a. Definition/Examples. Drugs in this class change the user's view of the world
from real to something else, perhaps fantasy. When these drugs are taken in large
doses, they produce a variety of effects that users call the psychedelic experience."
Examples of psychedelics include LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), psilocybin,
mescaline, and peyote.
b. Signs/Symptoms of Psychedelic Abuse.
General signs and symptoms. Included are the following:
(a) Dilated pupils.
Hallucinations (usually visual).
Unusual body sensations.
(2) LSD signs and symptoms. In general, the LSD experience consists of
changes in perception, thought, mood, and activity.
(a) Perceptual changes. LSD changes the user's senses of sight,
hearing, touch, body image, and time. Colors seem to intensify or change shape, and
relations appear distorted. Objects seem to pulsate. Two dimensional objects appear
to become three dimensional, and inanimate objects seem to assume emotional
importance. The user becomes more sensitive to sound but cannot find the source of
the sound. He can hear but not understand conversations. Sometimes he also hears
music and voices that are not there. Food may feel gritty, and its taste may be different.
He touches cloth which feels either coarse and dry or fine and velvety. The user may
feel cold or sweaty. He has sensations of lightheadedness, emptiness, shaking,
vibrations, and fogginess. He may hold his arms or legs in one position for long periods
of time. Time seems to him to race, stop, slow down, or even go backwards. The user
has a stream of bizarre, free-flowing thoughts including the idea that someone is out to
get him. Little unimportant events become very significant and important.
(b) Mood effects. The LSD user may experience a wide variety of
moods. He may burst into tears, laughter, or feel no emotion at all. Regardless of his
emotional state on the outside, the user may actually feel completely relaxed and
happy. On the other hand, an LSD user could feel anxiety, fear, and panic because (for
no apparent reason) he feels alone and cut off from the world. For this reason, some
LSD users make sure that a friend who is not using LSD will be there to prevent suicidal
attempts or dangerous reactions to the panic.