Topics: Lysergic acid diethylamide, Ergot, Lysergic acid Pages: 3 (783 words) Published: October 8, 1999

The use of drugs among Americans is rapidly rising. They can be bought and sold almost anywhere, from the streets to hallways of schools. A drug on the rapid rise from the 70's is LSD. Some people attribute this to the fact it is extremely inexpensive, $2-4 a hit, the wrong belief by users that it is a safer drug than marijuana because it isn't physically addicting. However, LSD is a hallucinogenic drug that is very dangerous, despite popular belief.

LSD stands for Lysergic Acid Diethylamide. Lysergic acid is extracted from the fungus Ergot, and then left to crystallize until it is pure. It was first accidentally discovered by Albert Hoffman in 1938 in Switzerland, who was searching for possible therapeutic uses of Ergot. Hoffman continued his experiments, but never came in contact with the crystals until1943. (LSD can be absorbed through the skin.) Hoffman then sent LSD around the world to be tested and investigated to find medical uses. Lysergic acid deviates were found to relieve migraines and control postpartum hemorrhage because it causes veins to contract, but also caused gangrene of the limbs, and so further experimentation with the drug was abandoned. In the late 50's, however, LSD was used by the CIA as an interrogation drug for spies. However, it was proven to be unreliable and was later replaced with other interrogation drugs.

LSD comes in the forms of crystals, liquids, tablets, gelatins, or blotting squares. The squares have designs on them such a flowers, dragons, shapes, animals, and cartoon characters to make them more attractive to young children. Often called acid, white lightning, stamps, microdot, and grateful dead, LSD is usually taken orally.

There are 4 levels of experience an LSD user will go through. The first takes place within 45 minutes of ingestion. The user begins to feel enhanced senses. Colors are brighter, sounds are more distinct, and a user may feel dizzy. The second level is the plateau....
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