LSD and other hallucinogens have flooded the drug market for the past forty years. Some of these drugs are natural while others are man-made, but almost all of them have the same effect on the people that take them. In its early years LSD, and LSD like drugs, were tested on all people in different walks of life including our military personnel. Of course the doctors did this not knowing the effects of the drug, long term or short term. With time knowledge grew, but sadly, so did the curiosity about the drug. This led to a stronger demand for the drug for people to try to satisfy their own curiosity.
To this very day people “try it” just to see what it is like, or to find out what they will see. Visions are just one of the many effects this drug has on subjects that take it. In the past LSD and other hallucinogens have been used in professional studies of the human mind. These studies have had mixed results, that always almost always vary, depending on the patient and his or her surroundings. When something new comes and is publicized and talked about, human nature tends to make people experiment. That is exactly what people did with LSD. The mass of the population did it for fun with no real intent to harm them.
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Psychiatrists had a field day with the new drug. Psychotherapy was the major field in which LSD played a factor. All through the Sixties and up into the early Seventies, doctors tried all angles to find a concrete use in the field of psychotherapy for LSD. In the Sixties the drug was even attempted as a weapon for chemical warfare. The effect of the drug was said to take all rationality out of its victim making them an easy target. LSD prevailed in 1965 because it was said to do “good” things to people. First, it could easily bring out inner emotions and repressed memories in the patient.
Second, the patient’s information is better understood thanks to the vivid visual imagery generated by LSD. Third, the patient feels like he has a better relationship with the doctor and is able to talk much more openly. Finally, doctors also liked it because it had no effect on alertness. It was mainly for these reasons doctors thought LSD was all right to use in treatment. For no moment did they ever assume that it was safe. To this day the use of these drugs for recreation or professional practice is illegal. In its hey-day LSD had backing from numerous doctors and celebrities. Timothy Leary was one of these.
Leary was a guiding light to those who believed in the psychedelic powers of the drug. He was a leading scientist in the field of mind-expanding chemicals, and he also paved the way for many of its most important experiments. But it was after Leary was expulsed from teaching at Harvard that his true downfall began. Leary believed so much so in acid that he had numerous articles in top psychology magazines published stating his legalization viewpoints. Not only that, but he also amassed quite a cult following. Eventually he got so into himself, that Leary even tried to start his own religious sect.
The good doctor was not the only one of his sort. There were other so-called “high priests” of LSD and other hallucinogens, and almost all of them shared the same rise and fall of Leary. A few of these individuals were Billy Hitchcock, Michael Hollingshead, Allen Ginsberg, and even Andy Warhol. Hallucinogens like LSD are making a come back in the life of teen-agers today. Since the drug is taken and absorbed through the body system orally, it is easy take and easily hidden. It is a synthetic drug and can be made from chemicals easily obtained. This makes its current popularity grow.
Also, the cheap price, going for around five dollars a dose, makes it appealing. As the police continue to fight the war on LSD and its contingents, the use of hallucinogens is actually on the rise again. It may not be as dangerous as other drugs for first time users, however it is considered a gateway drug. It can also lead users to a “bad trip”. This occurs when the user has negative effects from the drug. These include paranoia, irregular heartbeat, aggressive behavior, and nausea. Of course there are also the delusional aspects of the drug too. Numerous cases have been documented that have users believing that they are able to fly.
The cases usually end up with the user plummeting serious injury, or even death. In closing, LSD has had quite a journey to get to where it is now, and it still is making an impact on society. It will continue to do this. Studies are still being done on the drug, and its effects on humans. Well the legalization helped curb the drug sales a little; it is still a street drug. All that can truly be done about this, and other problems like it is education. The truth about this drug, and all the questions that still arise when LSD is the subject should be enough to stop anyone from just trying it. Heavy use of the drug leads to downfall.
Since it’s beginning people have played with the drug and lost. Even the father of LSD, Dr. Hoffman, calls it his problem child and even says that in retrospect it was more trouble than it was worth. . Bibliography: Aaronson, Bernard. Psychedelics: The Uses and Implications of Hallucinogenic Drugs. Anchor Books, New York, 1970. Leary, Timothy PhD: The Politics of Ecstasy. Putnam, New York, 1968. Lee, Martin A. Acid Dreams: The CIA, LSD, and the Sixties Rebellion. Groove Press, New York, 1985. Wikipedia: http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/History_of_LSD www. justice. gov: http://www. justice. gov/ndic/pubs4/4260/index. htm