LSD is one of the most dangerous club drugs. Even occasional use of this designer club drug can lead to severe physical and psychological health problems, including death. Worse, users who are partying at a club are more likely to combine drugs with other dangerous substances, like ecstasy, cocaine, or alcohol which can cause serious, life-threatening side effects. There is no quality control over the ingredients in the drug, meaning that many users may end up with a potent combination of deadly chemicals in their system.
What is LSD?
LSD is a highly-potent, hallucinogenic synthetic drug. LSD stands for “Lysergic acid diethylamide” and is also referred to as simply “acid.” It is a white or clear, odorless, water-soluble crystal. Users typically ingest this drug using a small paper square or sugar cube. Users experience the effects of LSD within 30 to 90 minutes after ingestion; effects may last for up to 12 hours.
Popularized by the 1960s counter-culture generation that wanted to “turn on, tune in, and drop out”, drugs like LSD were used as a way to “get in touch” with deeper levels of consciousness. Counselors also used this drug in the 1950s and 1960s as an agent for unblocking the repressed subconscious during therapy. However, due to its dangerous, hallucinogenic side effects, its use was discontinued. Today, the United States Drug Enforcement Agency maintains that LSD has no benefit for treating alcoholism, enhancing creativity, or aiding therapy.
What are the Physical Side Effects of Use?
Lysergic acid diethylamide disrupts regular patterns of behavior between nerve cells and serotonin, a neurotransmitter. Serotonin is involved in the control of behavioral, perceptual and regulatory systems including sexual behaviors, muscle control, and mood. Physical side effects include pupil dilation, reduced appetite, increased heart rate and blood pressure, and wakefulness. Psychological reactions include intense panic, anxiety, and a fear that one is disintegrating into nothingness/losing one’s identity.
What are the Dangers of LSD Use?
This drug causes unpredictable hallucinations, distortions in colors and objects, eidetic imagery, morphing objects, an altered sense of time, and other powerful psycho-physical reactions. A variety of different psychological effects may occur based on the user’s mindset and the physical and social environment where the drug is used. Users in an unsettling environment or users that are not emotionally prepared may experience a “bad trip.”
For some individuals, even those with no history of psychological disorders, taking LSD can cause long-term psychological problems and flashbacks. Known as HPPD episodes (Hallucinogenic Persisting Perception Disorder), flashbacks occur spontaneously without any warning and are intense sensory distortions that recall the user’s original Lysergic acid diethylamide trip.
While tolerance rapidly develops with regular use, it does not result in compulsive drug addiction. However, even without addiction, LSD abuse is still extremely dangerous. First, the users have virtually no control over the powerful hallucinations, which can last for up to 12 hours. Under the influence, users lose control over their decision-making abilities, engaging in risky sexual behaviors, and physical acts that jeopardize their safety. The frightening and disorienting effects of LSD may cause self-mutilation, homicide, accidental death, and suicide. Secondly, users have no quality control over the ingredients in LSD, which can lead to potentially fatal consequences.