Is LSD a depressant or it still belongs to another drug group? We have carefully reviewed the information about these groups of drugs and are going to find out the answer to this question.
What is a depressant?
The most commonly consumed psychoactive substances can be grouped into four categories: stimulants, narcotics, depressants, and hallucinogens. Some substances may be attributed to even more than one category.
Depressants have a medical use for anti-anxiety, sedatives, hypnotics, anticonvulsants, and anesthetics purposes. They depress the activity state of the central nervous system, providing a generally relaxing and calming effect on the individual. With the higher doses, they can induce sleep. Barbiturates, tranquilizers, inhalable drugs (inhalants), and even alcohol are drugs of hypnotic action. Because they retard the heart rate and breathing, they may cause death in large quantities.
After LSD discovery, it was wrongly assumed for using in psychiatry for the treatment of various disorders and mental illnesses, like schizophrenia. At first, the results of the medical LSD using showed great potential, but later it has become clear, its out-of-control use among young people had a too big scale, which has caused a political scandal and led to a complete LSD ban for any purpose, both medical, recreational, and spiritual. Today LSD is hallucinogens, having slightly different effects and reactions than depressant usually have.
What is a hallucinogen?
Hallucinogens are a drug class, acting a lot on the central nervous system, changing the perception and influence on consciousness, causing hallucinations. They are so-called psychedelic drugs.
Hallucinogenic or psychedelic drugs include a huge range of substances, changing the perception of reality and consciousness state. LSD is widely known hallucinogen, a synthetic drug manufactured in the laboratory. Hallucinogens distort perception because it is chemically similar to the neurotransmitter serotonin.
These substances using activate the brain areas responsible for sensation and perception. Users prefer one or another hallucinogen, getting a unique experience, swallowing a substance. In general, these drugs may cause unpredictable effects, including changes in the perception of color, sound, time, speed. A lot of sensations, where the color may be heard, while the sound is seen, are the most typical. Some people experience a “bad journey,” because emotions while taking the drug, lead to intense fear and panic, horror, or psychosis.
Why is LSD related to hallucinogen?
These drugs cause real hallucinations. That is why LSD belongs to this group. During the first hour after its ingestion, a person may feel visual changes along with extreme mood changes. In a state of hallucination, he can also suffer from delayed time perception, followed by a distorted perception of shapes and sizes of objects, movements, color, touch, sound, and body self-image.
LSD has a slow action, but long-term effect. After swallowing it, usually there is no change during 30-90 minutes, and then the journey begins, which lasts for 8-16 hours. “Scenes from the past” are especially problematic – hallucinatory episodes that occur later, although an extra dose is not taken. “Scenes from the past” are a typical effect, but they occur only among long-term users. It arises at the time when the component is deposited in fat cells and enters the bloodstream.
Due to intense hallucinations, which the component causes (this applies to all hallucinogens), you need to remember:
- under the hallucinogen influence you can not drive a vehicle or operate some other complex technical devices;
- people, who are on the verge or beyond the psychological shocks, should be careful enough in the consumption of such strong psychedelics;
- if there were cases of schizophrenia in your family, or you are prone to it or have a propensity to particular mental illness, you should be extremely careful with this drug, which may cause worsening of latent (hidden) psychological and mental problems.
Taking LSD effects
Consider different effect types of LSD using:
1. Emotional. Euphoria is typical for most healthy people, taking the average doses of this substance. You feel a revival, sense of serenity, joy filling you up. Higher doses may lead to mood swings and negative emotions.
2. Somatic. The reaction of the sympathetic nervous system is manifested in increased heart rate/blood pressure. Eyes are widened; it becomes difficult to focus on the vision of certain subjects. There is thick, sticky saliva in a mouth and increased sweating.
3. Sexual desire. In most cases, sexuality is inhibited regardless of the emotional state.
Symptoms of consciousness changes:
1. Changes in thinking, memory, and intelligence. Thinking is transformed. The logical and abstract thinking takes a lot of conscious effort.
5. Suggestibility. During LSD intoxication all objects and images are equivalent. The equivalence of images makes a person unable to rationalize and link in a single semantic system emerging emotions.
6. Perception. LSD distorts the functioning of all the senses: sight, touch, hearing, and smell. The within-body (proprioceptive) sensitivity is also distorted. Visual hallucinations will dominate in almost all cases.