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Transcript of Exploring different
Medicinal Lysergic Acid Diethylamide, a reservoir of untapped potential
I first became interested in altered brain function in 3rd grade, during my school's annual brain fair. I did an in depth research project on the different structures of the brain and how the functions of these structures could be chemically enhanced or inhibited through chemical means. This summer, I am interning at a neuroscience laboratory at the U of M which focuses on specific receptors and neurotransmitters affected by certain chemicals. I will most likely pursue this field of interest in college, be it as a major or minor. Neuroscience has always been a strong passion of mine. Furthermore, my uncle is a leading psychiatrist in Pittsburgh, and I have discussed and am intrigued by his occupation. Criminal and laboratory psychiatry is an incredibly important job in the United States' criminal justice system.
My paper explored the positives and negatives of legalizing this substance for either medicinal or recreational purposes, and came to the conclusion that medicinal legalization would be of the most benefit to the general populace.
Severe physical symptoms
Babbling, confusion, tremors
Sweating, loss of appetite, sleeplessness
These symptoms vary in intensity and have caused hundreds of deaths
LSD is most well known for it's infamous "bad trip"
LSD significantly enhances serotonin receptors in the brain
LSD's impact on serotonin also affects an area of the brain that detects external stimuli from all over the body, making it more responsive to input from the environment.
The strong responses to slight changes in environment is the reason for the many murders and suicides that this drug has caused
LSD was classifed as a schedule I drug in 1967. "A high potential for abuse with no medical potential."
This classification came after a string of suicides in the United States from young people after they abused the drug. However, this was before the discovery of the potential medical avenues. It has yet to be declassified as schedule I, as there is no definitive evidence that begs declassification.
There is an obscene number of medical benefits that Lysergic Acid Diethylamide has been shown to have
"Scientists in North America, Europe and Israel are studying the use of, LSD, hallucinogenic mushrooms, and other banned psychoactive substances in treating conditions such as anxiety, cluster headaches, addiction and obsessive-compulsive disorder."
Nowadays, scientists are moving away from the absolute rejection of these drugs that were previously thought of as not possibly having any benefits. There have been studies that show that hallucinogens such as psyscicopin and LSD have can be extremely effective in opening up brain pathways and having other positive benefits such as toppling strong addictions, especially to alcohol.
More potential medical applications
Experiments have shown that LSD activates receptors for serotonin, one of the brain’s key chemical messengers. Specifically, of the 15 different serotonin receptors, the 2A subtype (5-HT2A), seems to be the one that produces profound alterations of thought and perception
This is the basis for "expanding the mind" and the ways in which we think".
Allows for the "dissociation of the mind and body", allowing for higher thinking. Many brilliant business minds have claimed to have had their sparks for ideas while under the influence of acid.
"Then I took a hit of LSD one day and didn't feel alone any more. It helped me to see myself differently, increase my self-confidence, lose my desire to drink or smoke and just feel at one with the world. I haven't touched alcohol or cigarettes since that day in 1995 and am much happier than before."
Finally, the Drug Policy Alliance states, "Experts agree that psychedelics do not cause addiction or compulsive use, and they are not known to harm the brain."
If these governmental agencies have been stating that this drug is safe for medical use, I believe it's potential should be exploited to the fullest.
Taking into account the number of deaths and serious injuries that have occurred due to recreational use, I have deemed the illegality of this drug for recreational purposes legitimate.
However, it has been shown by numerous leading research universities all over the world (i.e. UCLA) that this drug has more than one incredible medical applications. In some extreme cases, just one trip has been shown to completely cure alcohol addictions, as well as totally reversing the negative psyche of depressed patients.
"I thought psychiatry and psychology really lost a major opportunity because of the abuse that happened with unsupervised research. These are fascinating substances - and they're very, very powerful, so they should be used with great precaution." said scientist Stanislav Grof, one of the founders of transpersonal psychology.
State governments would have to take action much like that that was taken in the process of legalizing cannabis for medical use. However, lysergic acid diethylamide has proven far more revolutionary when it comes to medical applications, this is an incredibly reservoir of untapped clinical potential, and I feel the first step to legalization for medical use would be the FDA declassifying it is a schedule I substance.
My Action: Contacting the FDA
I sent an email to the FDA, citing evidence from numerous reseach studies (Stansilav Grof), such as the one conducted as recently as March which showed that psychedelic drugs were incredibly effective in combating end of life anxiety in twelve terminally ill patients, stating that there is an overwhelming amount of data (even more than those supporting cannabis legalization) that supports the declassification of LSD as a schedule I drug (no medical purposes).
I acknowledged the fact that the drug has a high potential for abuse, but if it was only used in clinics, it would be a controlled substance.
The FDA has recently (the first in 60 years 3 months ago) started sanctioning additional hospital research with LSD, and I believe that as the evidence supporting legalization mounts, it is only a matter of time before Lysergic Acid Diethylamide will be prevalent in clinical settings.