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First LSD Test In 40 Years Reveal Drug Helps Terminal Patients Prepare For Death

samzenpus posted about 6 months ago | from the everything-is-wet-even-dry-stuff dept.

Medicine 221

EwanPalmer writes "The first controlled LSD study in more than 40 years reveals the drug could be used to help people with terminal illnesses deal better with death. The study, published in the Journal of nervous and Mental Disease, showed that 12 people who agreed to take the banned hallucinogenic drug during therapy sessions felt 'significant reductions in anxiety' about their lives ending."

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first post (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46415897)

40 years and still tripping

Re: first post (1)

mexsudo (2905137) | about 6 months ago | (#46416109)

What about the daily uncontrolled testing?

Is this that surprising? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46415905)

There are definitely people who should NOT take psychedelic drugs but at this point any level headed person should be able to see what LSD is.

Re:Is this even news? (2, Insightful)

hoboroadie (1726896) | about 6 months ago | (#46415925)

This is really ancient knowledge. Did science just get hep?
Great.

Re:Is this even news? (5, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 6 months ago | (#46416201)

This is really ancient knowledge. Did science just get hep? Great.

It's more about science getting approval. LSD is one of those compounds that is next to impossible for researchers to get access to and test in humans. For reasons I don't care enough about keeping kids off drugs or something to fully understand, some drugs are so wicked and dangerous and illegal that it is necessary to prevent any research (even about how dangerous they are; but definitely nothing suggesting that they aren't as dangerous as previously believed), even under hardass conditions, on terminal patients, and so forth. As quoth noted toxicologist and psycho-pharmacologist Jacqui Smith: "You cannot compare the harms of an illegal activity with a legal one." Why? Because one is illegal, of course!

I wouldn't really call this 'ancient knowledge' (if the first synthesis was in 1938, it probably isn't shamanic lore); but it was certainly an active area of scientific interest pre-ban. That somebody would want another crack at it isn't even remotely news. That they managed to fill out the paperwork, on the other hand...

Re:Is this even news? (2)

El Puerco Loco (31491) | about 6 months ago | (#46416311)

natural compounds like psilocybin, DMT, and mescaline have identical effects and have been used for thousands of years.

Re:Is this even news? (4, Informative)

sFurbo (1361249) | about 6 months ago | (#46416859)

They seem to have similar effects, but these things are notoriously hard to study objectively, so anecdotal evidence is not enough to establish that they have identical effects (and it would be really weird if they did. How should such different molecules get identical pharmacokinetics and pharmarkodynamics?).

Re:Is this even news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46417091)

You just made those words up to sound "smart."

Re:Is this even news? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46416737)

Not so much a matter of filling out the paperwork, as a matter of "any paperwork for research that doesn't set out to agree with the neoprohibitionists' Drugs Is Teh Devil agenda will be summarily canned, period."

It's exactly the difference between the faith-based and investigation-based approaches to anything else: Once the faithful have decided they're Correct, they're not only not interested in pursuing any lines of inquiry that might suggest otherwise but actively work to surpress them.

Re:Is this even news? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46417003)

Apologies for spoiling the joke, but for our non-UK friends: Jacqui Smith is a former Labour home secretary, drugs witch-hunter (and hypocrite) extraordinaire, and general fuckwit when it comes to drug policy. She has no relevant experience except for having smoked a few joints.

same as booze being illegal in saudi arabia (1)

cheekyboy (598084) | about 6 months ago | (#46417277)

Oh get over it. LSD is no different in being illegal but in paper only.

Just as liquor is illegal in Saudi Arabia, yes they are nut jobs for making it so, but no different to the
west making LSD illegal too.

Live a little try it.

Re:same as booze being illegal in saudi arabia (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46417817)

I'm sorry, but I'm going to disagree strongly. There actually are several good reasons why LSD is a banned substance. I'd sit you down with my grandma who worked in LA as an RN from the 60s into the 90s, but alas, she died last year. But she had stories about LSD. Lots of them. Like basically several a night for 20 years. The most entertaining one in my book was a man who while on acid somehow decided filling his rectum with concrete was a good idea. I'm not sure he survived. There was of course the regular people peeling their skin off because they "had ants under their skin" and such. You go back to a few months ago, and though not LSD, but a different hallucinogen, mushrooms I think, a 17 year old kid stabbed one of his friends 8 or 9 times in the chest, killing him, and attacking the 3 others while on a camping trip. Things going horribly wrong while on hallucinogens isn't exactly rare, and as such should really only be used while under supervision. They are in fact so common, that they have an official slang term, "bad trip".

Beyond the bad trips, there's also the issue that the military experimented with using LSD as a mind control agent back in the 50s. This was abandoned however due to the unpredictable nature where you could get people to do things they normally wouldn't, but you didn't have fine control over it. This was demonstrated quite famously be a man named Charles Manson, who used it to brain wash his "children", sent them to go murder somebody at a house, can't remember if they went to the wrong house or if the person wasn't there/had sold the house, but anyway, they just went and killed whoever happened to be there at the time.

It's not exactly a harmless substance, and the dangers are quite will documented. If you choose to ignore them, well, that's your own prerogative, but don't claim it's harmless or even on the same plane as alcohol.

Re:Is this even news? (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46417697)

It's just a ploy from the anti-drug people.

After the trial, they can say: We tried LSD on 40 people and they all died.

No shit captian obvious (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46415917)

This has been a long known fact, shortly after the study, or experiments were done this was being discussed among the medical community, and among the Public. I guess the newer generation will rediscover these studies but this isn't anything remotely "new" or ground breaking!

The fed killed drug research for decades. (5, Interesting)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | about 6 months ago | (#46416509)

This has been a long known fact,

Some of this was known back in the '60s and '70s. But the federal government decided to suppress it. In particular: Any drug with side-effects that were pleasant was considered a threat to the status quo of governance - a way for productive people to achieve happiness without driving industrial profit and/or part of a Communist conspiracy to rot the "Free World"'s moral fiber.

There was a period where researchers would only get new grants if the conclusions of their studies stated that the drugs - psychedelics, marijhuana, etc. - were useless for medical purposes and/or dangerous. (The papers in Science, for instance, were often pathetically hilarious. The reduced data said one thing, while the conclusion said the opposite.)

Meanwhile the government (notably with such things as the FBI's COINTELPRO program) smeared those (formerly highly respected scientists) who had been proponents of finding uses for them (especially those who had tried to use them to augment intelligence and experimented on themselves - often with bizarre results). The most prominent of these was Timothy Leary, though there were a number of others.

Somewher in there the drugs were added to various "schedules" and banned from medical use.

After a couple years of this, with any actual benefits buried in the noise, the government declared that it was "settled science" that there were no useful treatments using these drugs and stopped issuing new permits for their use in new research projects. (It's very much like research into global warming: You can't convince people on either side because the research is suspect due to the government becoming involved and pushing its horse in the race.)

Then the government declared acts related to banned-drug trafficing, possession, and use to be "serious" crimes and imposed passed mandatory minimum sentences - recreating the scenario of alcohol prohibition, funding organized crime, filling up the prisons, and lining corrupt police personell's pockets with graft money. Then it passed RICO and created the same financial incentive structure that fueled the Spanish Inquisition - driving ever-increasing anti-drug activity and blocking attempts to repeal drug bans.

And that's where it stood for decades. Negligible work on uses for the chemicals - either by organized research or private self-medication (with drugs of uncertain content and quality).

So while Moore's Law drove the computes from giant cabnets filling floors of office buildings to chips in everything under the sun, work on a nimber of categories of drugs stagnated.

The canabinoids of Marijuana, alone, have a number of apparent (but not adequately researhed) benefits:

  - They appear to be a specific treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (which, itself, seems to be a result of undermeidcation for pain - also driven by the "drug war").
  - Canabinoids (including at least one which does not produce a substantial "high") also appear to be a successful treatment for a debilitating form of childhood epilepsy.
  - Parkinson's disease eventually kills, not directly through loss of dopamine, but by the body's attempt to compensate for it by fouling up a system that uses the recently discovered endocanabinoids as neurotransmitters. (These are the chemicals that THC and its relatives mimic, much as opioids mimic endorphins.) This ends up with loss of memory and loss of appetite, and the victim starves herself to death. Canabinoids may help alleviate this and/or prolong life, (if only by reducing the tendency to self-starvation by inducing "the munchies").
  - Canabinoids have been claimed to arrest the progress of several cancers, including a brain cancer.d
  - Canabinoids have long been used for reducing the nausea of chemotherapy, easing self-starvation in cancer patients. (Similarly with side-effects of anti-AIDS drug coctails.)

I could go on.

But "more research is needed" to determine which (if any) of these effects are real, turn them into practical treatments, and deploy them. And it's not going to happen smoothly and rapidly with the government continuing to interfere.

Re:The fed killed drug research for decades. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46417461)

I find some of your assertions very intriguing. The government intervention and Science papers especially. Could you give me a starting point, from where I could follow it up? Thanks. George

Re:The fed killed drug research for decades. (-1)

eulernet (1132389) | about 6 months ago | (#46417689)

Wow, you omit all the drawbacks of using drugs, like schizophrenia, beliefs of conspiracy, fascination about death (leading to suicide), divided attention (leading to accidents), etc...

Sure, there are some benefits using marijuana, but if it's useful only for a few terminally ill people and dangerous for most normal people, I understand why it's regulated.
Personally, I believe that the benefits you list can be achieved with relaxation, which will not create an addiction.

This sentence:
>But the federal government decided to suppress it
makes me wonder if you have the symptoms of "belief of conspiracy".

Re:The fed killed drug research for decades. (2)

gIobaljustin (3526197) | about 6 months ago | (#46417735)

Sure, there are some benefits using marijuana, but if it's useful only for a few terminally ill people and dangerous for most normal people

Far less so than alcohol.

I understand why it's regulated.

Regulated? In most places, it's outright illegal.

But hey, isn't the US supposed to be the land of the free and the home of the brave? If so, then why are people so readily willing to trade freedom for security? We let the government molest us at airports (TSA), spy on our communications en masse (NSA), harass us by making sure we're innocent and not driving drunk (DUI checkpoints), violate our rights at the borders (unfettered border searches), send off protestors to free speech zones, declare portions (huge portions) of the country as constitution-free zones, prevent people from harming themselves by consuming drugs, and generally violate the constitution in many ways. How can we be called free or brave if we let such things happen? If we're so brave, we wouldn't be trading freedom for security, and you're a freedom-hating coward for suggesting that it's okay for marijuana to be illegal.

makes me wonder if you have the symptoms of "belief of conspiracy".

Makes me wonder if you ignore history in favor of your pro-government nonsense. Isn't it about time for you to be molested by your precious government thugs at the nearest airport?

Re:The fed killed drug research for decades. (1)

eulernet (1132389) | about 6 months ago | (#46417939)

Sure, there are some benefits using marijuana, but if it's useful only for a few terminally ill people and dangerous for most normal people

Far less so than alcohol.

I'm not so sure. They are both bad. They are also not comparable.
For example, I'm sure that guns are more dangerous than alcohol, so I can always find something more harmful.

Regulated? In most places, it's outright illegal.
But hey, isn't the US supposed to be the land of the free and the home of the brave?

I'm not from US, but why do you use the "I want to be free" argument to allow anybody do everything what they want ?
I understand that you believe that your government goes against you (and I don't disagree with the fact that stupid laws waste lots of money), but you have to realize that not everybody is a balanced adult.
People tend to do stupid things with their body, and laws are here to reduce the various means to harm oneself.
Of course, regulating everything is stupid, but I guess we are now in a time where people believe that if it's not in the law, then it's legal.

Makes me wonder if you ignore history in favor of your pro-government nonsense. Isn't it about time for you to be molested by your precious government thugs at the nearest airport?

Nope, I'm from France, and I don't understand why you are so US-centric.
It's science, not politics !

uh (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46415921)

Well, yeah, they're high. Duh

Re:uh (1)

El Puerco Loco (31491) | about 6 months ago | (#46416395)

no, they're not high, they're on drugs. huge difference.

hallucinogens (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46416517)

Aside from the fact that "get high" can refer to drugs besides marijuana, marijuana itself is technically classified as a mild hallucinogen. I've never understood this classification because :
(a) marijuana makes you lethargic while most hallucinogens make you more energetic,
(b) marijuana can cause visual effects but only after you've taken so much it becomes unpleasant.
(c) marijuana has a predictable effect while serious hallucinogens are much more susceptible to "set & setting".

Anyways, mescaline, the naturally occurring drug closest to LSD, has been used for religious purposes since before recorded history. Also, LSD is knowing for leaving a lasting impression. Ain't surprising that controlling the "set & setting" allows for serious psychological work.

Also, psychedelic mushrooms are useful for treating alcoholism in that you should not take alcohol when on mushrooms, so partying on a mushroom trip means a night out sans alcohol.

Re:hallucinogens (2)

alexborges (313924) | about 6 months ago | (#46416599)

Marijuana unpleasant due to excess?

I think you need to try again, sir.

Re:hallucinogens (1)

mooterSkooter (1132489) | about 6 months ago | (#46417051)

>> marijuana can cause visual effects but only after you've taken so much it becomes unpleasant.

Try vapourizing it. Using this method, you can keep going without any unpleasant effects. So I hear anyway...

alcahol has no effect when on lsd/shrooms (1)

cheekyboy (598084) | about 6 months ago | (#46417303)

You can drink when high, but you will not feel it, or the lsd effect nullifies it, but when the lsd wears off, then you feel drunk.
Also because of this, drinking is dangerous to your body, and system in high amounts, yet LSD is safer at the cellular level.

Re:uh (3, Interesting)

hajile (2457040) | about 6 months ago | (#46416601)

A medicinal dosage of LSD is an order of magnitude lower than the quantity needed for most individuals to experience hallucinogenic side effects making it far safer than THC or opiates. In addition, it deals with medical conditions such as chronic joint pain or cluster headaches which aren't very treatable otherwise (and once again, it allows the person to remain cogent). The US government stopping clinical trials half-way through in the drug craze (trials that were already showing amazing potential) was criminal.

Welp, that's the end of that (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46415931)

The bible thumpers who think we should all face death kicking and screaming and in maximum pain will put an end to this research forthwith.

Re: Welp, that's the end of that (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46415941)

Wait! I thump bible and advocate LSD.

bad trip to the power of infinity? (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46415933)

I can't image a worse trip than knowing your going do die and experiencing those thoughts while under the influence of LSD. For those that have never taken this drug, beyond the entertaining light, sounds and altered twisted reality and all, it can also puts your mind on a train of thought such that you can not break out of it unless someone is monitoring you, picks up on that and says, "dude, snap out of it." Somehow death and and LSD are a bad idea.

Re:bad trip to the power of infinity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46415991)

Someone is monitoring them, so your layperson concerns would be allayed by RTFA.

Re:bad trip to the power of infinity? (2)

Lisias (447563) | about 6 months ago | (#46415997)

it can also puts your mind on a train of thought such that you can not break out of it unless someone is monitoring you, picks up on that and says, "dude, snap out of it." Somehow death and and LSD are a bad idea.

Being that, perhaps, the reason the thing works with terminal patients.

I had read that traumas can be overcome by carefully reviving it - slowly and shortly at first, and then slowly increasing the exposure until the anxiety drops to a manageable level, when then the patient can face the trauma and put it behind.

Perhaps that exact "train of thought" manages to do something like that.

Re:bad trip to the power of infinity? (3, Interesting)

afgam28 (48611) | about 6 months ago | (#46416007)

According to the article, the trial was for "LSD-assisted psychotherapy", so it was a combination between an acid trip and a session with a therapist. There was someone monitoring them, and they probably did have to get patients to "snap out of it" once in a while.

Re:bad trip to the power of infinity? (1)

MicroBitz (3547873) | about 6 months ago | (#46416513)

No the patient would be quite focused. LSD used with a "good" physiologist or better a psychiatrist because they went to med school. LSD is a very useful drug for therapists. It really has the potential of changing the landscape like a MRI or microscope for doctors of the body, but here we have a real tool for therapists. It has been past over too long, because of public and political ignorance. A expert can cut 10y of therapy to less than 1.

Re: bad trip to the power of infinity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46416627)

Surely at that time the best person would be a good friend.

Re:bad trip to the power of infinity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46416923)

Any source for this?

Re:bad trip to the power of infinity? (5, Interesting)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 6 months ago | (#46416025)

I can't image a worse trip than knowing your going do die and experiencing those thoughts while under the influence of LSD. For those that have never taken this drug, beyond the entertaining light, sounds and altered twisted reality and all, it can also puts your mind on a train of thought such that you can not break out of it unless someone is monitoring you, picks up on that and says, "dude, snap out of it." Somehow death and and LSD are a bad idea.

I was thinking the same thing. It's been several decades since I've dropped acid. But this could go one of two ways. I've had very few bad "trips" but I can't imagine how bad it could be if you know you are dying. And i hope they give them some valium when they come down. There's nothing worse than that strung out feeling afterwards. It's best if you can sleep through that. On the other hand, most things are pretty funny when you're tripping.

I remember when I was a teenager doing LSD and I saw the grim reaper appear. After I got over my initial shock I pointed at him and laughed. Eventually he went away but took my walls and ceiling with him. My only thought at the time was that my dad was going to be really pissed when he sees this.

Re:bad trip to the power of infinity? (5, Funny)

fustakrakich (1673220) | about 6 months ago | (#46416093)

Eventually he went away but took my walls and ceiling with him.

You mean he stole your tent?

Re:bad trip to the power of infinity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46416379)

personally i've found acid/lsd to be a much more controllable trip by the user/tripper than a shroom/mushroom trip. you can control where acid takes you mentally; you can't as much with cowshit shrooms. don't know why; ask a chemist.

acid trips can be very pleasant - as long as taken near nature, say a nice house with all indoor feelgoods while outside nearby is always the welcome, warming scent and feels of nature. preferably spring/summer; a nice warm fall is also great, but can mentally remind one of death too fiercely.

talk and whistle with the birds; you will know how to live and die fully and peacefully.

prescription only, but they pay -you- to take it. to be a more self-and-selfless citizen.

paraphrasing bill hicks: "ain't it stupid that the kinds of drugs that let you -see through- all their bullshit are all illegal?"

Re:bad trip to the power of infinity? (2)

subreality (157447) | about 6 months ago | (#46416783)

I've had very few bad "trips" but I can't imagine how bad it could be if you know you are dying.

Knowing you're dying can be a bad trip, no drugs required. Someone who's looped their fear until their soul is crushed isn't in much danger - they've already hit bottom.

Knowing you're going to die is a terrible burden, but it presents you the opportunity to choose the last memories your friends and family will have of you. They can remember you living your last weeks in fear and dying terrified, or you spending some time recalling the good times, and perhaps forgiving some of the bad ones. That's all the control you have left of your legacy, and you don't have much time to take advantage of it.

LSD, especially low* doses with someone to help guide can sometimes give people a new perspective. If they can relax their fixation on the fact that their time is up they may see the bigger picture - that we're all mortal, that life is a cycle, and that this is just a part of it. It may give you the opportunity to make your peace with the world. And if not, you're dead anyway. So why not?

* There's adequate margin between free-association, preconception-questioning levels and moon-howling-naked.

Re:bad trip to the power of infinity? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46417145)

I have found more difficult trips to be the most rewarding in retrospect. Sitting through a difficult trip can actually cause a psychological/spiritual "breakthrough", i.e. lasting feelings of increased well-being for a very long period of time (often for the rest of one's life).

I hate the term "bad trip", because it fixates the nature of the trip into something that it isn't: a state of mind that one has to get rid of. Simply facing the uncomfortable feelings can reduce suffering a lot and create breakthroughs, which I think happened in this research. This is a non-trivial thing to do in a society that learned us to suppress and hide negative feelings, so good guidance is essential: It is, in fact, more important than the drug. I am 100% confident that they could do this study all over again with psilocybin, DMT or even MDMA and produce the same results.

Re:bad trip to the power of infinity? (1)

JustOK (667959) | about 6 months ago | (#46417373)

The Grim Reaper WAS your FATHER

Re:bad trip to the power of infinity? (1)

qpqp (1969898) | about 6 months ago | (#46416119)

You nuts? You always know that you're going to die, sometimes you forget about that or successfully repress these thoughts.

altered twisted reality

You mean, actual *literal* reality.

it can also puts your mind on a train of thought such that you can not break out of it unless someone is monitoring you[...]

That's why you're supposed to *always* have enough weed on you to calm down when tripping. Especially if you're alone.

Re:bad trip to the power of infinity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46417185)

Meh, if that's your idea of a bad trip, you're a pussy. I think the situation in TFA can't end in a bad trip. Those usually involve broken bones, handcuffs, and coming down on the drunk tank floor or in the emergency room getting injected with tranquilizers.

You want to reduce my anxiety? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46415945)

Let's work on life extension and anti-aging technology which would mean we understand life processes much better than we do now.

Re:You want to reduce my anxiety? (4, Insightful)

Immerman (2627577) | about 6 months ago | (#46416215)

You're going to die no matter what, there's absolutely nothing anyone can do to change that, all medical science can hope to do is delay it a bit. Coming to accept that knowledge rather than letting it eat away at your peace of mind is an important part of the dying process - the sooner you do it the freer the rest of you life will be, whether that be day or decades. It's an incredibly liberating, humbling, and inspiring thing to truly accept that everything you think of as yourself will come to an end, and the only trace left in this world will be the ripples you leave in other people's lives.

YJOU FAIL IT.. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46415975)

'Yes' t0 any Was at the same

Article not quite right (4, Funny)

swb (14022) | about 6 months ago | (#46415979)

I'd say it was more like the first test in 24 years, I remember it being tested extensively in college.

I do remember there was often a sense of finding a higher meaning or truth, but come morning we could never remember what it was. It was maddening. So one time I borrowed a pocket dictation machine during our, uh, testing, and we thought we'd record this great insight we had.

Even though we finally went to bed with the idea that we had, at last, captured this great truth for posterity, when we listened to the tape the next day we were disappointed to find out that all we had recorded were the semi-coherent ramblings of some guys on LSD,

Re:Article not quite right (5, Funny)

Bite The Pillow (3087109) | about 6 months ago | (#46416117)

What's after the comma? Oh please, there's a comma. There has to be something after the comma. What's after the comma? For fucks sake, what's after the comma?

Re:Article not quite right (3, Funny)

symbolset (646467) | about 6 months ago | (#46416185)

Dude, that is the part of the story you are supposed to fill with your imagination.

Re:Article not quite right (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 6 months ago | (#46416271)

If higher truths could be coherently expressed in language, religions would be out of business. Better philosophers than you have been trying for thousands of years, and yet pretty much every canonical text on the subject begins with some variation on the sentiment "The Tao which can be spoken of is not the eternal Tao". Read those writings and they too will seem like semi-coherent ramblings, unless and until you already know (*not* understand) the truths being discussed.

Heck - for that matter try to accurately describe the flavor of an orange to somebody who has never tasted a citrus fruit. Language is only useful for communicating between individuals with similar frames of reference, and if you lose the intuitive knowledge of a fundamental truth when you sober up, then all the words in the world can't possibly convey it.

Re:Article not quite right (5, Interesting)

Kingofearth (845396) | about 6 months ago | (#46416285)

People always make jokes like this about LSD, and granted a lot of "revelations" and "brilliant ideas" turn out to just be drug-induced delusions, but you really can learn a lot about yourself and other things from LSD. A lot of the things you learn are deeply personal and wouldn't be meaningful to anyone else. Some are things you already "knew", but get integrated better from the experience. And a lot of people have profound spiritual experiences, which, truth aside, provide their lives with meaning.

And then there was the experiment where a couple dozen professionals who had been stuck on various problems for months were given LSD to determine it's effects on creative problem solving. (You can read about the experiment here: http://www.themorningnews.org/... [themorningnews.org] ) but here's a quote:

"But here’s the clincher. After their 5HT2A neural receptors simmered down, they remained firm: LSD absolutely had helped them solve their complex, seemingly intractable problems. And the establishment agreed. The 26 men unleashed a slew of widely embraced innovations shortly after their LSD experiences, including a mathematical theorem for NOR gate circuits, a conceptual model of a photon, a linear electron accelerator beam-steering device, a new design for the vibratory microtome, a technical improvement of the magnetic tape recorder, blueprints for a private residency and an arts-and-crafts shopping plaza, and a space probe experiment designed to measure solar properties."

Yeah, LSD is a lot of fun to use recreationaly, and it's easy to mock "the semi-coherent ramblings of some guys on LSD," but LSD has a lot of potential to offer our society if only we'd take it seriously.

Re:Article not quite right (1)

Sexton Sexton (3498131) | about 6 months ago | (#46416633)

Doing the cryptic crossword in the Sunday paper was always a breeze after LSD on a Saturday night.

Re:Article not quite right (1)

swb (14022) | about 6 months ago | (#46417821)

I think there are those moments in normal life where you gain an understanding of something and you are struck by the profound nature of whatever truth it is you discover, sort of a breakthrough moment. These moments are fleeting and not usually common occurrences.

I think part of what LSD does is to stimulate the brain in a way that makes more ideas seem like they provide a profound understanding or meaning.

I think a lot of terminally ill people probably suffer from a lot of confusion and fear because they know they are dying and it is tied to a lot of emotions like fear and anger and confusion. When they talk about these things with a therapist on LSD they probably are able to have the experience of a profound understanding and meaning about their illness and dying.

A lot of the early experimentation with LSD often involved someone who served as a "guide" -- quite often someone with a background in psychology, and I think those people often prompted a lot of discussion that enhanced this.

I know in college we used to wander around campus and really be taken in by the details of architecture on campus buildings. I can remember being in a small, man-made concrete "amphitheater" and if you stood at the focal point of its shape you would hear a kind of perfect echo. Suddenly mathematics and architecture became unified in some kind of perfect synergy that was quite profound at the time. Later, of course, it was just a kind of ugly, modernist college campus landscape feature that nobody ever used for its theater-like purpose.

Re:Article not quite right (1)

MicroBitz (3547873) | about 6 months ago | (#46416561)

Yes, that does happen. You have all kinds of (in that 12+ hour time) extremely insightful moments. However that does not mean if made to or you try, to focus the wall between your subconscious and conscious becomes fluid. Then you might see how you are making mistakes and why....

Re:Article not quite right (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46417101)

The disturbing thought is "what if reality really doesn't make any fucking sense?", "Are there things about the universe which are ungraspable?"

"The most nonsensical thing about the universe is that it appears we can make sense of it all [through mathematics]" Now we know why.

Similar Tests.. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46415983)

Were done with Psilocybin (Magic Mushrooms) on terminally ill cancer patients (http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/unique-everybody-else/201210/psilocybin-anxiety-and-depression-in-cancer) and also PTSD sufferers (http://guardianlv.com/2013/08/psychedelics-show-promise-for-ptsd-treatment/). Psychedelics are beautiful substances which when used correctly can give the user a profound, new outlook on life and put personal matters into better perspective. There's no doubt these drugs are exceptional in acting as what I would describe as the psychological equivalent to a disk de-fragmentation on a computer; nothing is necessarily gained or lost, just arranged and sorted back into the order which is most conducive to the operation of the hardware (or human body, in this case).

Re:Similar Tests.. (4, Interesting)

Kingofearth (845396) | about 6 months ago | (#46416299)

And there was the study done by John Hopkins Medical School which looked at the effects of psilocybin on healthy adults.

Fourteen months after participating in the study, 94% of those who received the drug said the experiment was one of the top five most meaningful experiences of their lives; 39% said it was the single most meaningful experience.

Critically, however, the participants themselves were not the only ones who saw the benefit from the insights they gained: their friends, family member and colleagues also reported that the psilocybin experience had made the participants calmer, happier and kinder.

You can read more about it here: http://healthland.time.com/201... [time.com]

Re:Similar Tests.. (1)

invictusvoyd (3546069) | about 6 months ago | (#46416531)

Does it re order associative memory ? That sounds profound . Do you have anything to back this up?

LSD helps you with everything. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46415987)

Wish it was a standard ingredient in my morning wheaties.

Ok, and? (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about 6 months ago | (#46415989)

People use all kinds of substances to reduce anxiety when they are aware of their upcoming deaths. Alcohol is a popular one. Cigarettes (countless stories of mortally wounded soldiers asking for a cigarette). I'm sure marijuana would work equally as well. It's not really that much of a shocker: mind altering substances (of any potency) make facing death easier.

One drug != Another (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46416039)

Saying LSD is like marijuana is like saying Alcohol is like Caffeine.

Re:One drug != Another (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | about 6 months ago | (#46416073)

Where did I say LSD was like marijuana? I am simply stating that there is a long history of using substances that alter how people think and perceive the world before they face death, either as rituals or even simply "calming the nerves". That LSD would have this effect really comes as no surprise.

Re:One drug != Another (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46416177)

"mind altering substances (of any potency) make facing death easier."

With that sweeping generalization right there, I'd suppose.

Re:One drug != Another (1)

ttucker (2884057) | about 6 months ago | (#46416701)

Where did I say LSD was like marijuana?

Actually reading the post rarely has anything to do with trolling. It is more exciting to blurt out the first negative thing that comes to mind. Ignore the idiot, and feel better about life :)

Re:One drug != Another (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46416581)

yep. LSD alcohol and caffene are nothing like weeed

Re:Ok, and? (1)

Immerman (2627577) | about 6 months ago | (#46416327)

The difference is that alcohol very rarely solves the problem, it only masks it. Sober up and all your anxiety is still there. Psychedelics on the other hand can profoundly and permanently alter your perspective on the world and yourself. LSD in particular is known to be a powerful promoter of neuro-restructuring, in some extreme cases permanently altering things even as seemingly fundamental as the way people's brain processes visual information, so that far more of the brain responds directly to visual stimulation.

There was some very interesting research done back before it was banned - including at least one chronic alcoholic who, over the course of a day or two of psychotherapy while under the influence, managed to kick his habit completely for at least several decades. Completely lost the urge to drink almost literally overnight.

Jerry Garcia, prophet (1)

mevets (322601) | about 6 months ago | (#46415993)

The Grateful Dead takes on a deeper meaning.

Hello Home Clinics! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46416001)

Home Clinics [youtube.com] !

Huxley had his wife intravenously administer a high dose of LSD shortly before he passed away.

And they call that science (0)

Stumbles (602007) | about 6 months ago | (#46416019)

A feeble brained person could have told you without taking a mind altering drug like LSD.

Sample size of 12? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46416033)

A sample size of 12 is ridiculously small. It is shocking that scientific journals still publish such dubious empirical results.

On a side note, Chicago economist Emily Oster dissects a number of medicinal studies for their use of statistics and finds many flaws. She points out that medicinal schools concentrate strongly on the mechanics of being a doctor as opposed to focusing on decision theory and statistics.

Re:Sample size of 12? (2)

Nutria (679911) | about 6 months ago | (#46416053)

A sample size of 12 is ridiculously small.

With controversial topics, you have to start somewhere, and that place is always small.

Then you maybe go on to the bigger studies.

Yep (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46416041)

For me, my first trip, I thought I was gonna die.

Am I the only one *not* worried/panicking... (1)

Nutria (679911) | about 6 months ago | (#46416081)

about my death?

As long as I can remember (that includes Captain Kangaroo and the Watergate Hearings), I've known I'm going to die, and it's never worried me that much.

No, I don't want to die, but it's gonna happen whether I want it to or not, so no use getting my tits in a twist about something I can't prevent.

Re:Am I the only one *not* worried/panicking... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46416167)

The difference is you don't know when it will happen.
If I told you you had a week to live you might feel differently.

Re:Am I the only one *not* worried/panicking... (1)

The Grim Reefer (1162755) | about 6 months ago | (#46416323)

The difference is you don't know when it will happen.

Sure I do. It'll happen later

Re:Am I the only one *not* worried/panicking... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46416217)

I don't think it is worry in the sense you are using it. Knowing you are about to die is likely a pretty traumatizing realization. The drugs help them process that realization differently and cope with the trauma before passing.

Obviously after you are dead, what you felt prior to dying doesn't matter at all. As a species capable of sympathy we generally like to hope people pass as peacefully as possible.

All of that said, back to what i think was your original sentiment. I'm perfectly healthy (as far as i know) 30yrs old. I don't constantly "worry" about death - but occasionally i'll find myself really thinking about the fact that someday i'll be gone, and the world will keep spinning until one day it is consumed by the sun. After death is just like before birth... lots of shit happened outside the context of my existence, and the time-frame is meaningless. Like when you wake up from surgery and it feels like an instant - you die and the earth is just going to evaporate and it will be like nothing was ever here. It gets deep man, and i start to feel *something* as a result, but i don't know that it is "worry" per-say. Probably fear of the unknown, mixed with jealousy for those who get to experience a future i never will, mixed with disappointment at all the answers i'll never get to some of the questions that really fascinate me. There are some other emotions too. I don't live like that though. I don't think i'm unique in this respect.

Re:Am I the only one *not* worried/panicking... (1)

Kingofearth (845396) | about 6 months ago | (#46416319)

Probably fear of the unknown, mixed with jealousy for those who get to experience a future i never will, mixed with disappointment at all the answers i'll never get to some of the questions that really fascinate me. There are some other emotions too. I don't live like that though. I don't think i'm unique in this respect.

You're definitely not alone. That sums up my view perfectly

Re:Am I the only one *not* worried/panicking... (2)

Nyder (754090) | about 6 months ago | (#46416305)

about my death?

As long as I can remember (that includes Captain Kangaroo and the Watergate Hearings), I've known I'm going to die, and it's never worried me that much.

No, I don't want to die, but it's gonna happen whether I want it to or not, so no use getting my tits in a twist about something I can't prevent.

I have never been worried about dying. Honestly, I thought most people were mostly scared to die because of religious reasons.

While I'm not suicidal, I am looking forward to seeing what happens after I die.

I'm guessing either nothing happens, and I don't exist anymore, that I wake up hooked up to some simulation, or reincarnation (which doesn't mean I'm not in a simulation, I could be in a simulation that starts you over in another life.)

Either way, I have no control over it and it's going to happen, so I'm cool with it.

Re:Am I the only one *not* worried/panicking... (1)

lazy genes (741633) | about 6 months ago | (#46416589)

Whatever you do, do not go towards the light. When your subconscious looks for answers by running your whole life before your eyes and then says punt, its too late.

Re:Am I the only one *not* worried/panicking... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46416491)

about my death?

As long as I can remember (that includes Captain Kangaroo and the Watergate Hearings), I've known I'm going to die, and it's never worried me that much.

No, I don't want to die, but it's gonna happen whether I want it to or not, so no use getting my tits in a twist about something I can't prevent.

There's a difference between knowing you're going to die eventually and facing imminent death. One is abstract knowledge; the other triggers the most fundamental programming every living being has: the survival instinct.

Re:Am I the only one *not* worried/panicking... (1)

ultranova (717540) | about 6 months ago | (#46416543)

about my death?

Yes. The rest of us just dread to face a world without you.

Re:Am I the only one *not* worried/panicking... (1)

NoZart (961808) | about 6 months ago | (#46416753)

Not panicking per se, but having it loom is something that comes with age. I always was a "living the moment" guy, enjoying it to the fullest. Now i am pushing 40 and death comes to my thoughts every now and then (for the last year or so). I don't know if it's "just the mid life crisis" or if those thoughts will stay/intensify, but it really can inhibit life a small, but measurable bit.

Re:Am I the only one *not* worried/panicking... (1)

sjames (1099) | about 6 months ago | (#46417595)

Everyone knows that and handles it about the same way.

When you hear a honk and see a speeding truck about 3 feet from you, you'll wet your pants like everyone else.

on the downside.... (1)

meglon (1001833) | about 6 months ago | (#46416269)

....showed that 12 people who agreed to take the banned hallucinogenic drug during therapy sessions felt 'significant reductions in anxiety' about their lives ending.

....but far more anxiety about all those damn flying monkeys in pink tutu's slaughtering the polka-a-dot elephants with potato guns. And who knew poodle skirts were out of style? Definitely not the elephants!

http://www.metrolyrics.com/whi... [metrolyrics.com]

Question the article doesn't answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46416389)

The question the article doesn't answer is "where did they get it?". The existence of such a study implied to me that pharmaceutical grade LSD was manufactured. Not that I'm looking to score some or anything; but it's my understanding that getting the process right is notoriously difficult. I've read stuff where people said nothing ever came close to the original Sandoz LSD.

Here's the source [lww.com] which lays out the details of the study, and it's not too difficult to read. The source is in there too. Obviously you're not going to run over to Switzerland and score some now; but it's interesting to think that this stuff is being made. I had a teacher once who said she made some in an organic chemistry class (!). I doubt she tried it though, because of the aforementioned difficulty of getting it right.

In the right enviroment with purpose... (1)

MicroBitz (3547873) | about 6 months ago | (#46416419)

Let me be blunt. I have not taken LSD in 10+ years, but I had my time... of large doses, clean as you could hope for. (half D half L isomer) LSD experiences. It forces you to look at your past and come to terms with regrets. You will be the better for it. And can be very fun and interesting if you relax. I have no desire to use it soon. I have to many painful regrets, but i am not dieing (hopefully) anytime soon.

Another sensationalized article. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46416511)

1. Drug advocates and addicts will misinterpret this to justify recreational use of drugs, even though we are talking about terminally ill patients taking LSD with the assistance of trained professionals.

2. No shit, getting high or drunk numbs anxiety. Look at how many miserable people are dependent on booze and drugs to make their lives bearable. That's not science.

According to more recent research (1)

Air-conditioned cowh (552882) | about 6 months ago | (#46416545)

According to this [youtu.be] scientific paper. Acid blows holes in your aura, man, ain't nothing but a quick buzz and they won't take no LSD.

Wasn't LSD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46416553)

I remember an article about LSD being used in the 1950s as a psychotropic therapy to instantly alter behaviour. Just think how much has been wasted on hypnotherapy, counseling and self-help books since then.

Enlightenment (1)

jones_supa (887896) | about 6 months ago | (#46416609)

Some people describe their first LSD trip being a truly enlightening experience which allowed them to see life and the world in a completely new perspective. Can you explain this more specifically?

Re:Enlightenment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46416651)

Yes. From their point of view it is. From a non-user's point of view it isn't. Most of the user's I've encountered have actually been fairly boring people. Pot does this to a lesser degree. Habitual users are what I like to call "moon beamy". They think it means something. I just see them as prone to believe a lot of things. So yes, there is a connection between drugs and religion. It makes them believe a lot of shit. That's why potheads often truck with the Tarot, psychic, etc. crowd. No thanks.

Re:Enlightenment (2)

El Puerco Loco (31491) | about 6 months ago | (#46416675)

I suppose one could try to explain, but a tiny square of blotter paper is worth about a billion words.

Re: Enlightenment (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46417387)

MDMA is pure enlightenment through and through. Give it a whirl

Aldus Huxley (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46416647)

Was a poineer.

i'm a scientester (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46416663)

Interesting, I was just testing this a few months ago. LSD is strong, and I can only imagine what these people thought of death or "god" after tripping.

somewhat Timid (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 6 months ago | (#46416691)

I'm a bit Leary of this kind of research.

Better Dope (1)

Jim Sadler (3430529) | about 6 months ago | (#46416795)

If we supplied the terminal patients with plenty of opium and a pipe they would probably be far happier than at any time in their lives. Pain would not be an issue and fear would be at zero. Sadly our society just can't stand the idea that a pain killer as effective as opium just might mean that a terminal patient might only live 28 days whereas without opium that might get to suffer a few more days. Maybe a nice dose of LSD and a good pipe full of opium would be even better. Instead of going out with a whimper why not go out grinning and giggling and really happy about the experience?

Re:Better Dope (1)

mooterSkooter (1132489) | about 6 months ago | (#46417479)

Absolutely. I intend to be fuzzed-up to the eyeballs on (currently) illegal drugs when my life draws to a close. I will never try any of the 'dangerous' drugs before that time though.

Therapy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 6 months ago | (#46417253)

It's nice to see this being discussed. I've only done LSD once but would seriously recommend trying it before you die. I know drugs and users are often found upon but its seriously one of my top life experiences. If you have the right setting with the right people, it's an unparalleled experience.

Besides coping with death it would probably be a great substance for couples therapy. You communicate on an emotional level with people and your self that you may never experience with out it. The laws are really unfortunate. Incredibly harsh. Restricting this to therapy would do a lot of good for a lot of people.

me to (1)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about 6 months ago | (#46417933)

I can confirm that after the last time I took LSD I was DEFINITELY prepared for death. Hence why that was 20 years ago.

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