Lsd Essay, Research Paper
24 February 2000
Lysergic Acid Diethylamide-25, better known as LSD, is the most powerful hallucinogenic drug known today, and is also one of the most commonly abused. This is due primarily to its extreme potency and cheapness. A Schedule One drug in the U.S., it is highly illegal, and possession of LSD can result in a fine of $1,000.00 or 6 months in prison for the first offence.
While many myths surround it, there is no conclusive evidence that LSD causes permanent damage to the brain or the rest of the nervous system. Rather, LSD s primary issue lies in its consistent use, to the exclusion of normal life. Most LSD users who use it on a basis frequent enough to disturb their otherwise normal activities have other addictions or mental conditions that are unassociated with it. LSD does not cause any physical dependence whatsoever; however, it is quite possible that a user might develop a psychological dependency for its escapism. The problem
here is that its continued use, while it doesn t necessarily encourage further irresponsible behavior, may isolate the user from any discouraging factors.
Since its effects are so powerful and notorious, most beginning drug users are reluctant to use LSD. Most of those who experiment with it are also frequent users of other drugs, and may use it at the same time as one or more of them. Make no mistake; while LSD is not physically harmful by itself, it distorts the users perceptions of reality and may cause them to do things that they would not do under normal conditions. While many of the horror stories told about its effects are completely untrue, the setting in which it is used has a drastic effect on its users experience, and threatening surroundings may result in intense paranoia and other emotional responses.
It is often touted that when a buyer purchases LSD, they do not know with any certainty what impurities may be in it. While this is quite possible, the extreme potency of LSD makes its threat minimal. In the form of blotter-acid, or liquid LSD spread on small squares of paper or cardboard, the dosage of LSD rarely exceeds 100-200 micrograms; nearly all of the chemicals said to be found in street-bought LSD require many times this amount to have even the slightest effect. It is also frequently said that the user may in fact be buying another hallucinogen without knowing it. While
this is possible, it too is unlikely. LSD is very cheap to manufacture since the chemicals required to produce it can be bought legally, whereas its counterparts PCP, MDMA, mescaline, and psilocybin are all either expensive to produce or to concentrate into dosages large enough to produce an effect. Due to this, it is unlikely that a producer of LSD would substitute something more expensive in its stead, costing themselves potential profit at no personal gain.
While the effects of LSD may be reversed with the administration of certain drugs, there is no cure or treatment for its continued use. The use of LSD as a whole is not harmful to society; however, on an individual basis it can be extremely destructive. For these reasons it is a drug that many among the drug-abusing community enjoy using, and many find repulsive. Those that enjoy using it are not likely to stop using it without the presence of other activities which are more important to them with which its use interferes, or full realization of its negative impact on their lives. The only cure for LSD is preventing its use. It is too easy to produce and enjoys too broad a market for its production to be inhibited. Education of young people in both sides of its effects, along with reinforcement of constructive behaviors is the surest way to thwart it being experimented with.
In my personal opinion, LSD is not nearly as destructive as many of its less-potent counterparts, or indeed than other non-hallucinogenic drugs. However, the lifestyle usually accompanying its frequent use is destructive enough on its own to make up for the drug itself. There are many other drugs on the streets which deserve much more attention than LSD from the government, but that is not to say that it is a non-dangerous drug by any measure. The unpredictability of a person s experience while under its influence can be pleasant and mentally expansive at times, but at other times can be extremely frightening. This powerful drug is not to be taken lightly.