L$D: What's Your Trip?

By Meg Owens

Lysergic acid diethylamide, also known as LSD, is an illegal drug that causes hallucinations and alters the body's natural senses. A hallucination is defined as “an experience involving the apparent perception of something not present.” When ingested, the chemicals from the drug will cause an overstimulation of serotonin in the brain. Serotonin is “popularly thought to be a contributor to feelings of well-being and happiness,” and serotonin receptors help interpret the world as it is. Once overstimulation occurs, it is said to cause changes in emotions, thought, and awareness. Users have shared experiences of seeing things in distorted ways, having “intensified sensory” such as bright colors and sharp sounds, and even had changes in perception of time. The psychoactive effects of this drug can begin as soon as half an hour after ingestion and can last as long as twelve hours. To get an inside view of the effects of LSD, I spoke with a friend of mine who prefers to remain anonymous. I asked her how this drug made her feel and what her experience with it consisted of.

I have taken acid several times, 5 or 6 if we are counting. I have only really had one bad trip, which consisted of me having a breakdown in school and I had to FaceTime my dad to come get me. But other than that, my trips have been dope. The walls wave, sounds are really amplified, and colors are really really bright. I tried walking down the stairs once and I felt like I was looking through a fisheye lense.”

However, the effects of this drug are unpredictable. The long term effects of this drug can be much more serious. Frequent LSD users may experience flashbacks. They may also encounter issues with paranoia, disorganized thinking, visual and mood disturbances, and successive illusions. An excessive use of this drug has also been linked to fetal abnormalities. Is it really worth risking your long term health for fun that doesn’t even last a full 24 hour day?

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