Friday, November 21, 2014

Sorry, We Republicans Only Drink Fine French Wine

Tom Shroder. Acid Test: LSD, Ecstasy, and the Power to Heal. New York: Blue Ridge Press (Penguin Press), 2014.

According to the author’s research, including reviews of many clinical studies involving tens of thousands of subjects as well as several case studies which are presented in this book, LSD has been shown to be useful in treating post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). MDMA-assisted (aka ecstasy) psychotherapy has been useful in some cases of people traumatized by sexual abuse and in helping autistic people develop better social skills.

These drugs were studied for medical purposes before social stigmas and negative cultural attachments to the recreational uses of these drugs led to their being banned. Shroder believes there should be a reevaluation of the potential medical uses of these banned drugs.

Albert Hoffman (circa 1938) combined lysergic acid with diethylamine (an ammonia derivative), of LSD. He found no immediate use for it In 1943, he tested it some more. Early studies found found it created an intoxication similar to what mescaline, produced from peyote, created. Animal testing at high levels of LSD dosage found it was not lethal.

After World War II, reviews of captured Nazi research records research into using mescaline as a useful tool in interrogations. The led the CIA to experiment, both in seeking to find a truth serum and to find something that would make someone unable to tell the truth under interrogations. The CIA tested LSD, sometimes providing it to subjects without their knowing it. One subject, Owsley Stanley, enjoyed the LSD so much he worked with a chemistry student  Melissa Cargill to create LSD. They gave out 3,600 LSD capsules in the Haight-Ashbury section of San Francisco in 1965. That inspired others to produce LSD. Haight-Ashbury became a symbol of a counter-cultural movement in part inspired by LSD users,

In 18 months during 1966 to 1968, in Los Angeles, at least 4,100 people sought medical help for mental or emotional reactions to LSD.

Dr. Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert, both of Harvard University, conducing clinical trials on LSD. Harvard fired them both Leary continued his studies. He claimed LSA is an aphrodisiac.

LSD was studied in 1,000 clinical paper involving 40,000 patients from 1950 to 1965 LSD was found useful in treating alcoholism, childhood autism, and obsessive neurosis.

A 1960 study of 5,000 LSD subjects found there were no serious or long term negative physical effects from LSD. Dr. Sidney Cohen concluded “LSD is an astonishing safe drug.”

Senator Thomas Dodd led an effort to make LSD illegal. He believe LSD to be harmful, The only Senate voice against Dodd’s efforts was from Sen. Robert Kennedy who urged “we have lost sight of the fact it can be very, very helpful in our society if used properly.”

Numerous studies from MDMA can cure PTSD. Studies in England, Switzerland, and the Netherlands have found MDMA helps autistic people improve their social relations.

A Russian study concluded that ketamine helps overcome heroin addiction.

A Harvard study found LSD helps overcome debilitating cluster headaches.


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