Lysergic acid diethylamide, or LSD, is one of the most common psychedelic or hallucinogenic substances.
A potent mind-altering drug, LSD is derived from ergot alkaloids which are produced from the ergot fungus that grows on rye. LSD is typically delivered orally on small square pieces of paper known as blotter paper or blotters.
The effects of LSD are both physical and psychological, and can last up to 12 to 16 hours, depending upon dosage. Physical symptoms may include numbness, pupil dialation, weakness, nausea, hypothermia or hyperthermia, increased heart rate, jaw clenching, perspiration, saliva production, mucus production, and tremors. Psychological symptoms of LSD, often referred to as a “trip”, vary greatly from person to person and can have long-term psychoemotional effects. For some people it produces wide-ranging hallucinations and perceptual distortions of time and space. Some people report feelings of euphoria and pleasant feelings (sometimes called a “good trip”) while others talk about crippling paranoia, panic and agitation (“bad trips”).
Because LSD is not habit-forming or addictive, in the physical sense, there are no withdrawal symptoms. However, the use of LSD can cause HPPD (Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder) whereby the person continues to experience perceptual distortions for a long time after the “trip” is over. This disorder is listed in the DSM-IV R and can include depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, impaired memory, lessened attention span, mental confusion, psychological dependence, and suicidal thoughts.
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