Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD)

LSD), a potent hallucinogenic drug, also called a psychedelic,
first synthesized from lysergic acid in Switzerland in l038. Lysergic acid
is a white odorless drug, a component of the mold of ERGOT. Ergot is a
product of the fungus Claviceps purpurea. Th e bio-active ingredients of
ergot are all derivatives of lysergic acid. LSD is a semi-synthetic
derivative of lysergic acid. Thus LSD is an “ergot” - like substance. The
drug evokes dreamlike changes in mood and thought and alters the
perception of time
and space. It can also create a feeling of lack of self-control and
extreme terror. Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) also goes by names like:
acid, sugar, Blotter, Sugar Cubes, Blue Unicorn, Acid, Cid, Sid, Bart

Simpsons, Barrels, Tabs, Blotter, Heaven ly blue, ‘L’, liquid liquid,

Microdots, Mind detergent, Orange cubes, Orange micro, Owsley, Wedding

Bells, windowpane, etc.

LSD is very potent: the effective dose is measured in micrograms
(ug) -- however, the lethal dose is literally thousands of times that,
making the drug essentially non-toxic. LSD is non-addictive, and there
have been only a few cases of possible overdose
where people ingested extremely large amounts of the drug (Alan et al.,

1978; Griggs et al,. 1977). LSD can be administered a number of ways, the
most common : orally though paper, sugar cubes, on a piece of gelatin, or
by pill ; intravenously or intramu scularly. A standard dose with
noticeable hallucinogenic effects is about 100-200 ug. The intensity of
the trip is proportional to the size of the dose-- it is interesting to
note, though, that the duration of the trip seems to stay the same at
higher dos es (Freedman, 1984). Physical effects include drowsiness,
dizziness, dilated pupils, numbness and tingling, weakness, tremors, and
nausea. Transient abnormal thinking induced by LSD, such as a sense of
omnipotence or a state of acute paranoia, can result in dangerous
behavior. Long-term adverse reactions such as persistent psychosis,
prolonged depression, or faulty judgment have also been reported following

LSD ingestion but whether these are a direct result of ingestion is
difficult to establish. Althoug h LSD is not physiologically addicting,
the drug’s potent mind-altering effects can lead to chronic use. In the

1960’s LSD use was widespread among people who sought to alter and
intensify their physical senses; to achieve supposed insights into the
unive rse, nature, and themselves; and to intensify emotional connections
with others. The drug has been tried as a treatment for infantile autism,
for alcoholism, and to accelerate psychotherapy, but no medical use has
been established. Non-medical use is ille gal in the U.S.

The LSD experience is usually described as a ‘trip’ because it is
like a journey to another place. This experience may be broken up into
four different ‘phases’.

THE ONSET- Thirty minutes to an hour after being taken, colors appear
sharper, moving objects leave traces behind them. Repeated patterns may be
seen with eyes closed.

THE PLATEAU-Over the second hour, the effects become more intense.

Patterns are now visible with eyes open. Fantastic visions appear from
nowhere-from shapes in smoke, to lines on the palms of the hand.

THE PEAK- Time is slowed to a standstill. Trippers may feel they are in a
different world. For some this may be profound and mystical, for others it
can be very frightening. The sense of reality is altered-people may feel
feelings of flight, or feel they can breathe underwater like a fish.

THE COMEDOWN- Five or six hours after taking the drug the sensations begin
to subside. After eight hours the trip is usually over, however some
residual effects may remain until sleep.

The psychedelic effects of d-Lysergic Acid Diethylamide-25 (LSD)
were discovered by Dr Albert Hoffman by accident in 1938 when a small
amount of the drug soaked through his fingers during a routine synthesis.

He experienced an imaginative dream-like stat e for a duration of 2-3
hours (Hoffman,1983). Since then a great deal of work has been done
attempting to document the health effects of LSD. In the 1950’s and

1960’s, LSD was used by psychiatrists for analytic psychotherapy
(controversial analysis). It w as thought that the administration of LSD
could aid the patient in releasing repressed material. It was also
suggested that psychiatrists themselves might develop more insight into
the pathology (the study of essential nature of disease) of a diseased min
d through self experimentation. During the late sixties LSD became popular
as a recreational drug. While it has been suggested that recreational use
of the drug has dropped, a recent report on CNN claiming that 4.4 percent
of 8th graders have tried it.

LSD is considered to be one of, if not the, most potent
hallucinogenic drug known. Small doses of LSD (1/2-2ug/kg body weight)
result in a number of system wide effects