LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide)

Synonyms The most common synonyms are:
  • Acid, Back breaker, Barrels, Blotter acid, Blotters, Boomers, California sunshine, Cap, Cid, Cube, Domes, Dots, Flats, Frogs, Hits, Lids, Mellow yellow, Micropoint, Purple haze, Sid, Tabs, Trips, Wedges, Window pane, Yellow sunshine.
Classification Hallucinogen:
  • Causes users to see, hear or feel things that do not exist.
Visual description White, odourless and bitter crystalline powder. It is available in a variety of forms:
  • Blotter: small square of LSD-soaked blotting paper that is placed under the tongue (the LSD in the blotter is absorbed sublingually)
  • Tablet (seldom used since it is highly concentrated)
  • Liquid applied to small sugar cubes or gelatin (Window panes)
  • Concentrated liquid that can be diluted and used through various routes of administration
Mechanism of action
  • Affects several neurotransmitters in the central nervous system.
Routes of administration
  • The sublingual route is the most common.

Effects sought out by the user

  • Euphoria and feeling of dissociation
  • Feeling of joyfulness
  • Pseudohallucinations: it does not cause hallucinations per se but creates illusions by altering the senses (all five senses)
  • Synesthesia (crossing of 2 or more senses) and spiritual journeys

Common toxic effects

  • Aggression
  • Impaired judgement
  • Deep anguish
  • Concentration problems
  • Reduced coordination
  • Reduced appetite
  • Numbness
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Chills
  • Hypertension
  • Mydriasis (dilation of the pupils)
  • Nausea
  • Panic
  • Paranoia
  • Unpleasant and terrifying feelings (bad trip)
  • Tachycardia (rapid heart rate)
  • Tremor

Overdose effects

  • Abnormal increase in body temperature
  • Arrhythmias
  • Coma
  • Convulsions
  • Hypertensive crisis
  • Psychotic break

Effects associated with chronic use

  • Delirium
  • Depression
  • Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder: users experience a spontaneous and unpredictable recurrence of pseudohallucinations experienced while on LSD
  • Loss of motivation
  • Psychosis

Tolerance (need to increase the dose to feel the same effect)

Develops quickly, especially if taken over several consecutive days.

Addiction

Psychological dependence is possible.

Withdrawal

No

Onset and duration of action

Route of
administration
Onset of
action
Peak
Duration of
action
Sublingual30 to 40 minutes2 to 4 hours10 to 12 hours

Intoxication management

  • No antidote available.
  • Treatment is mainly symptomatic.

Many different street drugs are sold under the same name. Furthermore, nothing guarantees the quantity, purity or even the content of a street drug in spite of the fact that it may, in some cases, look like medication.

If you need help or want to learn more:

Partnership for a Drug-Free Canada.

www.canadadrugfree.org

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