LySergic acid DiethylamideIS IT A DREAM OR NIGHTMARE?
QUICK FACTSQUICK FACTS::The chemical substances classified in this group are referred to as the Hallucinogenic / Psychedelic drugs. Psychotomimetic refers todrugs that mimic a psychological or psychotic state. Hallucinogen refers to the hallucinations that these drugs may produce.Psychedelic means mind expanding. This drug group has the ability to induce visual, auditory, or other hallucinations, and to separatethe individual from reality. They produce a wide range of behavioral alterations; thus their classification by chemical structure is difficult.However, these drugs are thought to alter the synaptic transmission process in the human brain. There are several chemicalsubstances commonly thought to serve as synaptic neuro-transmitters within the brain. Such substances include acetylcholine,norepinephrine, and serotonin. There are both natural hallucinogens such as mushrooms, and those synthetically made from chemicalssuch as LSD. There is no documented withdrawal syndrome related to abuse of the hallucinogenic drugs or this reason, thepsychedelics have been shown to produce no true physical dependence.
Lysergic acid diethylamide - REAL or IMAGINARY THINKING ?
HISTORY OF DRUGNatural compounds that alter the humanconsciousness have been used for thou-sands of years. These compounds wereused by certain native peoples for spiritualenlightenment, not recreational use. Withthe advent of modern chemistry and tech-nology, a new class of compounds havebeen developed and abused. This group ofcompounds has been classified by manydifferent names, however, they are bestdescribed as hallucinogens. An hallucino-gen may be defined as a compound thatcauses gross distortions in perceptions,without loss of consciousness, when takenin nontoxic dosages.
There are numerous hallucinogenic drugs,but the most famous of this drug group is asynthetic drug that has been in existencefor the last 50 years, known as d-lysergicacid diethylamide (LSD).
During the middle ages, frequent epi-demics of Saint Anthonys Fire weredocumented. This disease produced twogroups of symptoms. The first group con-sisted of seizures and convulsions. Thesecond group consisted of gangrene, skinblistering, and spontaneous abortions. Thedisease was often fatal and many of itsvictims suffered from hallucinations. This
Atropine, scopolamine, muscarine- from plants such as belladonnaor deadly night shade, jimsonweed, stick weed, thorn apple andhenbane.
Mescaline, DOM (STP), MDA,MDMA, TMA. Myristicin - fromplants such as peyote andmescaline derivatives; myristicinis from nutmeg and mace.
Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD),Phencyclidine (PCP), Ketamine.
History - (continued from column 1)
fatal disease was caused by a parasiticfungus (claviceps purpurea) known asergot. The ergot fungus grows onrye, grain, and wild grasses. The af-fected rye was ground into flour andbaked into bread.
The chemists of the early twentiethcentury were able to isolate severaluseful compounds from the ergot fun-gus. One of these compounds, ergo-tamine, is used in contemporarymedicine to contract the uterus afterchildbirth, in the treatment of migraineheadaches, and to constrict the capil-laries. Ergotamine tartrate is also achemical that is necessary for the man-ufacturing of Lysergic acid diethy-lamide (LSD).
The birth of the psychedelic age be-gan in 1938 when Dr. Albert Hofmandeveloped, from a fungal plant, rustcalled ergot, a compound calledLSD. Five years later Dr. Hofman de-cided to see if LSD could be developedinto an analeptic compound to stimu-late blood circulation and respiration inelderly people. Even though LSD wasoriginally made from fungus, today itcan be produced easily and syntheti-cally in a laboratory.
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Chemist Dr. Albert Hofman, the de-veloper of LSD, describes in hisjournals about his own personal ex-periences with the drug. While crys-tallizing the LSD compound in theform of a tartrate, he accidentallyabsorbed an immeasurable trace ofit through his fingertips. Dr. Hofmandescribed his first unintentional useas a not unpleasant intoxicated- likecondition occupying two hours ofinteresting imagery. From 1943 to1970, Hofman used LSD about 15times and concluded that there wassimply no way to guarantee either agood or bad trip. The experienceis handled best, Hofman cautiouslycounseled, by a stabilized personwith a meaningful reason for takingLSD.
UNDER THE INFLUENCEOF HALLUCINOGENICS
Losing of emotional inhibitions
Tears and smiling without cause
Relaxation of tensions
Time and depth perception impairment
LSD is produced in its salt (water solu-ble) form. It can be placed upon anytype of medium. It has no odor, nocolor, and no taste. The crystallineform is dissolved in a solvent solutionand placed or soaked onto a mediumand allowed to dry. The medium isplaced into the mouth, where the LSDdissolves in the saliva and ingested intothe body. LSD has been found onmany types of mediums: sugar cubes,saccharin tablets, gelatin capsules,gelatin squares (window panes), papersquares (blotter paper), colored liquid(for oral use or being placed into theeye or sprayed onto the skin (goldenrain drops).
LSD is extremely active in smallamounts. The usual dose ranges from50 to 300 micrograms which is equiva-lent to 0.00005 to 0.0003 grams.When comparing this amount with theweight of a package of the sweetener,Sweet-n-Low, which weights about 1gram, it is easy to appreciate the po-tency of LSD. This would mean thatthe weight of one Sweet-n-Low pack-age would be equal to the weight ofapproximately 3,333 to 20,000 dosesof LSD.
Other ways of ingestion may includedissolving the LSD in a solvent(usually colored ) where it is placedonto the eye, swallowed, or dissolvedin Dimethylsufloxide (DMSO) andsprayed onto the skin where it israpidly absorbed into the system. Itcannot be ingested by smoking, as LSDis destroyed by exposure to heat andsunlight. If it is kept in a cool, darklocation, it will not lose its potencyover time.
FIRST RECORDEDTRIPS ON LSD
In the 1960s Aldous Huxley (BraveNew World) reinvestigated Dr. Hof-mans research, and the popularity oflysergic acid diethylamide effectswere predominantly found in theHaight-Ashbury district of San Fran-cisco. As the summer of lovespread, so did LSDs popularity.However, as the life styles of the60s faded, so did the general popu-larity of the drug LSD. It seems to bethat todays love affair with thememories of the 60s has renewedthe interest and abuse of LSD.
THE SUMMER OF LOVEEXPERIENCE
LSD ACTIVITY IN THEHUMAN BODY
A user who is under the influence ofa psychedelic may speak of seeingsounds, tasting colors, andhearing motion. This cross circuit-ing of brain information is calledsynthesthesia.
CONFUSED BRAININFORMATION Standardization of doses has gone a
long way to increase the popularity ofLSD. The big seller is blotter acidfeaturing tiny characters such as thegreen and red dragon, Mickey Mouseas the Sorcerer, and other cartoon char-acters.
FORMS OF LSD (ACID)
BLOTTER PAPERFORM OF LSD
Emotional changes occur with LSD use,but are unpredictable. A mood can shiftquickly from intense euphoria to despair,due perhaps only to the fact that the sunwent behind a cloud. Also, at times, laugh-ter or tears may occur which seem inap-propriate to the situation.
Some psychological dependency can oc-cur with LSD use, but no evidence hasbeen found to indicate the development ofphysical dependency. Tolerance to thephysiologic and psychic effects of LSDcan and does occur. This tolerance occursrapidly with use and disappears rapidlyafter discontinuation. Cross-tolerance be-tween LSD, mescaline, and psilocybinalso occurs, indicating possibly a similarmechanism of action for these drugs.
Acute panic reactions can occur with LSDthat result in a bad trip ( or bummer).These panic reactions usually occur owingto a feeling of imminent danger. If thesepanic reactions become intense and pro-longed, a state of drug-induced psychosiscan result. The psychotic episode may bebrief, or it may last for several years. Themechanism of the LSD action is notknown. It may be an unmasking of a previ-ous psychosis, although it is difficult, itnot impossible, to predict when and withwhom such reactions occur. There is alsoan increased risk of self-destructive behav-ior with LSD, and the other perceptualdistorters.
PSYCHOLOGICAL VERSUSPHYSICAL DEPENDENCY
OF LSDThe effects of LSD vary according tothe amount and how taken. The aver-age period for LSD effects to come onin the use of LSD orally is 45 minutes(15 to 120 minutes). Almost all effectsof LSD are gone after 8 - 12 hours. Insome cases, 24 hours. Very large dosesmay produce intense and substantialsymptoms for 48 hours. When the drugis swallowed, there is a gradual build-up of physiological symptoms. Theseconsist of numbness, a tingling of theextremities, feeling of chilliness,anorexia, nausea, vomiting (rarely),flushing and dilation of the pupils.These symptoms usually subside by thetime the psychic symptoms appear.
LSD produces a pyrogenic (heat pro-ducing) effect on the user. The usersability to control internal body temper-ature is impaired with toxic doses. Theusers body temperature can reach upto 106 degrees. This high temperature,(also known as hyperthermia), if nottreated, may cause convulsions and orbrain damage.
How LSD affects the mind of the useris quite profound. LSD affects the neu-rotransmitter, serotonin. This neuro-transmitter affects sleep, moods, inhi-bitions, and in some cases, deep de-pression is experienced. Further, thereis a biological filter for stimuli locatedin the brain. This is called the RaphiNucleus which is located in the brainstem and transports the sensory stimulito the appropriate part of the brain.Example: sight to the sight portion,hearing to the hearing portion, etc.LSD causes these cells to shut off,thereby allowing the stimuli to reachthe wrong parts of the sensory portionof the brain. This disruption of filters,that sort out information in logical or-der, results in the inability to segregatememories from reality.
MIND OVER MATTER
Amount taken. Frequency of use (which may
have led to tolerance). Prior experience with the drug. Concurrent use of other drugs. Physical and psychological
makeup of the user. Setting (environment in which
the drug is taken). Set (mental condition of the
user - happy, depressed, etc.).
Setting and set are important in re-ducing the incident of bummersand flashback.
Other prominent effects seen with LSDare feelings of depersonalization, a lossof body image, and loss of reality. Theperception of time is distorted and thesense of the past, present, and future maybe jumbled. Concentration can be diffi-cult, and attention can fluctuate rapidly.There is a profusion of vague ideas, andoften an extreme preoccupation withphilosophical issues. This unrealistic out-look, coupled with impairments in judg-ment and illogical thought processes,may cause the users to believe they havediscovered new truths.
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Flashbacks, or spontaneous recurrencesof an LSD experience, can occur withoutwarning up to a year or longer after LSDuse. The exact mechanism of this effect isnot known. Since they occur at times whenno LSD is in the body, it has been specu-lated that they represent a behavior that islearned under the influence of LSD-causedpsychophysiologic arousal, that later canbe precipitated under conditions of ner-vous system arousal.
WHAT ARE FLASHBACKS?
PROMINENT LSD EFFECTSDARK BROWN
Effects - (continued from column 1)LSD use has been shown conclusively tocause birth deformities. An increased inci-dence of spontaneous abortions has beennoted when pregnant women use LSD.However, this is not surprising since otherergot derivatives are often used medi-cally to induce labor, and LSD shares thiscommon ability to a certain extent.
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