Why Are Psychedelics Threatening To Western Society?
Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), also known as acid, is a psychedelic drug known for its psychological effects. Many who have taken LSD describe the experience as one of the most insightful events of their lives, with long lasting effects that have significantly changed them for the better. Despite the overwhelmingly positive reaction from those who have taken LSD, LSD is illegal in the United States, and is classified as a Schedule I Drug by the DEA, meaning that LSD was deemed to have no legitimate medical use.
In a recent episode of Straight Talk MD, Dr. Frank Sweeny spoke with Tom Shroder, author of the “Acid Test,” a book that examines the proven efficacy of LSD in treating psychological disorders such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
“Early on in your book, you said that psychedelics were really threatening to Western culture. Why are they any more threatening than OxyContin or Valium? It seems like these took a different course. People were much more concerned about Psychedelics.”
“Heroin and opiates, like Oxycontin, worked on the brain in a way that people understood rationally. It stimulated the pleasure centers and dulled the pain centers, and it worked on the brain in a way that that made sense in a mechanistic way. Press this button, and this button, and this happened. People understood that, in the rational western view. But psychedelics did something else. It worked in this mysterious way, in which the entire perception of the world altered dramatically.
After Albert Hofmann sort of stumbled on the invention of LSD in ’47, Sandoz, a pharmaceutical company that Hoffman worked for, started sending out LSD to researchers around the world. They just got these envelopes and here was some LSD, and they said, basically, ‘Hey just go wild with this stuff. See what it does.’
Originally they had this idea that it mimicked psychosis, that you took it and you were temporarily psychotic. Psychosis was such a difficult illness for people to deal with or even understand, that they thought maybe these doctors could take it themselves and get insight into what their psychotic patients were feeling.
But then, people around the world began taking this, and they began realizing – wait a second, this isn’t just making me psychotic. This is giving me these incredible insights that are changing my life for the better.”