D-lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) is a psychedelic drug made from lysergic acid, which comes from the ergot fungus that grows on rye and other grains. One of the most commonly used hallucinogens, LSD is produced in crystal form in illegal laboratories. People who use it experience a serious disconnect from reality that can last for around 12 hours. This is also known as a “trip.” They may experience symptoms like euphoria, hallucinations, altered perception of time, space and speed, out-of-body experiences, and synesthesia, i.e. a state of joined perception.
LSD is known by many names, including acid, blotter acid, dots, mellow yellow and window pane. It is available in the form of a pill, capsule and liquid, and is sometimes used by dipping the blotted paper in it. This is how it earns its nickname Loony Toons.
Abusing LSD can lead to a number of physical side effects, including:
- Dilated pupils
- Higher or lower body temperature
- Sweating or chills (“goose bumps”)
- Loss of appetite
- Dry mouth
Some people have “bad trips” while using LSD, which can be terrifying for those experiencing them. Symptoms of a “bad trip” on LSD include:
- Rapid mood swings
- Fatal accidents
Terror of disintegrating into nothing How LSD works?
Scientists and researchers are still unsure of how hallucinogenic drugs like LSD work on the brain. However, what is known so far is that when someone consumes LSD, the brain regions that were once segregated, begin to interact with one another. Other brain regions that typically form a network will separate during a “high,” creating a strong sentiment of oneness with the world. This loss of personal identity is termed ego dissolution.
During acid trips, the formerly separate brain networks governing vision, attention, movement and hearing further intertwine, leading to what looks like a more cohesive brain. At the same time, the communication between other networks – the parahippocampus and the adjacent retrosplenial cortex – breaks. While the former brain region is responsible for contextual processing and associations, the latter governs navigation, special mapping and episodic memory.
People who use LSD may have flashbacks or hallucinations long after giving up the drug. LSD can cause psychosis, and can get wedged in the spinal cord that can lead to hallucinogenic episodes long after a person has given up the drug.
While LSD can cause some serious damage to the user, recovering from LSD use is possible.