LSD Term Paper

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Lysergic Acid Diethylamide-25

Lysergic acid diethylamide-25, or LSD, commonly street named as "acid" or "sugar" is a member of the hallucinogenic drug class. Other members of the hallucinogenic drug class are psilocybin, and mescaline. A mild hallucinogen is marijuana. Hallucinogens alter the way time is perceived, making time itself to seem at a standstill. Most Hallucinogens produce Hallucinations, which are shape and color shifts that differ from the outside world as well as the imagination of different beings and landscapes. Hallucinogens can also lead to bizarre thoughts as well as disorientation and mass confusion. Hallucinogens are thought to work by inhibiting the availability of serotonin, which is an important neurotransmitter in the brain.

LSD is one of the most potent mind-altering chemicals known to man and is measured in micrograms (ug). Discovered by Dr. Albert Hofmann in 1938 by mistake when the Swiss scientist accidentally ingested some of the chemical. Dr. Hofmann first synthesized the drug while studying while studying the derivatives of alkaloids from the ergot fungus. The ergot fungus is a parasitic fungus of rye and wheat. LSD, a white odorless and tasteless powder can be administered a number of ways, the most common are orally through paper, sugar cubes, on a piece of gelatin, or by pill. LSD can also be injected or absorbed through the skin.

LSD was an experimental drug in the study of mental illness, dying patients, and was also used to treat various psychiatric conditions as well as alcoholism. To this day however LSD has no medically proven use and its general use, production, and sale is illegal in the United States. When ingesting LSD the effects of can begin as early as 20-40 minutes and can last anywhere from 6-8 hours. Effects of the drug usually wear off after a night of sleep.

One problem LSD users do not have to face is addiction. Addiction is the compulsive physiological need for a habit-forming substance. Tolerance for LSD grows very rapidly making the user ingest more and more LSD at a time in an attempt to "trip." No withdrawal symptoms occur when the drug is stopped being used, unlike that of Heroin and Cocaine. The physical pleasures some of the users experience is the only way of addiction that the user faces. LSD can trigger underlying mental problems and produce delusions, paranoia, and schizophrenia-like states. It can also produce extremely anxiety states or panic attacks, not only while using the drug but also for some time after the drug is discontinued in usage. LSD is also known for changing the personality of the user. LSD can impair judgment making it difficult to drive and operate machinery even when not under the influence of the drug.

Many short-term effects of LSD develop into long term effects. The effects of the drug are uncertain because they vary in the fact that the "trip" depends on two key components: the set of mind in which the user ingests the LSD, and the setting the user is in while ingesting the LSD. Sometimes unpleasant psychological reactions occur, including panic, great confusion, and anxiety. If you have an unstable personality prior to taking this drug, you will probably have an unstable experience during, and quite likely after taking this drug. It is extremely variable and one never knows how they will react to the drug. The initial effects begin 20-40 minutes with a sense of euphoria and dizziness. Hallucinations then begin to occur, with the "trip" peaking for 4-5 hours after about an hour since the drug had been taken. The person who uses LSD is likely to feel detached from his or her own ego, and can cross between states of consciousness. The user's perceptions are often altered, causing visual and auditory hallucinations. Common sights are the walls of the room are breathing or that motionless curtains appear to be moving. Senses the users have begin to mix making the user able to see music and taste colors. The LSD experience or "trip" is often hard to be described by the user because words begin to lose meaning and are often insufficient in describing the effects of the drug; thoughts begin to scatter and are unclear. Effects often begin to wear off after 6-8 hours and are usually completely gone after a night of sleep. The long-term effects of LSD use can be both good and bad. There are cases of people who claim to have had their lives changed for the better, due to LSD use. Others have been hospitalized due to "LSD psychosis." In the late 1960s, several studies indicated possible chromosome breakage due to LSD use. Some users experience flashbacks, brief vivid repetitions of a previous LSD experience. Some of the flashbacks reported go as far back as pre-birth experiences. The flashbacks are associated with highly emotional experiences and often happen to people who have never used psychedelic drugs. A frightening war memory, being raped, or even getting married, can all trigger flashbacks quite sometime later. Thus, an emotional experience on LSD can also cause flashbacks. The flashbacks occur due to post-traumatic stress disorder associated with people of disaster and extremely violent situations. The effects of LSD start with the first ingestion of the drug. The effects can last anywhere from 8 hours until death. Some of the short-term effects are hallucinations, euphoria, vomiting, trouble breathing, changes in perception of time, changes in shapes and colors, increased pulse rate, blood pressure, and temperature, dilation of the pupils, enhanced music appreciation, sweating, nervousness, jaw grinding, muscle cramping, increased energy. Some of the short-term effects can be carried out even longer into the long-term effects. Some of the long-term effects are permanent hallucinations, increased blood pressure, mood swings, memory loss, hand-eye coordination loss, flashbacks, depression, insomnia, difficulty keeping conversations and expressing thoughts, increased stimuli from environment, loss of identity, feelings of unreality, magical insights, and quite possibly panic and terror.

In conclusion LSD is a drug, and a very harmful drug just like the rest of the drugs. LSD can get you in a lot of trouble with your friends, family, as well as the law. LSD should not be abused or used and think of whom you are hurting before you start taking drugs. LSD changes the state of mind you are in so bad that you yourself doesn't even know how to react to the situation at hand.

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