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Fifty Years Later, LSD Gains New Popularity in High Schools

  1. RealGanjaMan
    San Francisco, Calif. (AP) -- On the 50th anniversary of the first use of LSD, a new study says LSD use among high school seniors is at its highest level in seven years, and more teenagers are sniffing glue and other volatile substances. The most widely used drugs among eighth-graders are inhalants -- products such as glue and air fresheners, said Lloyd Johnston, chief researcher for the study by the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research. In addition, the number of eighth-graders using drugs of all types is rising, the study found.

    "The nation's attention to the subject has slacked off," Johnston told the Associated Press. "Now we may be harvesting the bitter fruit for that change in emphasis."
    San Francisco, Calif. (AP) -- On the 50th anniversary of the first use of LSD, a new study says LSD use among high school seniors is at its highest level in seven years, and more teenagers are sniffing glue and other volatile substances. The most widely used drugs among eighth-graders are inhalants -- products such as glue and air fresheners, said Lloyd Johnston, chief researcher for the study by the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research. In addition, the number of eighth-graders using drugs of all types is rising, the study found.

    "The nation's attention to the subject has slacked off," Johnston told the Associated Press. "Now we may be harvesting the bitter fruit for that change in emphasis."

    Among seniors, 5.6 percent admitted using LSD in the past year, up from 5.2 percent in 1991. Use of LSD, widely associated with the '60s, had dropped among seniors from 7.2 percent in 1975 -- the first year for the survey -- to 4.4 percent in 1985. "I think the major dynamic problem has been through sort of a general forgetting process," Johnston said. "I'm not sure how many people expected LSD use to make a resurgence."

    As for inhalants, the study found 9.5 percent of eighth-graders used them in the past year, up from 9 percent in 1991. Politicians, educators and the news media generally do not mention inhalants when they talk about drugs, Johnston said. "I think they really don't have an under standing of the dangers of inhalants yet," he said. About 17,000 seniors in 135 public and private schools nationwide filled out questionnaires in their classrooms for the study, as did about 18,000 eighth-graders in 160 schools and about 15,000 10th-graders in 125 schools. While results for 10th-graders were basically unchanged from last year, the study found some significant increases in the number of eighth-graders admitting to using certain drugs. The study also found a decrease in the number of eighth-graders who disapproved of drug use. Among eighth-graders, the share of those who admitted using marijuana was 7.2 percent, up from 6.2 percent; LSD, 2.1 percent, up from 1.7 percent; cocaine, 1.5 percent, up from 1.1 percent; crack, 0.9 percent, up from 0.7 percent; and other hallucinogens, 1.1 percent, up from 0.7 percent. "That causes a worry that the youngest cohorts maybe aren't learning as much about drugs as their predecessors who grew up in a drug-infested world," Johnston said.

    ORIGINS OF LSD

    When chemist Albert Hofmann accidently brushed against one of his own creations 50 years ago Friday, he started a psychedelic journey that has lasted to this day. Hofmann had taken the world's first LSD trip. Hofmann clearly remembers that day as "an uninterrupted stream of fantastic images of extraordinary plasticity ... accompanied by an intense, kaleidoscopelike play of colors." Hofmann created LSD-25 -- lysergic acid diethylamide -- in his Swiss laboratory in 1938 while seeking a blood stimulant. His maiden trip came by accident when a tiny amount seeped into his skin. Since then, LSD's reputation has been as turbulent as some acid trips. Although popular in the underground, the drug earned a bad reputation amid reports of fatalities associated with hallucinations and reports of "flashbacks" -- a recurrence of hallucinations when no new dose of the drug had been taken. The government banned the drug and scientists, for the most part, dropped their research. The drug was popularized by one-time Harvard lecturer Timothy Leary, known as the "high priest of LSD," whose "turn on, tune in, drop out" advice to students in the 1960s glamorized the hallucinogen.

    Rick Doblin recalls his own first acid trip. As it took effect, he heard an air raid siren and was convinced his life was over. He rushed outside to "live it up" and suddenly realized he had never noticed the world's beautiful colors. "I was in this exhilarated, exalted state," he recalled recently for the Associated Press. "I felt like all of my senses were opening up in a way I wasn't aware of." Doblin, now 39 and founder of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies Inc., or MAPS, is among researchers who advocate medical use of hallucinogens. They will gather this weekend to mark the anniversary. The three-day Psychedelic Summit will feature talks by Leary; Laura Huxley, wife of the late author and LSD experimenter Aldous Huxley; and Paul Krassner, editor of The Realist. It will focus on the use of mind-altering drugs in mental health therapy and substance abuse treatment. And where better to hold the summit than San Francisco, where acid trips fueled the psychedelic '60s and made the city's hippie-crowded Haight-Ashbury district an international symbol of the times. The government refused to approve psychedelic drugs research until recently, when the Food and Drug Administration authorized a study on the effects of using LSD for substance abuse treatment.

    LSD TIMELINE

    A chronology of the history of lysergic acid diethylamide, LSD:

    • 1938: Chemist Albert Hofmann synthesizes LSD-25 at Sandoz Pharmaceutical Laboratories in Basel, Switzerland, in search of creating a blood stimulant.
    • 1943: April 19 - Hofmann accidentally absorbs a minute amount of LSD-25 through the skin on his finger. He reported seeing "an uninterrupted stream of fantastic images of extraordinary plasticity ... accompanied by an intense, kaleidoscopelike play of colors." The experience lasted about three hours.
    • 1943: April 16 - Hofmann deliberately ingests 250 micrograms of LSD-25. He begins writing laboratory notes, but the drug's effects become too great. He rides his bicycle home. Suffering great anxiety, he calls a doctor. The next morning, Hofmann reports his physical and mental health are excellent.
    • 1947: The first report on mental effects of LSD published by Werner Stoll.
    • 1952: Charles Savage publishes the first study on the use of LSD to treat depression.
    • 1953: First LSD clinic opens in England under Ronald Sandison. Separately, unwitting subjects in United States were given LSD in the CIA funded Project MK-Ultra to test the effects of the drug.
    • 1955: First conference focusing on LSD and mescaline takes place in Atlantic City and Princeton, N.J.
    • 1960: Harvard University's Timothy Leary establishes the Psychedelic Research Project.
    • 1963: The first year LSD believed to appear on the streets. Doses were dropped on a sugar cube. Articles about LSD first appear in mainstream media (Life, Look, Saturday Evening Post). Leary is fired from Harvard.
    • 1966: The government bans LSD.
    • 1967: First Human Be-In held in San Francisco. Height of the Summer of Love in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York City and London.
    • 1976: Blotter acid (LSD placed on a piece of paper) emerges as the primary kind of underground LSD.
    • 1975: End of the last formal LSD research program.
    • 1979: Hofmann publishes LSD My Problem Child.
    • 1988: Psychedelic movement re-emerges along with popularity of raves, all-night dance parties featuring synthesized music and use of hallucinogenic drugs.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    A bit old... Still interesting none the less.

    -RGM

Comments

  1. java
    It's the same message we gave during our time ...........the 60's, youth wanting something that society is unable to provide and a society stuck on materialism and in brain washing the youth to conform .........there is more out there but the conditioning and society's strong hold of our minds only drives us to want freedom .....freedom of our minds ...............solo
  2. -k4ge
    The second date on the timeline is wrong, it was april 19th, that LSD was first intentionally ingested.
  3. IHrtHalucingens
    SWIM can vouche for this statistic, the LSD use rising one. In the last couple years he has noticed many random people doing LSD that havent even done marijuana or any other drug and these are kids you would never expect to do any kind of drug at all. Weird trend around here, wasnt sure if it was nation wide though.
  4. FrankenChrist
    Why do they link solvents with Lsd in the article?
  5. Nagognog2
    In the last analysis - because they are idiots.

    "Marijuana is the match. Heroin is the fuse. And LSD is the bomb!" - Sgt. Joe Friday (Jack Webb), from the TV show Dragnet 1967.
  6. RealGanjaMan
    Oh yeah my bad, that was a type-o I made while I was formatting it. Fixed now.

    -RGM
  7. bigloc
    This is great news for swim would love to see some good acid come around.
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