December 11, 2013
Drugs in American society
I have researched the schedule 1 drug LSD. I have gained insight into aspects such as origin and what is really happening after you take LSD. The articles I have read have given me perspective on the impact has on us physically and mentally. There is a lot to know about this drug, so here is an overview of what I have researched this semester.
On November 16, 1928 a Swiss scientist named Albert Hofmann developed what he called LSD-25 or Lysergic Acid Diethylamide. This is what we now all know as the psychedelic drug LSD or “Acid”. Although this was the year it was created, it was not until 1943 that Hofmann discovered the hallucinogenic effects of the drug. After an accidental ingestion of a very small dose Hofmann decided to ingest 25 mg of LSD, an amount he thought would have no effect on him. He soon realized that this chemical was much more powerful than he expected. As he was riding his bicycle home he started to panic as he felt the effects. This is how he described the trip. "Everything in the room spun around, and the familiar objects and pieces of furniture assumed grotesque, threatening forms. The lady next door, whom I scarcely recognized, brought me milk… She was no longer Mrs. R., but rather a malevolent, insidious witch with a colored mask.” The woman he is referring to is a neighbor who he asked for milk from because it was the only thing he could think about during the trip. After this LSD became the source of many experiments from the 40’s all the way up to the 60’s until it was banned.
LSD’s effects on the brain and body Due to the fact that no scientific research has been done on what is happening in the brain after taking LSD, scientists cannot be 100% sure about how your brain reacts. It is believed that serotonin levels are effected. Serotonin is neurotransmitter responsible for mood, appetite, muscle control and more. Scientists are not sure if serotonin is being inhibited or stimulated but do believe that serotonin is involved. (http://science.howstuffworks.com/lsd4.htm) When LSD is taking it is metabolized by the liver and excreted in urine. Most of the drug is out of the body by the end of the trip and gone entirely after a couple weeks. Although there is a theory that states that the LSD stays in the body for a much longer period of time, with the brain releasing LSD molecules over time which would explain flashbacks.( http://science.howstuffworks.com/lsd4.htm) Flashbacks are when someone experiences the effects of LSD days or weeks after taking LSD. It can last anywhere from second to hours. Some long term effects related to LSD are decreased motivation, prolonged depression, increased panic, delusions and some other mental issues can occur. (http://www2.courtinfo.ca.gov/stopteendui/teens/resources/substances/hallucinogens/short-and-long-term-effects.cfm) LSD’s Long term effects seem to only effect the brain and not the rest of the body.
Possible Medical uses Even though LSD is scheduled as a class 1 drug which means it has no medicinal purposes, according to tests done in the 1960’s and early 70’s it is believed that LSD may be a way to treat alcoholism. The tests showed that out of 536 participants LSD stopped alcohol misuse in 59% of the people while a placebo only stopped 38%. Although it is a small group of participants the outcome is telling.( http://healthland.time.com/2012/03/09/lsd-may-help-treat-alcoholism/)
Who is using Recently LSD has had a decline in use since the early 2000s. Only 3.5% of high school seniors have tried LSD at least once in their