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What is the worst illegal drug to take?

A question often asked by many students is, “What is the worst drug?” Of course the answer is relative to viewpoint and what kind of damage is caused, whether it is physical damage, emotional pain and suffering, damage to the family, cost involved, or some kind of combination.

It has been suggested that, while drugs like crack, heroin and meth are extremely deadly, hallucinogens like LSD (acid) are the ones with the worst lingering effects. The reason is because they alter the mind and its perceptions, and people can have “acid flashbacks” for many years after they stopped taking the drug.

LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) is one of the major drugs making up the hallucinogen class of drugs. Hallucinogens cause hallucinations—profound distortions in a person’s perception of reality. Under the influence of hallucinogens, people see images, hear sounds, and feel sensations that seem real but do not exist. Some hallucinogens also produce rapid, intense emotional swings.

The effects of LSD are unpredictable. They depend on the amount taken; the user’s personality, mood, and expectations; and the surroundings in which the drug is used. Usually, the user feels the first effects of the drug about 30 minutes after taking it. The physical effects include dilated pupils, higher body temperature, increased heart rate and blood pressure, sweating, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, dry mouth, and tremors.

Users refer to their experience with LSD as a “trip” and when it is a frightening experience it is called a “bad trip.” These experiences are long; typically they begin to clear after about 12 hours. Some LSD users experience severe, terrifying thoughts and feelings, fear of losing control, fear of insanity, death and despair while using LSD. Some fatal accidents have occurred during states of LSD intoxication and people have been known to get stuck in a bad trip and display extreme paranoia or psychosis.

Most users of LSD voluntarily decrease or stop its use over time. LSD is not considered a physically addictive drug since it does not produce intense physical cravings like other drugs. However, a tolerance to the drug can still build, requiring more of the toxin to be ingested to experience another trip.

Use of hallucinogens, and especially LSD, has decreased in recent years. In fact, according to the Monitoring the Future Survey, 0.7 percent of high school seniors reported past-month use. The rate is still higher than the overall usage, where only 0.1 percent of people aged 12 or older used the drug in the last 30 days prior to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health.

It seems to be catching on that it is one of the worst drugs, as evidenced by the drop in usage. Why risk becoming a vegetable?

Article by Eric Mitchell

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