Taking acid, one of the street names for LSD or D-lysergic acid diethylamide is on the rise. In 2015, the Rolling Stone ran a story on some professionals microdosing on LSD to boost their creativity and productivity. Three years after, LSD remains among the preferred drugs of young people along with cocaine and ketamine. Microdosing is taking a tenth of the substance’s normal dose.
According to recent government data, 10.60 percent of Americans aged 26 and older have used LSD at least once in their lifetime. The intake of the substance rarely causes death, however, since LSD is a hallucinogen, the dangerous behaviors exhibited after taking the drugs are linked to deaths that occur when a person overdoses with LSD.
What is in LSD?
LSD, which could be swallowed in the form of tablets, capsules, liquid or absorbed through small paper squares, is either clear or white and odorless in its original form. It comes in different names and has been referred to as purple haze, Superman, zen, sunshine tabs, sugar cubes, microdots, mellow yellow, blue cheer, blotter, blotter acid, hits, electric Kool-Aid, and more popularly as the famous Beatle’s Song, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. However, while it is odorless and colorless, LSD may taste slightly bitter.
The Drug Enforcement Administration warns that LSD is a very strong hallucinogen that is potential for abuse, classifying it as among the Schedule I type of substance under the Controlled Substances Act.
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How does acid work?
LSD is regarded as one of the most powerful hallucinogens. LSD has mood-changing chemicals that can alter a person’s perception, emotions, and thoughts. It is mind-altering and since it disrupts the normal interaction of the neurotransmitter serotonin and nerve cells, users will experience hallucinations or sense feelings they perceive as real but are not. Users will feel, hear, or see things that might appear to be real.
This happens when the serotonin levels are disrupted. Serotonin is a chemical that contributes to a person’s sense of well-being and joy. Once disrupted, serotonin affects a person’s mood, body temperature, hunger, behavior, muscle control, and sensory, among other regulatory systems.
What are the effects of taking acid?
Its effects are really unpredictable and users will not know whether they will experience euphoria or have distorted senses. Its use also leads to increased blood pressure, body temperature, breathing, and heart rate. It may also cause dilated pupils. Meanwhile, the effects in the altered perception will vary with the setting, mood, and the amount of dosage taken. The US government in the 1960s declared LSD illegal.
Recently, there are studies being undertaken to examine the possible use of LSD, in microdoses, as some experts believe the drug has potential value to enhance a person’s health, cognitive aspect, and even the improvement of a person’s mood.
However, since LSD is a powerful hallucinogen, the person who is taking it to have acid trips might find the effects of LSD on their mental state in place for several days, weeks, months, and even years, even though he or she has already stopped taking it. The occurrence of flashbacks among users of LSD have already been reported and it heightens when a person is exposed to stress.
Those who have been used to taking psychoactive substances may aggravate the negative effects of the drugs. If they have underlying mental illnesses it will either be triggered or worsened by LSD. On the other hand, frequent use of LSD may lead to tolerance of the drugs when a person would need a higher dosage to get the same effect.
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How prevalent is an acid overdose?
In a report by the New York-based non-government organization Drug Policy Alliance, the use of psychedelic drugs is still low. Data on LSD use are included with that of other hallucinogenic drugs like PCP, mescaline, psilocybin, mushrooms, and ecstasy among others. The group said between 2002 and 2014, a yearly average of 0.1 percent of people used psychedelic drugs, such as LSD.
However, while statistics of LSD overdose remain low compared to other types of drugs, overdose cases are still possible and fatal. In 1974, the Western Journal of Medicine published a report on eight cases of LSD overdose where patients experienced bleeding, hyperthermia, and coma.
What are the other causes of death on LSD?
So you may still be thinking, “Can LSD kill you?” Since LSD is a mind-altering drug, people who use it may die due to accidents or dangerous behavior that happen after using the drug. When LSD is combined with other substances, including alcohol, the toxicity level on the body and the brain increases and the risks are amplified.
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How long does LSD stay in the body?
The “trip” that a person experiences from using LSD may last up to 12 hours or more depending on the amount of dose. The use of LSD can be detected in the body up to five hours after intake. In the urine, LSD’s basic form may last up to eight hours. Meanwhile, it’s retention in the blood is estimated at around six to 12 hours.
Other questions on death due to LSD use
With the modern studies on other uses of LSD, particularly in boosting performance and creativity among workers, the public is faced with a big question on the use of LSD: is it worth it? It is actually a question, the public should ask themselves when they want to try acids. However, the best protection is still proper education on the substance and healthier alternatives that you can do to, well, boost your productivity if you wish.
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Sunshine Behavioral Health strives to help people who are facing substance abuse, addiction, mental health disorders, or a combination of these conditions. It does this by providing compassionate care and evidence-based content that addresses health, treatment, and recovery.
Licensed medical professionals review material we publish on our site. The material is not a substitute for qualified medical diagnoses, treatment, or advice. It should not be used to replace the suggestions of your personal physician or other health care professionals.
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