LSD, Medicine or Madness? Essay

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Freedom was the battlecry of the sixties. Freedom from war, from the social pressures exerted by the older generation, and perhaps even freedom from oneself. The goal was to live in an uninhibited environment where experimentation of all sorts could thrive. It was within the context of this "hippie generation" that lysergic acid diethylamide, better known as "acid" on the street, came to pervade the lives of millions of American youth. The best known of all psychedelic drugs, LSD had a profound effect on the outlook of the counterculture that emerged on the streets of San Francisco in the sixties. It gave people "freedom from the restraints of ordinary consciousness and everyday sorts of socialized behavior" (Debold and Leaf 1967).…show more content…
He reported being overcome by "unusual sensations" and described the experience as an "uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colors" (Snyder 1986). Realizing that these intense feelings were caused by the chemical that he had just synthesized, Hofmann returned to the lab and set out to confirm his speculations. Little did he know that his discovery would have a major impact on the perspective of millions of people just two decades ahead. The General Effects of LSD LSD has been known to induce a wide variety of effects. The intensity of the experience is dependent on the size of the dose, the mental state of the user, and the setting in which the drug is used (WWW1). It is an extremely potent substance and can exert a response at a dosage of a tenth of a milligram (Snyder 1986). At greater dosages, the intense feelings become more pronounced and last for an extended period of time. Once ingested, the LSD "trip" is uncontrollable and cannot come to an end by the will of the user (WWW1). LSD is not strictly hallucinogenic, it does not make the user see things that are not there. Rather, it is an illucinogenic compound. It distorts reality. The LSD "trip" can be divided into four stages. The first stage is the "initial", which starts within minutes after ingestion, and lasts for thirty to forty-five minutes, depending on the dosage (Sankar 1975). Usually, a
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