LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide): Therapeutic use, Treatment. LSD rehab.
Last modified: Sunday, 31. May 2009 - 4:51 pm
Official names: LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), LSD25
Street names: Acid, zen, sugar, tabs, blotter, cid, doses, trips, boomers, lightning flash, hawk, cheer, liquid acid, L, microdot, dot, paper mushrooms, tab, hits, tripper, yellow sunshines, rainbows, smilies, stars, strawberries
Drug classifications: Schedule I, hallucinogen
BAD TRIP: A negative LSD experience, characterized by anxiety, panic, and despair, which can be extremely traumatic.
CANDY FLIPPING: The practice of combining ecstasy with LSD, which is popular among young people who attend raves and dance clubs.
CLUB DRUGS: Mostly synthetic, illicit substances found at raves and nightclubs. This group includes LSD, ecstasy, GHB, Rohypnol, ketamine, and methamphetamine.
COMING DOWN: The experience of a drug wearing off.
DROP: A common term used to describe the taking of LSD, as in “dropping acid.”
EMPATHY: A feeling of connectedness and understanding with another person or people.
ERGOT: A fungus that grows on grains, particularly rye, that contains lysergic acid, a chemical used to make LSD.
FLASHBACK: The re-experiencing of a drug high without actually taking the drug. A flashback is usually limited to visual hallucinations and disturbances and can occur weeks, months, or years after taking the drug.
HALLUCINATION: The experience of seeing, feeling, hearing, smelling, or tasting something that is not really there.
HALLUCINOGENS: Agroup of drugs that induces sensory distortions and hallucinations.
HIT: A common term for a dose of LSD.
HPPD: Short for “hallucinogen persisting perception disorder,” which is the medical term for flashbacks.
LYSERGIC ACID: A naturally occurring chemical that is used to make LSD.
NEUROTRANSMITTER: Chemical in the brain that transmits messages between neurons, or nerve cells.
PSYCHEDELIC: A term given to hallucinogenic drugs, like LSD, which implies that these drugs have the ability to access as yet untapped potential of the mind.
PSYCHOSIS: A severe mental disorder characterized by the loss of the ability to distinguish what is objectively real from what is imaginary, frequently including hallucinations.
RAVE: An all-night dance party that includes loud, pulsing “house” music and flashing lights. Many participants take hallucinogenic and other mind-altering drugs.
S E ROTO NIN: An important neurotransmitter in the brain that regulates mood, appetite, sensory perception and other central nervous system functions.
SYNESTHESIA: A chemical “cross-wiring” of the brain circuits often due to the use of hallucinogens that results in colors being felt or heard and sound being tasted or seen.
TALK DOWN: The process in which someone helps a person on drugs reconnect with reality by talking in soothing tones and helping distinguish reality from fantasy.
TRIP: A common term for a drug experience.
Lysergic acid diethylamide, or LSD, is the most potent and widely used of the category of drugs known as hallucinogenics. Hallucinogenic drugs, also called psychedelics, distort and confuse the senses, making people see, hear, feel, smell, or taste things that are not really there. The word hallucinate comes from a Latin word meaning “to wander in the mind.” LSD falls into the category of hallucinogenic drugs called indole hallucinogens. This means it is derived from ergot, which is a fungus that grows on grains, particularly rye.
With respect to its hallucinogenic properties, LSD affects vision most strongly, although it can distort or enhance all the senses. The drug also produces intense, unstable emotions. It can make people feel deeply connected with others and with the universe, and can even elicit deeply spiritual experiences. In some people, LSD promotes a sense of deep understanding that forever changes their patterns of thinking or outlook (called a mind-expanding or consciousness-expanding experience). On the negative side, LSD can induce panic, anxiety, or paranoia, and can even disconnect people from reality to such an extent that they become a danger to themselves or others.
LSD is quickly absorbed throughout the body and affects the nervous system at many sites. It is the most powerful known hallucinogenic substance. As little as 30 to 50 micrograms (millionths of a gram) is required to produce effects that last six to 12 hours, sometimes longer. The effects usually start about 30 to 90 minutes after taking the drug; a faster response time may occur at higher doses.
LSD has a fascinating social history. It was initially synthesized in 1938 by Swiss chemist Dr. Albert Hofmann during experiments he performed for Sandoz Laboratories with chemicals called ergot derivates. Other drugs produced from these naturally occurring substances were useful for treating migraine headaches and gynecological problems. It was hoped that additional Therapeutic uses could be found from similar compounds.
The testing of LSD on animals in the late 1930s did not identify any useful purpose, but when Dr. Hofmann accidentally ingested the drug in 1943 its hallucinogenic properties were revealed. The drug initially attracted the attention of psychiatrists, who hoped that taking the drug would give them a better understanding of their severely ill patients. Doctors also gave LSD to psychiatric patients to help reduce their inhibitions and enhance psychotherapy. The United States Army and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) were interested in LSD as a potential truth serum or brainwashing tool. They also investigated its use as a form of “nonviolent warfare,” since LSD can be very incapacitating.
Probably the most important role LSD has played historically is in the hippie movement of the 1960s. LSD use was central to the rebellious movement that encouraged love and peace over war. To the hippie generation of the ’60s, LSD was believed to help people develop a peaceful outlook and have profound mystical experiences. It was also popular among artists, particularly musicians, as a means of stimulating creativity.
Sandoz believed that LSD had great potential as a therapeutic drug. However, its increasing street use and association with the counterculture of the sixties made it fall out of favor with most legitimate researchers as well as drug enforcement agencies in various countries, particularly the United States and Britain. As a result, the company stopped producing LSD in 1968.
In 1979, Hofmann wrote an essay entitled LSD: My Problem Child. In it, he described how he first synthesized LSD, his early experiments with the drug, related hallucinogenic drugs found in nature, and the events that led Sandoz Laboratories to abandon the drug.
Traditionally, LSD has been most popular among white, middle-class high school and college students. It is used more in America than anywhere else, although it has enjoyed some popularly in Western Europe, particularly Britain. LSD use was highest in the 1960s, and by 1970 an estimated one million to two million Americans had tried the drug. Use of LSD dropped off somewhat in the 1970s and 1980s, but it resurfaced in the 1990s and early twenty-first century, particularly among young adults who attend dance clubs and all-night dance parties called raves.
LSD is a semisynthetic drug. That means that it is made up of a natural substance, called lysergic acid, which is altered artificially in the laboratory. Lysergic acid is present in a group of substances called ergot alkaloids that are found in nature. These include ergot (Claviceps purpurea), a fungus that grows on rye and other grains. It also includes certain types of morning glory flowers, such as the heavenly blue, pearly gates, wedding bells, flying saucers, and the Hawaiian baby woodrose.
Doses of LSD have been found to be contaminated with other hallucinogen drugs, particularly PCP or mescaline. LSD is also commonly sold as another hallucinogenic drug, since it is relatively inexpensive to produce.