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Just Say Know: D-Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) Presented By: Kristen Kidd Donnovan, MPH Substance Abuse Prevention Coordinator, VCU Wellness Center & Devon Tackels Regional Outreach Coordinator, Students for Sensible Drug Policy

Thursday, October 13, 2011


What is LSD? d-lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) is a synthetic chemical derived from ergot alkaloids which are produced by the ergot fungus which grows on rye. LSD is the best known and most researched psychedelic. It is the standard against which all other psychedelics are compared. It is active at extremely low doses and is most commonly available on blotter or in liquid form.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


History of LSD •

History ◦ First synthesized in 1938 by Swiss Chemist Albert Hoffman in Basel, Switzerland while  working for Sandoz Pharmaceuticals. ◦

The main intention of the synthesis was to obtain a respiratory and circulatory stimulant

It wasn’t until 1943 that the psychedelic properties of LSD were discovered when he re-synthesized LSD and accidentally absorbed it through his skin. He wrote this in his book, LSD: My Problem Child, about his experience: ■ “... affected by a remarkable restlessness, combined with a slight dizziness. At home I lay down and sank into a not unpleasant intoxicatedlike condition, characterized by an extremely stimulated imagination. In a dreamlike state, with eyes closed (I found the daylight to be unpleasantly glaring), I perceived an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidescope play of colors. After some two hours this condition faded away.”

Thursday, October 13, 2011


History Continued... ◦

Bicycle Day: The first self induced LSD experience. It was April 19, 1943, and Hoffman dosed himself with 250 micrograms and began to feel the heavy effects of the substance. He then asked his research assistant to take him home, and due to wartime restrictions on motor vehicles, they had to ride bicycles. ■

Upon arriving home he thought he had been poisoned by the substance and called for a doctor, only to realize he was physiologically alright.

After his experience, Hoffman believed the substance might have practical clinical use do to its introspective nature.

LSD was brought to the attention of the United States in 1949 by Sandoz Laboratories because they believed LSD might have clinical applications

Thursday, October 13, 2011


More History... ◦

Throughout the 1950s, mainstream media reported on research into LSD, undergraduate psychology students taking LSD as part of their education, described the effects of the drug, and its growing use in psychiatry.

By the mid 1950s, LSD research was being conducted in major American medical centers, where researchers used LSD as a means of temporarily replicating the effects of mental illness.

From the late 1940s through the mid-1970s, extensive research and testing was conducted on LSD. During a 15-year period beginning in 1950, research on LSD and other hallucinogens generated over 1000 scientific papers, several dozen books, and 6 international conferences, and LSD was prescribed as treatment to over 40,000 patients.

Sandoz halted LSD production in August 1965 after growing governmental protests at its proliferation among the general populace.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Notable Figures and Researchers in LSD History -Albert Hoffmann: Discoverer of LSD -Aldous Huxley: Huxley was a pioneer of self-directed psychedelic drug use "in a search for enlightenment", famously taking 100 micrograms of LSD as he lay dying. His psychedelic drug experiences are described in the essays The Doors of Perception and Heaven and Hell. -Timothy Leary (w/ Metzner and Alpert): American psychologist and writer, known for his advocacy of psychedelic drugs. During a time when drugs like LSD and psilocybin were legal, Leary conducted experiments at Harvard University under the Harvard Psilocybin Project,   resulting in the Concord Prison Experiment. The Study produced useful data, but Leary and his associate Richard Alpert were fired from the university for behavior problems, and ethical issues in research with the drugs. Famous for “Turn on, Tune in, and Drop out.” and “Set and Setting.”

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Notable Figures and Researchers in LSD History -Al Hubbard: early proponent for the drug LSD during the 1950s. He is reputed to have been the "Johnny Appleseed of LSD" and the first person to emphasize LSD's potential as a visionary or transcendental drug. According to reports, Hubbard introduced more than 6,000 people to LSD, including scientists, politicians, intelligence officials, diplomats, and church figures. -Stanislav Grof: a Czech psychiatrist, one of the founders of the field of transpersonal psychology and a pioneering researcher into the use of non-ordinary states of consciousness for purposes of analysing, healing, and obtaining growth and insight into the human psyche. He was one of the earliest LSD researchers, and has made major contributions to the study of consciousness from his work with LSD and patients.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Legal Perspectives and Policies â—Ś

Scheduling and Punishment â–  LSD is illegal. LSD is a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act of 1969. Schedule I drugs, which include heroin and MDMA, have a high potential for abuse and serve no legitimate medical purpose.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Legal Perspectives and Policies Dosages:

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Why are these policies bad? -Scheduling of LSD as Schedule 1 halts the research and potential medical application of the substance -Prohibition of LSD and other drugs is a complete policy failure. -Can you think of any other reasons?

Thursday, October 13, 2011


LSD Myths: We have all heard them... If you take LSD 7 times, you are certifiably insane. LSD users will go blind staring at the sun LSD stays in you body forever (Spinal Fluid) There’s strychnine in my LSD! You can make LSD from bread or beer. A friend of a friend of a friend once took LSD and turned into a glass of orange juice. (Trust me this myth exists!) ALL FALSE!

Thursday, October 13, 2011


How Does LSD Work? Video on Psychopharmacological Effects of LSD Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccMLw_iQ7XU#t=7m45s Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TqX7jcNcIdw&feature=related

Thursday, October 13, 2011


What are the effects? “Neutral” Effects

•Pupil dilation •Difficulty focusing •Increased saliva and mucus production •Unusual bodily sensations •Unusual thoughts and speech •Change in perception of time •Emotional lability •Yawning •Increase in body temperature •Increase in pulse rate Thursday, October 13, 2011


What are the effects? What People Like About LSD? •Mental and physical stimulation •Increase in creative thinking •Boost in mood •Increased appreciation of music •Sensory enhancement •Visuals •Spiritual experiences •Psychological reflection •Blurring of boundaries between self and others, feelings of connectedness

Thursday, October 13, 2011


What are the effects? What People Dislike About LSD?

•Anxiety •Tension •Difficulty regulating body temperature •Nausea •Dizziness or confusion •Insomnia •Megalomania •Oversensitization •Paranoia •Overwhelming or unwanted feelings and experiences •Flashbacks Thursday, October 13, 2011


Can you become addicted to LSD? Addiction Potential •LSD is not physically addicting, and is quite unlikely to lead to psychological addiction in most people.

•Withdrawal effects following discontinuation have not been reported. • As with most substances, a few people have reported becoming mentally habituated to LSD.

•There is a short period of tolerance after use. Using LSD two days in a row is likely to lead to a diminished experience the second day, though spaced 3 or more days apart, this effect is nearly non-existent.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Set and Setting Set: the state of mind you bring to an experience Setting: your physical surroundings

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Set and Setting: What Research Can Teach Us 1.  Good Research is Systematic: It means that research is structured with specified steps to be taken in a specified sequence in accordance with the well defined set of rules. Systematic characteristic of the research does not rule out creative thinking but it certainly does reject the use of guessing and intuition arriving at conclusions. 2.  Good Research is Logical: This implies that research is guided by the rules of logical reasoning and the logical process of induction and deduction are of great value in carrying out research. Induction is the process of reasoning from a part to the whole whereas deduction is the process of reasoning from the premise. In fact, logical reasoning makes research more meaningful in the context of decision making. 3.  Good Research is Empirical: It implies that research is related basically to one or more aspects of a real situation and deals with concrete data that provides a basis for external validity to research results. 4.  Good Research is Replicable: This characteristic allows research to be verified by replicating the study and thereby building a sound basis for decisions. http://www.reportbd.com/articles/57/1/Criteria-Qualities-of-Good-Scientific-Research/Page1.html

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Science is Neutral Scientists are Human When your life’s work is at stake, neutrality is a challenge There’s no “I” in “science!”

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“Even when no stigma attaches to the drugs involved, most clinical trials end in failure.�

http:// www.economist.com /node/18864332

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But Back to Set and In studies where LSD showed great promise for helping alcoholics stop drinking Participants spent about 2 weeks in a therapeutic environment before their LSD dose They were encouraged to mentally prepare for their dose They were fully supervised by clinicians after their dose Their surroundings were relaxing, yet stimulating— flowers, music, etc. Participants were encouraged to take the day after their dose to reflect upon and write about their experience

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Set and Setting, In later experiments which included control groups Patient didn’t know they were getting LSD They did not prepare for the experience They did not process it afterwards Clinicians were present, but as observers, not “guides”

Thursday, October 13, 2011


“Set & Setting”

http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=UQP1IsAv1jg#t=33m45s

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Let’s get your perspective

Interactive Q+A

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Research What research has been done? LSD is the most researched psychedelic drug. From the early 1950’s to late 1960’s there was expansive research done with the substance while it remained unscheduled by the federal government. Research focused mostly on the therapeutic uses of LSD within the psychotherapeutic model of psychology. Psychologists at the time learned much of what we now know about the neurotransmitter Serotonin through research with LSD, and this paved the way for our modern understanding of psychology and psychopharmacology.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Therapy Uses of LSD for Therapy Include:

•Psychedelic Therapy Utilizing LSD in the Treatment of the Alcoholic Patient

•A Clinical Study of LSD Treatment in Alcoholism •LSD-Assisted Psychotherapy and Dynamics of Creativity •Treatment of Childhood Schizophrenia Utilizing LSD and Psilocybin

Thursday, October 13, 2011


MAPS Mission: MAPS' mission is (1) to treat conditions for which conventional medicines provide limited relief—such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), pain, drug dependence, anxiety and depression associated with end-of-life issues—by developing psychedelics and marijuana into prescription medicines; (2) to treat many thousands of people by building a network of clinics where treatments can be provided; and (3) to educate the public honestly about the risks and benefits of psychedelics and marijuana. Founded in 1986, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit research and educational organization. MAPS functions as a non-profit pharmaceutical company working to make psychedelics and medical marijuana available to patients, physicians, and therapists on a legal, prescription, generic basis for public health benefits and health care cost savings. MAPS seeks to bring an end to the fear and irrationality that have surrounded psychedelic and marijuana research for decades. Instead, MAPS commits to the systematic scientific evaluation of their risks and benefits as treatments for some of the most debilitating and hard-to-treat conditions.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Current Research LSD-Assisted Psychotherapy for the Treatment of Anxiety Associated with Life Threatening Illnesses - Peter Gasser, M.D.

VIDEO: http://vimeo.com/15433251

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Were Can I Find Out More About LSD?

www.erowid.com The VCU Wellness Resource Center Students for Sensible Drug Policy

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Just Say Know: LSD