LSD, or lysergic acid diethylamide, is a man-made drug that has been abused for its hallucinogenic effects since the 1960s. It’s odorless, colorless, and tasteless in its pure form, which is typically sold as a tiny square of acid-soaked paper that people lick or swallow. The drug can alter the user’s sense of space, time, and their emotions. It’s important to note that LSD can also have long-term effects, even after taking the drug just once.
LSD is synthesized in laboratories with advanced organic chemistry, making it extremely difficult to make for clandestine use. Many of the chemicals involved are carcinogenic or can cause serious harm if they’re inhaled or touched to the skin. Some are highly toxic to humans and require specialized equipment to handle safely. In addition, the synthesis process requires a professional darkroom to work in as light can quickly break down the chemicals.
There are few, if any, deaths related to taking too much LSD, but it can still have devastating psychological and physical impacts, including terrifying hallucinations and paranoid delusions. It can also lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, and fear. A bad trip can be terrifying and lead to self-harm or lash out at others.
While there are risks, it is possible to have a good LSD experience with careful preparation and guidance from experienced trip guides. A recent study in Canada showed that psychedelic therapy helped alcoholics overcome their addiction by guiding them through high-dose LSD experiences.