It was the drug of choice on university campuses, the drug that spawned psychedelic culture as well as countless jail sentences and fines, but LSD actually has respectable roots—roots that a McMaster University researcher is uncovering.
"Far from being fringe medical research, trials of LSD were once a legitimate branch of psychiatric research," explains Erika Dyck, a doctoral researcher in the Department of History at McMaster. "LSD produced a "model psychosis," meaning people who took the drug exhibited symptoms of illnesses such as schizophrenia. Doctors used this as a new method for studying mental illness."
In a recent issue of the Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, Dyck traces the history of LSD—and its eventual withdrawal from medical research. LSD, or d-lysergic acid diethylamide, first appeared in scientific literature in 1943. For nearly a decade, it gave psychiatrists insight into the experi-ences of schizophrenic patients and showed potential as a cure for alcoholism.
Julia Thomson | EurekAlert!
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