LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) is the most potent and highly studied hallucinogen known to man. Originally synthesized in 1938 at Basle, Switzerland by Dr. Albert Hoffman, its hallucinogenic effects were unknown until 1943 when Hoffman accidentally consumed some of the LSD.
Hallucinogenic drugs have played a role in human life for thousands of years. Cultures from the tropics to the arctic have used plays to induce states of detachment from reality and to precipitate “visions” thought to provide mystical insight. These plants contain chemical compounds, such as mescaline, psilocybin, and ibogaine, that are structurally similar to serotonin, and they produce their effects by disrupting normal functioning of the serotonin system.
LSD is prepared in tablet, crystal and liquid forms. The liquid form is applied to sugar cubes, paper, or distributed in gelatin squares. In the United States, LSD sells for $1 to $15 per dose. In the EU, the cost per dose ranges from EUR 4 in the uK to over EUR 25 in Italy.
Signs of LSD use include dilated pupils, sweating, dry mouth, abnormal laughter, distracted persona, and rapid reflexes. Other general effects include varying degrees of illusions, hallucinations, synesthesia, disorientation, impaired coordination, higher body temperature, loss of appetite, sleeplessness, tremors, delusions, and confusion. LSD can cause elevated heart rate, blood pressure, extreme mood swings and impaired short-term memory. The user’s sense of time and self changes and sensations may seem to “cross over,” giving the user the feeling of hearing colors and seeing sounds. These changes can be frightening and can cause panic. Possible long-term effects include physical tolerance and psychological dependence (and possible psychosis), prolonged depression, anxiety, and flashbacks.
The effects of LSD are unpredictable. The effects depend on the amount taken, the user’s personality, mood and expectations and the surroundings in which the drug is used. The average effective oral dose is from 20 to 80 micrograms with the effects lasting two to three hours. With a larger dose, the effects can last ten to twelve hours. Typically, the user feels the first effects of the drug 30 to 90 minutes after taking it.
Ketamine (ketamine hydrochloride) is a preoperative anesthetic that is used in veterinary medicine. Ketamine is considered a “dissociative anesthetic,” (like PCP) because it causes a user to feel detached from his or her environment. Ketamine also has both analgesic (pain relief) and amnesic (memory loss) properties.
Like GHB and Rohypnol, Ketamine has been used in drug-facilitated sexual assaults. As with GHB, ketamine rapidly metabolizes in the body and can be difficult to detect with drug tests 48 hours after it is taken.
Illegal in many countries including the United States, ketamine is either smuggled from Mexico or stolen from veterinary clinics. Effects begin within 5-10 minutes and last 30 to 60 minutes. Liquid ketamine sells for $65 to $100 per 10-milliliter vial and $20 to $40 per dosage unit. Ketamine is ingested orally, injected, smoked, and snorted.
Ketamine is manufactured commercially as a powder or liquid. Users sometimes evaporate liquid ketamine on hot plates, on warming trays, or in microwave ovens, a process that results in the formation of crystals, which are then ground into powder. Powdered ketamine is cut into lines known as bumps and snorted, or it is smoked – typically in marijuana or tobacco cigarettes. Liquid ketamine is injected or ingested after being mixed into drinks.
Signs of ketamine use include dilated pupils, sweating slurred speech and disorientation. Other general effects include a depressed respiratory rate, nausea, and loss of coordination, temporary amnesia, hallucinations, paranoia, coma, and death. Long-term effects of use include flashbacks, physical tolerance, physical and/or psychological dependence. Signs of a ketamine overdose include vomiting and convulsions.
Signs and Symptoms:
- Impaired Motor Function
- High Blood Pressure
- Fatal Respiratory Problems
PCP is a dissociative anesthetic and has many of the same effects as LSD, but can be much more dangerous. In the 1950s, PCP was investigated as an anesthetic, but due to its severe side effects, its development for human use was discontinued. PCP is known for inducing violent behavior and causing negative physical reaction such as seizures and coma. There is no way to predict who will have a bad reaction to the drug. Maybe this is because PCP has so many faces – it acts as a hallucinogen, stimulant, depressant, and anesthetic — all at the same time.
In its original state, PCP is a white crystalline powder. Dipping a cigarette or marijuana joint (or other leafy material such as parsley, mint, or oregano) into liquid PCP is its most common use. PCP is also manufactured into capsules or tablets however its most common “liquid” form looks like apple juice.
Signs and Symptoms:
- Eye Fluttering
- Flushed Skin
- Blurred Vision
- Garbled Speech
- Varying Degrees of Illusions
- Impaired Coordination
- Decreased Heart Rate, Temperature, Blood Pressure