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By George Guevara

     With summer now in full swing, people will spend their time playing in the sun or the water and just having fun.  Unfortunately, some have the idea that partaking in the use of illegal substances is fun.  This won’t be another sermon on not breaking the law.  Instead of talking about how being under the influence and possessing controlled substances is against the law – which everyone should already know    - I’m going to provide just a few facts about some of the hallucinogens.  I’ll cover “Lysergic Acid Diethylamide,” otherwise known as LSD, “acid,” “tabs,” or compassionately called “The Love Drug.” 

     LSD is one of several types of commonly used hallucinogens and is synthetically produced.  LSD was very popular in the ‘60s, and the love for it eventually wore off.  Well, it’s back, just like a bad dream.  In the past three years, Santa Clarita Sheriff’s deputies have confiscated hundred of “tabs” of LSD in seizures ranging from as little as two or three tabs to hundreds at one time. 

     “Tabs” are perforated pieces of paper that have been saturated with LSD.  Once the piece of paper has dried, it is sold on the streets from anywhere from $2 to $4 a ‘hit’.  A hit is one dose.

        Hallucinogen users can experience a wide variety of reactions, ranging from mild stimulation to violent hallucinations.  Synthetic hallucinogens are very powerful, even in small amounts.  Other effects include:  optical distortions, impaired perceptions, panic or paranoia, impaired memory or attention.  They can include impaired coordination and intensified visual images and synesthesia.  An example of synesthesia is where a telephone might ring and a person under the influence of a hallucinogen might say, “Look at the beautiful colors!” referring to the ringing of the phone.  Pulse rate is increased and dilated (enlarged) pupils are affected.  This is known as “fight/flight.”  Some signs of hallucinogen overdose can be psychotic behavior and self-destructive psychosis. 

     A ‘bad trip’ or bad experience may sometimes be re-experienced as a ‘flashback’.  The flashback is apparently not caused by residual quantities of the drug in the user’s body, but they are vivid recollections of a previous hallucinogenic experience.  The emotional flashback is the most dangerous.  It brings strong feelings of panic, loneliness and fear, which creates an intense and very real recollection of the original “bad trip.”

     Persons taking LSD or any of the other hallucinogens pose a very real life-threatening risk to themselves and law enforcement personnel.  As you can see, drugs are not all fun like some people will claim.  They are just plain dangerous.  Would you put an unknown chemical into your body to see what it will do?  If you use a substance like LSD, that is exactly what you are doing.  It is not made by a pharmaceutical company.  This drug is made in an illegal lab by someone who does not care what the effects are, what other chemicals are added, or what happens to the person using it. 

     Remember:  There is no quality control when a person buys “dope” on the street.  The main point of this is not to tell you that the possession and consumption of the drug is illegal.  You already know that.  What I am trying to tell you is how dangerous it really is.  You might or might not die from using LSD, but is anyone really sure of what the long-term effects are?



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