Acid Trip – Psychedelic Ride Inside The Mind
An acid trip refers to the recreational use of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD). Usage took off in the counterculture era of the 1960s. This synthetic drug produces an intense, psychedelic high that alters the ordinary senses of sight, sound, taste, and touch.
The effects sometimes result in a profound psychological, almost spiritual experience. However, the drug can go in the opposite direction, causing a frightening or depressing experience.
- The length of the experience can last from four to twelve hours. It is one of the primary reasons taking LSD is known as tripping.
- Acid is generally taken orally, either swallowed in pill form or held under the tongue on a piece of blotter paper known as a tab. It can be intravenous as well.
- The raw form of LSD is a white or clear, odorless, crystalline powder, and even small amounts – 20 to 30 micrograms – can elicit a robust response.
There are evidence people with existing mental disorders, such as schizophrenia, are more prone to experience the negative aspects of a bad trip.
The sensory effects are significant. They generally kick in 30 to 90 minutes after ingestion, with peak intensity hitting around the three to four-hour mark depending on dosage and tolerance.
Some of the sensory effects can include:
- Radiant colors, objects, and surfaces that appear to “breathe” pulse or ripple
- An altered sense of time that seems to stop, stretch or accelerate
- Visual “tracers” can seem to follow objects as they move
- Hallucinations and illusions are also common
- Echo-like distortions in sound or the feeling of connecting to music on a cellular level
LSD is, perhaps, most famous for its psychological effects, which can either be pleasurable. Unfortunately, experts still don’t understand why some are good, and others are bad, and it’s impossible to predict which way an experience will go, even for regular users. What’s known is that acid can result in a profound cognitive shift.
- When it is good, users feel a happy disconnect from reality, a sensation that they’re floating, have decreased inhibitions, and feel as if they understand the world in a more profound, more spiritual way.
- A bad one causes panic, anxiety, paranoia, depression, and, in some cases, suicidal thoughts.
Users experience some common side effects, though they vary depending on a person’s physiological response. These can include:
- Wakefulness and pupil dilation
- Nausea, lack of appetite, and a metallic taste in the mouth
- Sweaty, tingly, or numbness on the skin
- Tremors or weakness in the muscles
- Dry mouth and jaw clenching
- Increased blood pressure and heart rate
A growing field of psychiatric study is examining LSD to treat some mental illnesses, including depression.
Newsweek reported on a study in Spain that found listening to music might reorganize and synchronize neural networks in the brain. Scientists say that more extensive research is needed, though, in the U.S., this is unlikely due to LSD’s classification as a drug with no medicinal value and a high likelihood for abuse.
It was first developed in the late ’30s in Switzerland from the ergot fungus. Then, in the ’50s, both the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the U.S. Army experimented on U.S. Soldiers with LSD to see whether or not the drug could be a “psycho-chemical incapacitant.” Ultimately, the projects no longer exist.
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s (NIDA) latest statistics, less than 10 percent of adults aged 18 to 25 admit to using LSD at once in their lifetime and just over 10 percent in ages 26 and older. Acid is a Schedule I narcotic, despite the fact LSD isn’t considered physically addictive.