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01-22 Recent drug trends indicate re-emergence of LSD and other hallucinogens

Recent drug trends indicate re-emergence of LSD and other hallucinogens

Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) or acid is regarded by many as the drug which defined the countercultural ethos of the ‘60s. The ease of producing LSD in a chemical laboratory and the ability to store it in a blotting paper led to the emergence of a huge black market in the United States. Although LSD use declined in the 1970s and 1980s, it re-emerged in the 1990s as a rave drug popularly used by older teens and young adults. Its use dropped significantly again in the 2000s.

However, recent incidents and data show that hallucinogen drugs have made a comeback in at least some parts of the U.S. Chief John K. Cox, Purdue University Police Department (PUPD), indicated that his department is seizing LSD and other hallucinogens like psilocybin mushrooms far more frequently. Other states are also seeing a spike in LSD cases. According to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), 137 cases involving the drug were referred to the agency’s crime lab in 2017, a significant increase from 82 cases in 2016, 58 in 2015 and 21 in 2014.

In January 2018, a teenager from Hall County in Georgia was arrested for possessing LSD with the intent to distribute. In December 2017, an 18-year-old student was arrested by the PUPD for allegedly selling drugs. Officials reportedly recovered 125 hits of LSD and other drugs, including gummy bears also believed to contain the drug, from his room. In August 2017, two students from Jones County in Georgia were hospitalized after eating what appeared to be a mystery paper. It was suspected that the brightly colored sheets of perforated paper were laced with LSD.

LSD comeback attributed to several factors

The increasing prevalence of LSD among youngsters highlights the problem of a wider range of drugs becoming available on college campuses. According to the PUPD and the Indiana University Police Department (IUPD), there is a growing trend of drug offenses compared to liquor law violations. Part of this may be explained by the positive outcome of focused efforts to emphasize responsible alcohol consumption by youngsters. Further, cultural influences lead students to believe that marijuana, which continues to be the most preferred illicit drug, is a harmless drug and therefore readily switched to in favor of alcohol.

These factors, along with the freedom provided by college campuses, allow students the flexibility to experiment with other drugs. Here also, cultural influences push students to use LSD and hallucinogenic substances. It is also believed that LSD’s adverse psychological effects manifest only in people who suffer from mental disorders. Although limited risks appear to be associated with hallucinogens, they are definitely present, especially in non-laboratory settings. Past research showed that the reactions of LSD users can be “extremely subjective, variable, and unpredictable.”

Managing LSD abuse

Although LSD does not have addictive properties like cocaine, methamphetamine and other drugs, users may develop tolerance to it. They may start using progressively higher doses to experience similar associated hallucinatory effects. LSD users experience effects ranging from terrifying fear to despair, and flashbacks. Users also run the risk of developing long-term psychotic illnesses like schizophrenia.

Past research showed that there were 32 million lifetime users of hallucinogens including LSD, psilocybin mushrooms and other drugs. More recently, the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) reported that an estimated 1.4 million people aged 12 or older (0.5 percent of the age group) were current users of LSD and other hallucinogens.

Sovereign Health understands the plight of teens suffering from addiction to LSD and other illicit substances. Our Rancho San Diego facility provides necessary procedures and behavioral therapies for LSD addiction treatment. For more information about treatment for LSD addiction, call our 24/7 helpline number. You may also chat online with our representatives for expert advice on treatment for LSD addiction.

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