Dangers LSD is generally considered nontoxic, although it may temporarily impair the ability to make sensible judgments and understand common dangers, thus making the user more susceptible to accidents and personal injury.
Flashbacks "Flashbacks" are a reported psychological phenomenon in which an individual experiences an episode of some of LSD's subjective effects long after the drug has worn off — usually in the days after typical doses. In some rarer cases, flashbacks have lasted longer, but are generally short-lived and mild compared to the actual LSD "trip." Flashbacks can incorporate both positive and negative aspects of LSD trips. Flashbacks have proven difficult to study and are no longer officially recognized as a psychiatric syndrome. However, colloquial usage of the term persists and usually refers to any drug-free experience reminiscent of psychedelic drug effects, with the typical connotation that the episodes are of short duration.
Chemist Albert Hofmann, working at the Sandoz Corporation pharmaceutical laboratory in Switzerland, first synthesized LSD in 1938. He was conducting research on possible medical applications of various lysergic acid compounds derived from ergot, a fungus that develops on rye grass. Searching for compounds with therapeutic value, Hofmann created more than two dozen ergot-derived synthetic molecules
LSD is sold on the street in tablets, capsules, and occasionally in liquid form. It is an odorless and colorless substance with a slightly bitter taste that is usually ingested orally. It is often added to absorbent paper, such as blotter paper, and divided into small decorated squares, with each square representing one dose.
STREET TERMS Acid, blotter acid, window pane, dots, mellow yellow
SHORT-TERM EFFECTS The short-term effects of LSD are unpredictable. They depend on the amount of the drug taken; the user's personality, mood, and expectations; and the surroundings in which the drug is used. Usually, the user feels the first effects of the drug within 30 to 90 minutes of ingestion. These experiences last for extended periods of time and typically begin to clear after about 12 hours. The physical effects include dilated pupils, higher body temperature, increased heart rate and blood pressure, sweating, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, dry mouth, and tremors. Sensations may seem to "cross over" for the user, giving the feeling of hearing colors and seeing sounds. If taken in a large enough dose, the drug produces delusions and visual hallucinations.
LONG-TERM EFFECTS LSD users often have flashbacks, during which certain aspects of their LSD experience recur even though they have stopped taking the drug. In addition, LSD users may develop long-lasting psychoses, such as schizophrenia or severe depression. LSD is not considered an addictive drug - that is, it does not produce compulsive drug-seeking behavior as cocaine, heroin, and methamphetamine do. However, LSD users may develop tolerance to the drug, meaning that they must consume progressively larger doses of the drug in order to continue to experience the hallucinogenic effects that they seek
USER POPULATION LSD is abused by teenagers and young adults in connection with raves, nightclubs and concert settings. Approximately 1.9% of eighth graders, 2.5% of tenth graders, and 3.5% of twelfth graders surveyed as part of the 2005 study reported lifetime use of LSD. Approximately 44% of eighth graders, 60.8% of tenth graders, and 69.9% of twelfth graders surveyed in 2005 reported that taking LSD regularly was a "great risk." Additional survey results indicate that 5.6% of college students and 13.4% of young adults reported lifetime use of LSD.