The book I chose is titled, "The LSD Controversy." The author is Maurice S. Trashes, Ph. D. The call number is 615.
78 and I read pages 1-50. The first section of the book I read about deals with terminology. The other section I read about involves the general chemical characteristics of LSD. LSD's complete name is D- acid tartrate. Its abbreviation comes from the German Lyse rg S"are Diethyl amid. The author goes on to define numerous terms for LSD such as hallucinogen, , and fantastic a.
He then attempts to find the proper term for it. He believes that the term hallucinogen is inappropriate because real hallucinations are very rare. Although it is very widely used, he prefers because according to S. Cohen, "hallucinations" are actually illusion. As for the general characteristics of LSD, the author asks the question, "What is LSD?" From a chemical standpoint, LSD is a semisynthetic that is prepared from acid. This is a naturally occurring chemical of the parasitic fungus called ergot.
This grows in the seeds of rye and other grasses. Stoll and Hoffman were the first to synthesize it in 1938. Hoffman discovered its effects in 1943 when he accidentally sniffed a few micrograms; he thought he was going nuts. LSD in a pure form is an odorless, colorless, and tasteless powder that is soluble in water and alcohol. Though it may be hard to detect, it is known as one of the most potent psychedelic drugs in existence. Roughly two pounds of the drug in powder form can supply ten million doses of 100 micrograms each which is sufficient for just about anyone.
100 micrograms is barely even visible! Once it is has been taken by an individual, it is absorbed rapidly and distributed throughout the body. It has no problem passing through the blood-brain barrier and is almost completely metabolized by the body. It is excreted by the liver in the form of 2-ox y-LSD. The case of whether or not LSD is addictive is argued in the book next. The reason it is so hard to determine if LSD is addictive or not is because there is no settled definition of addiction.
Psychologists speak of psychic or emotional dependence while doctors talk about physical dependence. Then there's a distinction to be made on whether it's the drug or the person that is addictive or addicted. To make it easier, the World Health Organization has recognized the ambiguity of the word "addiction" and came up with the term "drug dependence in 1965. The only problem was that "addiction is embedded too deeply in the popular vocabulary to be removed. It moves on to describe usage, storage, and transportation of the drug. In the United States, LSD is used mainly by oral ingestion.
However, there are many ways to ingest it. It may be added to sugar cubes, candy, gum, aspirin, animal crackers, pastries, various alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages, capsules mixed with sodium bicarbonate, milk powder, lactose, or incipient colored powders. It may even be used intravenously. LSD has even been mentioned to have been added to cigarettes so as to be smoked. Use of LSD is known as taking a 'trip." Some of the major effects of the use of LSD are difficult to determine because of the large number of variables to be considered which influence the LSD reaction. The first is personality.
Among others is education, vocation, age, health, reasons for taking LSD, the person's prior experience with hallucinogens, familiarity with other drugs and the setting. These variables potentially can make the effects of LSD entirely different for different people. Main effects of the drug include visual changes (blurring of vision, imagery fabrication, changes in three-dimensional space, etc. ), auditory changes (increased and decreased sensitivity to sound, inability to localize the source of a sound, confusion and inability to comprehend sounds and auditory hallucinations), taste changes, olfactory changes, body image changes, somatic changes (nausea, muscle tension, decreased muscular coordination, headache, neck and backache), and mood changes. Mood changes usually occur within an hour after oral ingestion with doses as low as 20 to 25 micrograms. Subjects have been observed to exhibit alterations in mood from ecstasy to autistic withdrawal.
The first indication that LSD is beginning to work is probably euphoria, usually uncontrollable. Some people showed very slight tears, which came in waves. Others felt funny because they could not help laughing violently. Some even rolled on the floor in uncontrollable laughter.
These changes may also reoccur in lapses in which a person who has used the drug before begins to experience the symptoms and changes without using the drug. They are also known as "flashbacks." Finally, at the end of my designated reading section, the issue of effects on human and animal cells, tissues and pregnancy is discussed. In controlled lab settings it has caused chromosomal damage in human leukocytes. There was an experiment done on a mental patient in which similar chromosomal damage was observed in a paranoid schizophrenic male patient who was tested eight months after he had received fifteen treatments of LSD over a four-year period, in doses ranging from 80 to 200 micrograms.
With the exception of his mental illness, the patient was physically well and had no history of viral infection, malignancy, or radiation therapy other than routine diagnostic procedures. Very little research was documented in this book on the effect of offspring from an organism that has been introduced to LSD. Abnormalities were found when LSD was injected in rats early in pregnancy. About one in five rats given a single subcutaneous injection early in pregnancy appeared to abort early while two delivered stunted stillborn offspring at term and one delivered a litter of seven healthy and one underdeveloped young, and the last one delivered an apparently normal litter. My conclusion is that LSD most likely does affect pregnancy.
Through my reading of this book I have learned much about the drug LSD. I have learned the chemical characteristics of LSD and how the drug is absorbed in the body. LSD seems to be a very interesting drug, yet very dangerous.