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First synthesized in 1938 from a chemical derived from ergot, a grain fungus that typically grows on rye and other grains, Lysergic acid diethylamide or "LSD" is a semi-synthetic psychedelic drug. LSD is well known for its psychological effects which can include altered thinking processes, closed and open eye visuals, an altered sense of time and in rare cases adverse psychiatric reactions such as anxiety or delusions.

LSD is Schedule I in the United States, meaning that LSD is illegal to manufacture, buy, possess, process, or distribute without a DEA license. By classifying LSD as a Schedule I substance, it is deemed to have a high potential for abuse, no legitimate medical use in treatment and there is a lack of accepted safety for its use under medical supervision.

In pure form LSD is a colorless, odorless, and mildly bitter solid and is usually taken orally. LSD is available in tablets, capsules or as a liquid and is most commonly sold on absorbent blotter paper. LSD can also be found on sugar cubes or gelatin or administered by intramuscular or intravenous injection.

An estimated 20.2 million U.S. residents aged 12 and older have used LSD at least once in their lifetime. LSD use among high school students is common, with more than 8 percent of high school seniors in the United States having used the drug at least once in their lifetime.

LSD's effects can last anywhere from 6-12 hours depending on dosage, tolerance and body weight. The effects of LSD may include observation of radiant colors, objects and surfaces appearing to ripple or "breathe", colored patterns behind the closed eyelids, an altered sense of time, morphing objects and other powerful psycho-physical reactions. The effects associated with LSD can vary depending on the surroundings in which the drug is used and the user's mood and expectations.

Some LSD users report a feeling of despair, while others experience terrifying fears of losing control, going insane, or dying. LSD may temporarily impair the user's ability to make sensible judgments and understand common dangers, and some LSD users have suffered fatal accidents while under the influence of LSD.

LSD users may experience the following symptoms upon taking the drug: numbness, weakness, nausea, hypothermia or hyperthermia, elevated blood sugar, goose bumps, increase in heart rate, jaw clenching, perspiration, saliva production, mucus production and sleeplessness. "Flashbacks" have been reported as a result of LSD use, in which an individual may re-experience a LSD trip long after the drug has worn off. These flashbacks occur in the days after typical doses. There are rare cases of flashbacks lasting even longer, but are generally short-lived and mild compared to the actual LSD "trip". LSD flashbacks may be triggered by alcohol or cannabis use, stress, caffeine, or sleepiness.

LSD users may develop tolerance to the drug, and may find themselves needing to consume progressively larger doses of LSD in order to continue to experience the hallucinogenic effects that they seek. Tolerance to LSD builds up rapidly, so continuously increasing dosage can be a dangerous thing to do given the fact that LSD is a very unpredictable drug.