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Alvin Hsia

on 6 June 2013

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Transcript of LSD

by Alvin Hsia LSD: Overview of the History, Myths, and Therapeutic Applications of Acid Hallucinogenic Drugs Origins How They Work Drug Basics Nicknames Natural Origins Mimics the neurotransmitter serotonin (5HT) Serotonergic Hallucinogens LSD (acid) Psilocybin (shrooms) Mescaline (peyote) DMT (ayahuasca) Belladonna Alkaloids Jimsonweed Dissociative Anesthetics Nightshade Mandrake Root PCP (angel dust) Ketamine (special K) DXM (robo-trip) Salvia MDMA Acid California Sunshine Average Dose per hit 20 - 80 µg (present) 100 - 200 µg (1960s) Full Name Lysergic acid derivatives from plants and fungus 1938 - Synthesized by Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann in Sandoz (Novartis) Laboratories trying to find a drug to improve respiration and circulation

1943 - Albert Hofmann accidentally absorbs a small amount of LSD on his fingertip

1947 - LSD sold under the trade name "Delysid" in 25µg or 100µg pills

Most LSD sold in the US today is synthesized in a few laboratories in Northern California False Myths and Perceptions Causes brain damage or puts holes in your brain

Stays in your spinal cord or spinal fluid forever

Mimics psychosis and mental illness or causes it


Drinking milk stops the trip the "happy" chemical regulates sleep, aggression, eating behavior, hormonal state, body temperature Three major serotonin receptors serotonin-1 (5HT1) - aggression serotonin-2 (5HT2) - hallucinatory serotonin-3 (5HT3) - vomiting Lysergic acid diethylamide-25 Properties Colorless, odorless, tasteless Sensitive to UV light, oxygen, heat Drug Basics Packaging and Consumption Blotter paper, sugar cubes, pill form (sometimes) Consumed by oral ingestion Duration of Trip 6 - 12 hours (metabolized slowly by liver) Effects "Bicycle Day" Notable LSD Users History of LSD in the U.S. Blotters 0 - 30min 30 - 60min 1 - 4hr Dizziness, nausea, weakness, twitches, anxiety Blurred vision, increased contrasts, visual patterns, feelings of unreality, loss of coordination, tremulous speech, pupil dilation Increased visual effects, wavelike motions, impaired distance perception, euphoria, slow passage of time 4 -7hr Waning of above effects 7 - 12hr Returning to normal After-effects Headache, fatigue, contemplative state LSD Effects Experiences vary greatly from person to person, depending heavily on "set" and "setting". Factors such as previous experiences, state of mind and environment, as well as dose strength all come into play Strongly fluorescent - glows blue-white
under UV light How It Works LSD attaches to serotonin receptors in brainstem Pre-frontal cortex (thinking) and parietal cortex (visual, sensory), and temporal cortex (music, language) Movement of static surfaces ("walls breathing")

After image-like trails of moving objects ("tracers")

Moving colored geometric patterns when eyes closed

Intensification of music listening experience

Intensification of colors and brightness ("sparkling")

Synaesthesia - mixing of senses Commonly Reported Effects Recognized in ancient Mexico, Middle East, and Medieval Europe for blood vessel constriction properties Synthetic Origins threshold: 20µg heavy: 200µg+ Partly-True Myths and Perceptions Potentially habit-forming (psychologically)

"Flashbacks" and Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD)

Can worsen symptoms of depressed or schizophrenic patients

Expands your mind; can change your perception of life

"Bad trips" - acute anxiety, panic attacks "Manifests from within" Entheogen Extra glutamate released in cortex areas of the brain because of the lack of inhibitory serotonin How LSD Produces Psychedelic Effects "The difference between psychedelics (entheogens) and other psychotropic drugs is that entheogens work as 'non-specific amplifiers of the psyche', inducing an altered or non-ordinary state of consciousness. The content and nature of the experiences are not thought to be artificial products of their pharmacological interaction with the brain ('toxic psychoses') but authentic expressions of the psyche revealing its functioning on levels not ordinarily available for observation and study." -- Stanislav Grof, 2000
(early LSD researcher) *human fatal dose estimated at 320,000µg ... little by little I could begin to enjoy the unprecedented colors and plays of shapes that persisted behind my closed eyes. Kaleidoscopic, fantastic images surged in on me, alternating, variegated, opening and then closing themselves in circles and spirals, exploding in colored fountains, rearranging and hybridizing themselves in constant flux .. -- Albert Hofmann, April 19, 1943 1949 - Sandoz Laboratories brings LSD to the attention of the U.S.

1950 - CIA begins testing drug for mind control and chemical warfare

mid-1950s - LSD research underway at major American medical centers for treating alcoholism and psychotherapy, proclaimed a "wonder drug" Initial Wonderment (1949 - 1955) mid-1950s - LSD becomes extremely popular among intellectuals, artists, writers, poets

mid-1950s - Undergraduate psychology students take LSD as part of their studies, unlicensed therapists administer LSD sessions for about $500

late-1950s - Bill Wilson, founder of AA, advocates use of LSD

1962 - LSD proclaimed to have 70% cure rate among heavy alcoholics by Bureau of Alcoholism History of LSD in U.S. Best Thing Since Sliced Bread (1955 - 1963) Is LSD really medicine? LSD itself probably isn't a cure for addiction, but therapeutic importance of the LSD experience lay in its ability to disrupt habitual patterns of thinking and feeling to create an opportunity for self-surrender and a change in self-concept Initially used on only the worst alcoholics, who had already tried every other form of treatment Researchers soon realized context, safe and supportive environment, empathetic staff were key to bring positive results - A.L. Hubbard At first, therapeutic work didn't focus on environment. Patients would be administered LSD in hospitals with noisy surroundings Scientific Basis of LSD (and other Sertonergic Hallucinogens) as Addiction Treatment SHs increase dopamine transmission in mesolimbic reward areas

Low-grade dopamine transmission leads to regeneration of dopamine D2 receptors

Would require repeated dosing to be effective Theory 1 - LSD acts similarly to methadone Theory 2 - LSD reduces stress-induced substance relapse SHs produce rapid downregulation and desensitization of cortical serotonin-2 (5HT-2A) receptors

Serotonin-2 receptor density correlates positively with increased anxiety and exaggerated stress response Theory 3 - Neurotrophic factors SHs increase BDNF transmission, which is related to decreased alcohol and cocaine self-administration in animals History of LSD in U.S. Tides Turn (1963 - 1970) Sensationalist Quotes "LSD, psilocybin, and MDMA could be for psychiatry what the microscope is for biology or the telescope is to astronomy; and essential tool to explore the parts of the internal world that are usually inaccessible"

-- Stanislav Grof "I think that in human evolution it has never been as necessary to have this substance LSD. It is just a tool to turn us into what we are supposed to be."

-- Albert Hofmann "Suddenly LSD has become the sophisticated 'fun thing' to try around the smart set, the fast set and the beat set, and if you haven't got a neighborhood LSD bootlegger and buy an ampoule of those little blue pills, you are simply not in my friend"

-- Cosmopolitan, 1963 early-1960s - Medical community begins investigating potential negative consequences of LSD 1963 - Recreational use of LSD is rampant; several horror stories are covered and sensationalized by newspapers and mass media 1964 - Battle lines in the medical community are drawn 1964 - Sandoz withdraws research sponsorship, ceased LSD production, all LSD samples were recalled 1964 - California makes possession of LSD illegal; many states follow Hallucinogens boast a longer history, greater mystique, and more botanical, chemical, cultural, and historic diversity than almost any other drug class in the world. Use of hallucinogens is evident in plant remains from cultures on every continent in the world. 1970 - LSD is classified as Schedule 1 by U.S. Federal Law LSD in the U.S. Today Slight Resurgence 2009 - LSD research begins again in U.K.

2010 - UCLA conducts experiments with psilocybin for end-of-life care

present - LSD still classified as Schedule 1 under the Controlled Substances Act

"deemed to have a high potential for abuse; no legitimate medical use in treatment; and lack of accepted safety for its use under medical supervision" "These agents have a part to play in our survival as a species"
-- Humphry Osmond Richard Feynman

Bill Gates

Kary Mullis - Nobel Prize winning neuroscientist

Steve Jobs - "Taking LSD was a profound experience, one of the most important things in my life."

Francis Crick - Discovered double-helix model of DNA while on LSD

Dock Ellis - Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher threw a no-hitter on LSD
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