Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD)

Last updated: March 29, 2019

What Does Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) Mean?

Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) is a powerful hallucinogenic drug that is illegal to own or use in the United States. (LSD) is manufactured from lysergic acid which is found in a fungus known as ergot. While it is unclear exactly how and to what extent lysergic acid diethylamide affects the brain, it is known that it interferes with the brains neurotransmitter system.

Classified as a Schedule I drug pursuant to the U.S. Controlled Substances Act, LSD triggers unpredictable reactions when ingested.

The drug is made in illicit drug labs and produced as a liquid or manufactured in pill form. LSD is sometimes distributed by coating a piece of paper or thin sheet of gelatin with the drug.

LSD interferes with the brain's processing of serotonin and stimulates the sympathetic nervous system. Use of the drug can trigger extreme fluctuations in body temperature, tachycardia, elevated blood pressure, tremors, and hyperglycemia. The impairments caused by LSD can result in a person harming themselves or others during a trip.

Long-term side effects in some LSD users include schizophrenia or severe depression.


WorkplaceTesting Explains Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD)

Users of LSD may develop a tolerance to the drug, requiring them to take progressively larger doses of the drug to achieve its intoxicating effect. However, because effects of LSD are unpredictable there is no safe dosage. Users refer to the effects of LSD as a "trip."

Trips can include fantastic visual hallucinations or horrifying feelings of panic and fear. A trip can sometimes last for hours during which the user is unable to distinguish the false sensations caused by the drug from reality. During a bad trip, a user may experience fear or panic. Flashbacks of LSD trips can take place weeks or even months after the drug has been ingested.

LSD use does not typically lead to physical dependence. Any addiction to the drug is psychological. The primary danger of LSD use is not one of addiction, but of flashbacks. A single dose may trigger extreme reactions at a much later date and without warning.


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