LSD

Contents



What are Club Drugs?

Club drugs (also sometimes called Dance Drugs or Designer Drugs) are drugs which at one time were found most frequently in night clubs and at raves, but have since become some of the fastest growing drugs used by college students. These drugs include MDMA (ecstasy, E, or X), ketamine (special K), GHB ,crystal methamphetamine (speed, crank, crystal, tina). Hallucinogens like LSD, and psilocybin mushrooms, are frequently used in these environments, too.




What is LSD?

LSD or acid (lysergic acid diethylamide) is the most commonly used hallucinogen (also known as psychedelics). It is considered a typical hallucinogen causing similar effects to other hallucinogens like mescaline, psilocybin (mushrooms), and ibogaine. LSD became popular in the counterculture of the 1960s and 1970s, but since then its use has been limited to people in the Rave or club scenes.




How is LSD used?

LSD is usually taken by ingesting small tabs of paper (frequently placed under the tongue) which have been soaked in the liquid form of the drug then dried. In rare cases it is taken in a liquid, gelatin, or tablet form. Sometimes a dose is soaked into a sugarcube. Doses range from 20 to 100 micrograms now, though in the 1960s they ranged from 100 to 200 micrograms. Because LSD is produced illegally, it is difficult to know how strong a dose is. The effects of the drug begin in about 30 minutes and last up to 12 hours. It can be very difficult to sleep if LSD has been taken in the last 6 hours.




Why do people take LSD?

LSD, like other hallucinogens, produces a distortion in the user's sense of reality, including images, sounds, and sensations that do not really exist. These hallucinations can be pleasurable and for some people even intellectually stimulating, but they can also be disorienting or disturbing and result in a negative emotional experience (bad trip). It is difficult to determine what kind of an experience a person will have on LSD because the same person can have very different experiences each time. As with all drugs, but especially with LSD, a user's experience is shaped by her previous drug experience, expectations, setting, as well as the neurological effects of the drug.




What are the short-term risks of taking LSD?

The most common dangers of LSD result from bad trips, including terrifying thoughts and feelings, despair, fear of losing control, and fear of death. These problems are especially common and severe in people with underlying mental problems like severe depression, schizophrenia, or bipolar disease. Some fatal accidents have also occurred among users who could not perceive the reality of their situation. They hallucinate safe situations when they are actually in danger or are unable to judge distances. You should never operate machinery or drive cars while taking LSD.

Problems that might occur include:

  • Extreme changes in behavior and mood; person may sit or recline in a trance-like state
  • Chills, irregular breathing, sweating, trembling hands
  • Changes in sense of light, hearing, touch, smell, and time
  • Nausea, especially in the first two hours
  • Increase in blood pressure, heart rate and blood sugar
  • Fatigue the next day



Are there long-term consequences to taking LSD?

Hallucinogens can cause extreme, long-lasting adverse neuropsychiatric effects, like flashbacks (post-hallucination perceptual disorders), relatively long-lasting psychoses, severe depression or shizophrenia-like syndromes, especially in heavy or long-term users or in people with an underlying mental illness.

Some of the long-term problems associated with chronic or heavy LSD use are:

  • A person can experience rapidly changing feelings, immediately and long after use.
  • Chronic use may cause persistent problems, depression, violent behavior, anxiety or a distorted perception of time.
  • Large doses may cause convulsions, coma, heart/lung failure or ruptured blood vessels in the brain.
  • "Flashbacks" may occur long after use.



Is there any way to reduce the risk of having a bad trip?

LSD experiences are heavily influenced by environment.

Here are some ways to reduce the risk having a bad trip:

  • Make sure you take it with someone you know and trust, preferably someone who knows how strong the effects of a hallucinogen can be.
  • Make sure you are somewhere where you feel safe, secure and comfortable.
  • Avoid taking LSD if you are upset, feeling low or insecure--this could lead to a bad trip.
  • Avoid taking more. The effects come on stronger after a while, and you could end up having a much stronger trip than you can handle.

If you're having a bad time, avoid flashing lights and visuals and get a friend to take you to a safe, calm space.




How do I help a friend who's having a bad trip?

It is important to make your friend feel safe and comfortable, usually away from other people, visual stimulation, or noises. Speak in a soothing voice to them and reassure them that their bad emotions, sensations, and visions are just the effects of the drug and will wear off in time. If your friend is inconsolable or seems violently agitated, then seek medical help right away. Call EMS at 831.459.2231 or call 911.




Is LSD addictive?

LSD does not produce compulsive drug-seeking behavior. Addiction to hallucinogens is rare, although poly-drug addicts (people who are addicted to several drugs) frequently abuse hallucinogens as well. Because LSD users develop extreme tolerance to LSD rapidly, the drug cannot be abused for more than a few consecutive days, preventing the kind of physical and psychological dependence associated with other drugs. This tolerance usually goes away after a week or so of abstinence from the drug.




Is LSD illegal?

Yes, LSD is illegal and its possession, use, and sale carry heavy prison sentences and fines and disciplinary consequences at UCSC.




How do I help a friend who's having trouble with drugs or alcohol?

If you are concerned about a friend's drug or alcohol use, this page contains information about different ways to help them.




Resources at UCSC

Emergency response available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Student Health Outreach & Promotion (SHOP)
831-459-3772
SHOP provides confidential appointments for drug or alcohol concerns. SHOP is located in the Student Health Center, across the street from Colleges 9 & 10. As you walk up the ramp to the Health Center, SHOP is located in the building on your left, next to the Pharmacy.

Student Health Services
831-459-2500
Confidential walk-in or appointment health care

Counseling & Psychological Services
831-459-2628
CPS staff provides the UCSC community with a wide range of mental health services, including short-term individual and couples counseling, group counseling, crisis assessment and intervention, and referral services.




Resources in Santa Cruz

Recovery Wave
http://www.santacruzhealth.org/recoverywave/
Santa Cruz County's Alcohol and Drug Abuse help pages. If you think that you, a family member, or a friend has an alcohol or drug problem, you've come to the right place.

Alcoholics Anonymous
http://www.aasantacruz.org/
Alcoholics Anonymous is a fellowship of men and women who share their experience, strength and hope with each other that they may solve their common problem and help others to recover from alcoholism.

The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for A.A. membership; we are self-supporting through our own contributions. A.A. is not allied with any sect, denomination, politics, organization or institution; does not wish to engage in any controversy, neither endorses nor opposes any causes. Our primary purpose is to stay sober and help other alcoholics to achieve sobriety.

Narcotics Anonymous
831-429-7436 HOTLINE (24 hour)
Call for current open meeting schedules. Disabled Accessibility.

Marijuana Anonymous
http://www.marijuana-anonymous.org/
P.O. Box 1481
Santa Cruz, CA 95061
SC Hotline/Meetings:
831-427-4088
Self-help (non-religious) fellowship group for those who cannot control their marijuana use and are experiencing adverse effects in other areas of their life. No fee is charged.




Links You Can Use

Dance Safe
http://www.dancesafe.org/
Dance Safe is a harm-reduction web site centered on drugs found in nightclubs and raves. The site offers drug information, a risk assessment, ecstasy testing kits and e-news.

National Institutes of Health Club Drug Site
http://www.clubdrugs.org/
Provides trends and statistics, research reports and health information on club drugs.

The Good Drugs Guide
http://www.thegooddrugsguide.com/lsd/index.htm
This British harm-reduction web site provides extensive information on LSD, including the basics, dangers, mixing with other drugs and links.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
http://www.samhsa.gov/
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA's mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America's communities.