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Lysergic acid diethylamide, commonly known as LSD, is an illegal drug that alters the senses and cause hallucinations. It was first synthesized in by a Swiss chemist, Albert Hofman, to treat respiratory depression. InHofman accidentally discovered its hallucinogenic properties when he absorbed some through his skin.
Over the next 15 yearsLSD was used as an anesthetic and to support psychoanalysis. The counterculture of the s led to it being used for recreational purposes. Its popularity has decreased since the s. LSD is an illegal, semi-synthetic drug Why is lsd bad for you combines natural and man-made substances.
It is derived from ergot, a fungus that grows on certain grains, and a non-organic chemical called diethylamide. It stimulates serotonin production in the cortex and deep structures of the brain, by activating serotonin receptors. These receptors help visualize and interpret the real world.
The additional serotonin allows more stimuli to be processed that usual. Normally, the brain filters out irrelevant stimuli, but with LSD this is not the case. These alterations appear as hallucinations. Sensations seem real, but they are created by the mind. The perceptions can involve one or more of the five senses. It can also cause blending of the senses, known as synesthesia.
LSD can trigger a range of perceptual changes, often relating to vision, touch, emotions and thinking. Visual effects include brightened, vivid colors, blurred vision, distorted shapes and colors of objects and faces, and halos of light. Mood changes can lead to a sense of euphoria, bliss, peacefulness, dreaminess, and heightened awareness, or despair, anxietyand confusion.
There may be rapid mood swings. Impact on thinking can lead to a distorted perception of time, either fast or slow, accelerated thoughts, unusual insight or terrifying thoughts, and a sense of transcendence.
LSD is colorless and odorless. It is taken orally as capsules, pills, sugar cubes, chewing gum, or liquid drops transferred to colorful blotter paper. Recreational dosage averages between 25 to 80 micrograms mcg. Physical stimulation resulting from LSD use causes the pupils to dilate, and blood pressureheart rate, and temperature to rise.
Other short-term effects include :. However, it primarily affects the mind with visual distortions and sensory hallucinations and illusions. It is similar to psychosis, and the person cannot escape from it. There may be extreme fear, paranoia, a separation from self, and the person may believe that they are dying or in hell. It can also trigger panic attackspsychotic episodes, disturbing anxiety, paranoia, pain, and a feeling of dying or going insane. Severe or life-threatening physical effects are only likely to occur at doses above mcg, but the psychological effects can lead to unusual and risky behavior, potentially resulting in ificant injury and death.
As users have no control over the purity of the drug, it is difficult to predict the effect on the body and the mind. Tolerance, or a need to increase the dose to achieve the desired response, happens quickly. If a specific dose is taken every day for 3 consecutive days, by the third day no reaction will occur.
LSD is not physically addictive, so physical withdrawal symptoms do not occur after stopping use, but psychological addiction can develop. One of the dangers is that LSD can trigger a long-term psychotic state or induce schizophrenia in susceptible individuals.
Flashbacks, also known as Why is lsd bad for you persisting perception disorder HPPDand severe disorientation can happen after only one dose. The production and sale of LSD are illegal in many countries, but some people have called for it to be reclassified. They argue it could be useful for research purposes and for developing clinical applications.
Inresearchers proposed using single doses of the naturally occurring hallucinogen, psilocybin, alongside psychotherapy to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression in patients with life-threatening cancer. The 29 patients who took the dose experienced lower rates of depression and anxiety for up to 7 weeks, compared with a control group. No serious cardiac or other adverse effects were observed in these patients, and none of the participants experienced prolonged psychosis or hallucinogen persisting perpetual disorder HPPD. Hallucinogen-persisting perception disorder HPPD is a condition involving visual disturbances and flashbacks.
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Legg, Ph. What is LSD? Share on Pinterest LSD is purchased in caps, and only a small amount is required for the effects to take root. Effects on perception. Other short-term effects. Long-term effects. Share on Pinterest LSD use can lead to long-term mental health problems such as schizophrenia or a psychotic state. Should LSD be reclassified? Climate change and toxic pollution: Which countries are most at risk?
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The effects and hazards of LSD