Acid experiences: LSD's effect on illness

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    Acid experiences: LSD's effect on illness
    Three people with health problems explain how LSD affected them

    Douglas, historian

    From the age of eight I suffered frequent and severe headaches, usually three or four a week, which caused acute and persistent pain and interfered with work and games alike. These persisted into adulthood.

    I first tried 200 microgrammes of LSD in 1970. After it, I had no headaches for three weeks. I then had another headache, though not as severe as usual, and the next day took another 200 microgrammes. This time the headaches disappeared for six months.

    After that, whenever I had a bad headache I took a dose of LSD, usually 100 microgrammes. My headaches have since become very rare, perhaps one or two a year. I believe the doses of LSD are the most likely cause of this very welcome relief.

    Jess, 40, London

    Taking LSD on a regular basis has improved my health and life. I had an eating disorder for 12 years after leaving school, yo-yo-ing between binge eating and then eating nothing for days, which was debilitating. Then, at 26, I was introduced to LSD and told that, while I was on it, I must maintain my sugar level in order to avoid the symptoms of hypoglycaemia.

    On the first trip I ate scrambled eggs and a whole king-size bag of Minstrels. I remained in complete control . Equally as fascinating for me was that I couldn't sense the weight of what I'd consumed: in other words, I was eating but not putting on weight, which is music to an anorexic's ears.

    The LSD enabled me to rise above my negative and destructive thoughts and see things in a new and positive light. I now take it once a month and as a consequence have maintained not only a healthy eating balance but also a more positive frame of mind.

    Philip, 54, London

    Five years ago I had just finished my third chemotherapy session for leukaemia, which was the worst experience of my life. I didn't eat for 21 days, my weight dropped to eight stone and I was bald. I took acid at a party. I wasn't in remission, so I shouldn't have taken it, but it was an amazing experience.

    It made me euphoric. I'm not religious but I had a wonderful experience, like angels coming over the walls and white clouds out of a blue sky. I thought, "I've got to live"; it gave me the will to carry on. It gave me the strength that I could do it. The LSD helped me with my leukaemia by mentally helping me to get over it.I felt that I could beat the cancer, which was the first time I'd felt like that since being diagnosed with leukaemia.

    The Guardian, Friday 23 October 2009

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