Are you interested in learning more about the effects and symptoms of LSD use? Check out our guide to understand more about this illegal, psychedelic street drug.
What Is LSD?
LSD stands for lysergic acid diethylamide, a strong hallucinogenic drug that comes in the form of a white powder that can be pressed into pills, placed into a capsule or clear liquid that is dropped on blotter or gelatin squares. Like other hallucinogenic drugs, LSD alters the mind, causing the user to experience sensations that seem real but are created only in the brain. Users generally swallow blotter or small pills.
What Does LSD Do to Your Brain?
Only a tiny amount of LSD is needed to cause mind-altering effects. The drug works by binding to cell receptors in the brain and changing the way the mind responds to the neurotransmitter known as serotonin.
Because serotonin regulates mood, emotion, and sensory perceptions, LSD often causes hallucinations and alters the user’s perception of time, sound, and touch. The effect of the LSD “trip” can last up to 12 hours, with long-term effects lasting much longer.
LSD Short-Term Effects
LSD can alter a user’s perception, create illusions in the mind, and cause several other physical symptoms. These effects may onset within an hour of taking the drug and can last anywhere from 6 to 12 hours.
Here are some of the most common short-term effects of the drug:
- Heightened perception of color
- Distorted shapes, seeing halos, etc.
- Feeling lightheaded or shaking
- Euphoric, blissful feelings
- Mood swings
- Transcendent feelings
- Perception of time moving fast or slow
Ultimately, the effects of LSD depend on whether the user experienced a “good” or “bad” trip. A “bad trip” may occur when taking a highly potent dose of the drug, or depending on the individual user’s reaction.
Here are some of the effects of a bad trip:
- Feelings of fear and paranoia
- Panic attacks
- A sensation of dying or being in hell
- Feeling separated from self
- Psychotic episodes
- Physical pain or bodily injury
- Risky behavior that could result in death
LSD Long-Term Effects
The trip caused by LSD typically ends after 6 to 12 hours of taking the drug. However, continued, frequent drug use can cause long-term effects, such as:
- Blood pressure changes
- Diarrhea, vomiting, and nausea
- Dangerous behavior
LSD Street Names
LSD is an illegal drug that is bought and sold on the streets. The drug may be sold under a variety of names, including:
- Yellow sunshine
- Looney tunes
- Blotter acid
- Lucy Mae
- Mellow yellow
- Window Pane
How Long Does LSD Stay in Your System?
The effects of LSD typically last 6 to 12 hours. However, the drug stays in the body much longer. LSD can be detected by urine test up to 2 to 4 days after the last use or by hair test up to 90 days after the last use.
Is LSD Addictive?
LSD is not considered an addictive drug. Because the effects of this hallucinogen are so intense and long-lasting, most people choose to limit their use of the drug. However, the body can build a quick tolerance to it, meaning users will require much higher doses to achieve the same effects.
Though the risk of physical addiction or drug overdose is low, a person may develop a psychological dependence on the drug or engage in reckless or risky behavior when taking LSD. The hallucinogen can also be dangerous when mixed with other drugs (especially antidepressants).
Can You Overdose on LSD?
The potential to overdose on LSD is unlikely. However, regular, extended use of LSD can cause long-term effects, such as those mentioned above, and may include flashbacks.
Is LSD Legal?
No, LSD is not legal and is currently classified as a Schedule I illegal street drug in the United States. This means it is against the law to buy, distribute, possess, or manufacture LSD without first obtaining a license from the U.S. drug enforcement administration.
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