Lysergic Acid Diathylamide (LSD) is a psychoactive hallucinogenic drug. It comes in a variety of forms, but is most commonly sold in the form of blotter paper, which is small paper squares that has been dipped in LSD.
LSD was first synthesized in 1938 by Dr.Albert Hoffman, a chemist in Switzerland. It was originally made to stimulate circulation but since there were no real benefits they stopped production. It was made again a couple of years later when it was found that LSD could help cure behavioral problems like schizophrenia, alcoholism and such. It was introduced to the United States in the 50’s undergoing a 15-year research period in which several hundred articles and a handful of books were written about the drug and its effects. Over 40,000 patients were prescribed with the drugs and even some doctors took the drug themselves in order to gain a deeper understanding of the schizophrenic. Though it did seem to have potential pharmaceutical value, there were no solid benefits so the production stopped. Still other illegitimate producers kept making it.
The drug was extremely popular in the late 60’s and gained its fame from Timothy Leary, a Harvard student that got expelled for using the drug, and other student volunteers to study the effects on LSD on the brain. Leary later became a ‘spokesman’ for the drug, promoting its mind expanding qualities. The late 60’s and early 70’s adopted LSD as it became the psychedelic drug of choice for the people, especially within the hippie culture. Many artists say they have been inspired by the drug, or simply taken it, amongst them are John Lennon, Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix. LSD has the reputation for being a mind-expanding drug. It was legal until 1966.
Many claim that after using LSD, their life has changed and some that they have had epiphanies or internal revelations. Users in the first hour of “tripping” feel anxious, a little tingly and colors seem brighter. After the first three hours, the peak begins. Extreme visual, open and closed eyes, hallucinations. Some report that everything seems like it is in motion, and colors are vivid, sometimes seeing things that are not there. Mental changes are the most intense. Users often experience extreme mental stages, going from periods of giddiness, to extreme insight. They also show extreme paranoia, especially when put in a situation with people who are not tripping.
LSD is sold for under under many names like acid, blotter, trip, doses and more than 350 types of blotter paper have been found since 1975. Dosages of LSD are measured in micrograms, a millionth of a gram. By comparison, LSD is one-hundred times stronger than other drugs such as cocaine or heroin which are measured in miligrams, a thousandth of a gram. The dosage level that will produce an hallucinogenic effect in humans generally is considered to be 25 micrograms. Over the past several years, the potency of LSD obtained during drug law enforcement operations has ranged between 20 and 80 micrograms per dosage unit. It is inexpensive, commonly sold for under 5$ a unit dose.
LSD is slowly making a comeback into the drug scene having been forgotten since the mid 70’s. It is still popular amongst high school and college students.
By: Humberto De Armas, IB12