to how the drug acts on the brain and with respect to the long-term effects of the drug on the brain. However, we can tell that the drug definitely alters the brain by recognizing the phenomenon of flashbacks.
It seems that flashbacks are caused by either a change in the structure of the brain or because some of the drug remains in the body over time. Since this is the case, people should be very hesitant to try to experiment with the drug. The flashbacks can be very traumatic for a person and may interfere with normal living.
While it is not known whether the drug actually changes the brain or whether there is a mental illness that is caused by the drug, you don’t want to experience a bad trip over and over again for the rest of your life.