Lysergic Acid Diethylamide is said to be the most powerful man-made drug. Street names include LSD, acid, or blotter. It is a fickle drug: one never knows if they will experience a "good trip," or "bad trip." With numerous physical repercussions, and a fine of $1, 000 or 6 months imprisonment for a first offense, possession isn't worth the risk. Unfortunately, most do not know much about this potent hallucinogen.

Education is the path to eradicating usage. Many people don't take LSD seriously, believing promises of mind expansion or a chance escape from their troubles, but in the end it will only cause more trouble. LSD was first synthesized in 1938 by Swiss scientist Albert Hofmann. He ingested it in 1943, first discovering the hallucinogenic effects.

The drug's peak popularity was during the 1960's. It made a comeback in the 1990's, but the average dose was significantly smaller than the average dose three decades earlier. As of 1997, 14% of high school seniors reported to have used the drug sometime during their lives. Today, most of the world's supply is manufactured by a few chemists in labs located in northern California. This tasteless, odorless, colorless power can be made into tablets, capsules, or a liquid. The liquid can be taken by sugar cubes, stamps, blotter paper, and thin gelatin tabs called "window panes." It can also be injected.

The usual dose is between 100 to 200 micrograms. There would be enough in one eyedropper for 10, 000 people. Due to this being such a miniscule amount, if not carefully measured there can be vast overdoses. Years ago, there were thought to be beneficiary elements to LSD.

It was used for research of mental psychoses. Some researchers still theorize LSD might be helpful in treating some emotional disorders. It has been shown to aid in recovery of alcoholism and drug addiction. At one time the drug was even administered to dying patients to alleviate their terror.

The research on these benefits has been scrutinized and found inconclusive. There are a plethora of physical and mental effects of taking LSD. These effects kick in after 30 to 90 minutes, and can last up to twelve hours. A "good trip" is supposed to expand the user's consciousness, causing them to experience dramatic colors and sounds. Some relate it to having a religious experience. A "a bad trip" can plummet the user into a state of wild despair, panic, anxiety, and confusion.

On rare occasions, suicide attempts are made to escape the negative emotions. Intake of the drug can result in sweating, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, shakes, raise in body temperature, increased heart rate and blood pressure, and dilated pupils. Psychologically, people taking LSD have reported seeing many delusions including melting faces, pulsating walls, and cracking buildings. The maximum dose has to do with brain weight and not overall body size. While it is not physiologically addicting, it is not safe to assume that once the first twelve hours are over the drug will not come back to haunt you. Teenage users have shown a tendency to fall back in school work, have their grades drop dramatically, or even quit school altogether.

Many users experience sudden flashbacks years after they quit using LSD. These are unpredictable and not worth taking a chance on. In 1997, 80% of twelfth graders disapproved of consuming LSD. These are positive statistics. Hopefully, the number of users will continue to decline in the coming years. With further education, people will learn that LSD is not a drug to be toyed with.

Taking this, or any, drug is a serious action that can have serious consequences. Fisher, Duke D, M. D. Mind Drugs.

Pg. 59-73. McGraw-Hill Book Company. New York. 1972.

Hurwitz, Anne Ricki; Sue Hurwitz. Hallucinogens. Rosen Publishing Group, Inc. New York. 1996 Lysergic Acid Diethylamide. U.

S. Department of Justice, Drug Enforcement Administration. web.