LSD (lysergic Acid Dyethilamide)
||LSD (lysergic Acid Dyethilamide)
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A Swiss chemist named Dr. Albert Hoffman first produced lysergic acid
Diethylmide –or best known as LSD in 1938 (Dye, 1992, p. 2). Hoffman
discovered the drug while trying to synthesize a new drug for the treatment
of headaches. He obtained the lysergic acid from the parasitic fungus that
grows on rye plants known as ergot. From the lysergic acid, he synthesized
the compound LSD. He used the compound to test for its pain killing
properties on laboratory animals. Being that appeared totally ineffective,
the bottle of LSD was placed on a shelf and remained untouched for five
On April 16, 1943, Dr. Hoffman decided to do further research with the LSD
compound (Dye, 1992 p. 5). While handling the drug, he accidentally ingested
an unknown amount. Then he experienced the world’s first LSD trip. About
eight hours later Hoffman drifted back into normal reality and the
Psychedelic Revolution was born. (Encarta 98) Three days later, in an
attempt to prove that the previous episode was indeed caused by the
ingestion of LSD, Dr. Hoffman ingested what he thought would be a small
quantity of LSD, 250 micrograms. In actuality, this is approximately five
times the dosage necessary to produce heavy hallucinations in the average
adult male (Solomon, 1964, p. 34). The drug produced effects that were much
more intense than the first time Hoffman took the LSD. He noted that he felt
unrest, dizziness, visual disturbances, a tendency to laugh at inappropriate
times, and a difficulty in concentration (Dye, 1992, p.7). Dr. Hoffman’s
condition improved six hours after taking the drug, although visual
disturbances and distortion continued.
LSD was first shipped to the United States in 1949 (Solomon, 1964 , p. 54).
American scientists tested LSD on animals to learn of its effects. It
produced dramatic behavior changes in all animals investigated.
During the 1950’s, experimentation of LSD on humans began (Solomon, 1964, p.
56). Since there were few restrictions on using humans for experimentation
at the time, scientists were free to administer the drug widely, hoping to
find some useful therapeutic value for the drug. Because of Hoffman’s LSD
account of depersonalization produced by the drug. Early studies were done
using the drug to treat various psychiatric disorders. It was felt that if a
person could "step outside" themselves and view situations as others saw
them, they could come to grips with their problems and be able to solve
them. One of the first areas of LSD experimentation was in treating
alcoholism (Dye, 1992, p.36). After extensive research, it was concluded
that LSD was not effective on treating alcoholism and the research was
LSD was also tested on schizophrenics, drug addicts and criminals (Dye, 1992
p. 38). Research determined that LSD was ineffective in treating any
behavioral problems. It was also concluded that LSD might transform a normal
individual into a person with a very calm to severe personality problem.
The Central Intelligence Agency and various military agencies also became
interested in LSD research in the late 1950’s (Dye, 1992, p.410.) Their
interest in the drug was in the area of mind control. They saw the
possibility of manipulating of manipulating the beliefs of strong willed
people. They gave the drug to a group of army scientists and then attempted
to change some of their basic beliefs while under the influence of the drug.
However, one of the scientists became psychotic and committed suicide by
jumping from a hotel window. These agencies continued their research by
using drug addicts and prostitutes to test their mind control theories.
After extensive experimentation, it became apparent that LSD could alter LSD
the mind but not control it. The United States government discontinued this
sort of research. Up until today, the Food and Drug Administration have
never approved LSD. This strong hallucinageous drug remains only as research
and medical treatment.
LSD belongs to a class of psychotropic drugs called hallucinogens (Gorodetzky,
1992). Other drugs in this category are mescaline (d...
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