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Drugs of Abuse

Drug Type: LSD

d-lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)

Other Names: LSD, acid, blotter, cid, doses, dots, window panes, trips, microdots, tabs, gel-tabs

What it looks like:

  • LSD crystals are white and odorless
  • LSD is found in liquid form-color varies depending on what the crystals are mixed with
  • LSD is found in tablets (called microdots) or in thin squares of gelatin (called gel-tabs)
  • LSD is usually found on blotter paper. The blotter paper consists of perforated squares, (each square representing one dose) covered with colorful designs or artwork (called "window panes"). A "sheet" is blotter paper containing one hundred perforated squares (100 doses of LSD). A "book" is ten sheets or one thousand doses of LSD. Possession of a "sheet" or a "book indicates an LSD dealer.

How it is used: Ingested

Use gloves or other protective measures when handling LSD as it can be absorbed through the skin.

Effect of the drug:

  • Felt within 30 to 40 minutes. Lasts up to 12 hours
  • Distortions in sensory perception, especially vision
  • Hallucinations
  • Mood changes

Negative Effects/Overdose Effects:

  • "Bad trips"-hallucinations which cause fear, anxiety, panic
  • Extreme mood changes
  • Nausea
  • Confusion/loss of control
  • Flashbacks-where hallucinations return sometimes up to a year after the drug was ingested

What to look for:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Rapid heart rate
  • Excessive perspiration or lowered body temperature
  • Evidence that user is seeing things that you do not (distortion of the senses)

(If encountering someone who is having a "bad trip," never leave him or her alone. Reassure them that what they are going through is drug-induced and not real and that it will go away. You may want to get medical attention for the person.)

Paraphernalia Associated with Drug Use:

  • Blotter paper
  • Droppers (like eye-drop bottles)
  • Ink/dyes/stamps (may indicate dealer)
  • Some items associated with LSD/hallucinogen usage, but not necessarily positive indicators include posters, clothing, and other items with a psychedelic effect, lava lamps or anything that can provide a light show. LSD is present in rave nightclubs and rave parties.

Potential for Abuse: It is widely believed that a limited number of chemists produce all of the LSD in the United States. LSD is frequently distributed through the mail. LSD is cheap (at $3 to $5 dollars a dose) and its effects are long lasting. It is not an addictive drug, but the body does build up tolerance to it quickly, meaning that over time, the user must ingest more and more of the drug for the desired effects. LSD has been pushed as a mind-expanding drug, but there are no healthful benefits to taking LSD. Studies indicate that approximately 12% of teenagers have used LSD, and approximately 76% perceive regular LSD use as being very risky (Source: Monitoring the Future study, 1999).

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