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LSD absolutely had helped them solve their complex, seemingly intractable problems
July 30, 2012 3:31 PM   Subscribe

"The Heretic: For decades, the U.S. government banned medical studies of the effects of LSD. But for one longtime, elite researcher, the promise of mind-blowing revelations was just too tempting."

Some previous posts about LSD:
How Psychedelic Drugs Can Help Patients Face Death
LSD researcher Gary Fisher passes on.
Opium of the People?
A Trip Down Memory Lane
Everyone's On LSD!
posted by andoatnp (113 comments total) 76 users marked this as a favorite

 
I have never been drunk, never smoked pot or used any other illegal drug, and after reading this and similar articles I am dying to try LSD. Micro dosing sounds wonderful.
posted by Alexander Hatchell at 3:44 PM on July 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


Here we go again with the acid...
posted by Windopaene at 3:48 PM on July 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


Eponysterical!
posted by PeterMcDermott at 3:50 PM on July 30, 2012 [8 favorites]


Eponysterical!

How so?
posted by andoatnp at 3:52 PM on July 30, 2012


I feel like I read somewhere, not too long ago, that based on a dramatic decline in emergency room visits by acid users, the authorities have concluded that acid use is basically nonexistent in the US. Am I imagining this? Are there any good stats on LSD use these days?

On preview: PeterMcDermott beat me to it.

Andaotnp:

About the same time as blotter paper LSD came "Windowpane" (AKA "Clearlight"), which contained LSD inside a thin gelatin square a quarter of an inch across.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 3:53 PM on July 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Not you, andoatnp...Windopaene, who said "Here we go again with the acid..."

("Windowpane" was a type of acid.)
posted by infinitywaltz at 3:57 PM on July 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


I feel like I read somewhere, not too long ago, that based on a dramatic decline in emergency room visits by acid users, the authorities have concluded that acid use is basically nonexistent in the US. Am I imagining this? Are there any good stats on LSD use these days?

Here's the best I can find.

The National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NHSDA) in 2010 estimated that the percentage of the population aged 18 to 25 who had ever used LSD (the lifetime prevalence rate) was 6.4 percent, down from 15.9 percent in 2002. In 2010, the number for past-year initiates of LSD among the population 12 years and older was 377,000, similar to the number in 2009 (337,000), but higher than the estimates from 2003 to 2007 (ranging from 200,000 to 270,000). Past year and past month use of LSD was 0.6 percent and 0.2 percent, respectively, for youth in 2010, similar to rates in 2009.1

Since 1975, Monitoring the Future Study (MTF) researchers have annually surveyed almost 17,000 high school seniors nationwide to determine trends in drug use and to measure attitudes and beliefs about drug abuse. In the class of 2010, 2.4 percent of seniors had reported using LSD at least once in their lives. In 2002, 3.8 percent of seniors had experimented with LSD at least once in their lifetimes, according to MTF.2


Source.

I seem to recall in 2000 or so there was a big bust that took down the guys who supplied something like 90% of the acid in the US, but can't remember enough to Google it.

LSD is one drug I'd really like to experience before I die, but finding a connect and tripsitter seems rough now that I'm out of my misspent youth.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 4:08 PM on July 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Living is easy with eyes closed, misunderstanding all you see. It's getting hard to be someone, but it all works out. It doesn't mater much to me.
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 4:14 PM on July 30, 2012 [6 favorites]


I seem to recall in 2000 or so there was a big bust that took down the guys who supplied something like 90% of the acid in the US, but can't remember enough to Google it.

Yep. The story was that they'd been operating out of an abandoned missile silo somewhere in the Midwest, which seemed entirely plausible when I was a high schooler who read way too much Robert Anton Wilson. Apparently the truth is a bit less interesting.
posted by nebulawindphone at 4:14 PM on July 30, 2012


I experienced it. It is like Russian roulette with your brain cells. I wouldn't call it safe, to put it mildly.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:15 PM on July 30, 2012


My experiences run completely counter to SAotB.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:17 PM on July 30, 2012 [24 favorites]


....but finding a connect and tripsitter seems rough now that I'm out of my misspent youth.

This could be the best MeFi Meetup ever.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:18 PM on July 30, 2012 [26 favorites]


Except there's no bullet.
posted by Burhanistan at 4:19 PM on July 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


Taking LSD was a profound experience, one of the most important things in my life. LSD shows you that there’s another side to the coin, and you can’t remember it when it wears off, but you know it.
- Steve Jobs
qft
posted by mullingitover at 4:20 PM on July 30, 2012 [7 favorites]


Antique anecdotal "statistics": In the fall of 1967, only a dozen of my 500 suburban high school classmates had tried marijuana; half of those had tried LSD.

When we graduated, even the jocks had tried mushrooms. I'd guess 75% of the class had tried ganja, and 33% had tried psychedelics. Quite a paradigm shift that was, at the height of the Vietnam War, the Black Power movement, and slightly before the peaks of the feminist and queer movements.
posted by kozad at 4:21 PM on July 30, 2012


I think maybe "physically safe" is a fairer way to put it. There are definitely emotional risks, and I say that as someone who's taken it and liked it. Still, compared to other "hard drugs," it's pretty damn cuddly.

The worst case scenario is you spend a dozen hours completely terrified and miserable and then you feel gross and sleep-deprived and it takes a while to get your equilibrium back. Which, you know, I wouldn't wish on anyone, and I wouldn't do to myself on purpose, but it's not permanent harm.
posted by nebulawindphone at 4:21 PM on July 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


I experienced it. It is like Russian roulette with your brain cells. I wouldn't call it safe, to put it mildly.


You'd be wrong about that. It was kind of the drug of choice of my high school friends, and the dozen+ of us tended to use it liberally. It was cheap, it lasted a long time, it held the promise of enlightenment and contentment if you really wanted to go on a vision quest, but if you just wanted to giggle and listen to music, it worked for that too. 12-odd years later, you can count among our clique a couple of college professors, business owners, professional writers and one musician with a couple gold records, but no drug casualties.
posted by to sir with millipedes at 4:24 PM on July 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


St. Alia of the Bunnies: "I experienced it. It is like Russian roulette with your brain cells. I wouldn't call it safe, to put it mildly."

That's OK, Senior LSD researcher Dr. David Nichols, Distinguished Chair of Pharmacology at Purdue University would:
"There is no evidence that any of the hallucinogens, even the very powerful semisynthetic LSD, causes damage to any human body organ. [...] Hallucinogens do not cause life-threatening changes in cardiovascular, renal, or hepatic function because they have little or no affinity for the biological receptors and targets that mediate vital vegetative functions."

posted by mullingitover at 4:26 PM on July 30, 2012 [8 favorites]


Ghostride The Whip: I seem to recall in 2000 or so there was a big bust that took down the guys who supplied something like 90% of the acid in the US, but can't remember enough to Google it.
This was the Pickard lab bust, estimated to produce 90% of the LSD supply.
Alexander Hatchell: I have never been drunk, never smoked pot or used any other illegal drug, and after reading this and similar articles I am dying to try LSD. Micro dosing sounds wonderful.
Then you should try it! Silkroad is still pretty useful, but if this is your first time just get it from a friend of a friend. It's a drug that isn't hard to find once you connect with the 'good' druggies. The kind of people who deal in shrooms, LSD, DMT, etc tend to be in my experience "fellow travelers" who are happy to help you hook up with an experience. Since unlike weed or harder drugs, people don't habitually do these hallucinogens, the clientele and interactions are much safer/simpler on the local level; you aren't dealing with junkies desperate for their fix and the people that prey on them.

You don't have a reliable weed hookup, but unless you live in the town where "Footloose" was shot you're pretty okay talking discretely to friends about this; at worst they won't help you, and you'll probably know which ones will be judgmental and which won't. Anyone you know who smokes pot with any regularity can probably get you in the right direction, or get you a couple of hits fairly easily- it won't be hard to get, and will probably run you $10-20 for a 150-180mcg dose. If you live in a college town, you're golden- you can't walk 50 yards without hitting someone who has either shrooms or acid.

In my experience, if used safely (be in a good mindset- i.e., not going through a real depressed state, don't be drunk, have a sitter who will discreetly make sure you don't do anything extreme that you can also trust if you are vulnerable/raw) LSD is tremendously potent, but not "dangerous" in any sense. Heck, I've had mint-green-looking super dense pot cookies that were almost as intense as acid trips. Read up on some trip reports at erowid.org to prepare yourself with an idea of what happens and how long it lasts.

Now, you should be aware that at medium to high doses, it is very intense, and the experience lasts an uncomfortably long time (12+ hours), the last few of which you're only moderately high, are really exhausted, and are just wanting to go the fuck to sleep already, Mr. Drugs! Music will be orgasmicly intense, but at its peak you'll feel your mind turning into a Hoftstadter recursion, thinking about thinking about thinking about thinking about... etc, and your ego will dissolve, and you'll feel panic that you'll never come back and only the modern scientific knowledge that you will be okay when the drug wears off. Actually, at almost any reasonable dose it's "safe", provided you're in a safe space. It will wear off, and if in the most weird headspaces you're in you just remember that, you'll be okay. It wears off, the next day you'll be tired but okay, and after that you're pretty golden. The stories of people being changed permanently I think would only apply to ordinary folks, unknowingly dosed, who basically have no context for the bizarre experiences, and are thus traumatized by it.


However, I've also had sub-100 doses where everything was shiny and gorgeous- this is especially awesome in the daytime, music is a little more lovely, and you're just generally euphoric. You feel loose and creative and free, but you don't have the real "OMG OMG OMG who am I what am I good lord" head-assploding experience of higher doses. So if you got a blotter tab and cut it in half, you'd have yourself a lovely day for the cost of a nice cocktail, and it'd only last (IMO) ~4-5 hours really.

I also hear good things about Shulgin's 2cb, but haven't tried it yet: it's apparently the peak of acid, but condensed to a 4 hour, manageable high. It'd be harder to come by, I suspect, than more generic acid.

PM me if you have any questions, I'm always happy to help someone who's interested in peeking under the hood of their own wetware. :)
posted by hincandenza at 4:26 PM on July 30, 2012 [44 favorites]


Protip: A convenient short-cut to the acid experience, which many find quite effective, is to simply ingest a hearty wad of psilocybin mushrooms, get an hour or two in, then ask it to "Be LSD." Or MDMA, or DMT, or aya, etc. The trick tends to be surprisingly effective. It is, after all, the holistic brain-state we're interested in experiencing, not the chemical compound per se. With adequate neuroplasticity (however you achieve it) any given state can be conjured at will: Alexander Shulgin's first psychedelic experience was off a placebo injection of sugar water.
posted by Kandarp Von Bontee at 4:34 PM on July 30, 2012 [6 favorites]


posted by hincandenza at 7:26 PM on July 30 [+] [!]

Eponynite Jest?
posted by nevercalm at 4:36 PM on July 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


While I suspect the states we're referring to can eventually be conjured at will (and that the purpose of intense meditation/asceticism is to learn to do just that without any drugs), someone often has to have had some non-native experience to recall what that state is, Kandarp.

Me, I've been smoking a freakin' ton of DMT lately (DMZ to you, nevercalm :) ), and notice that my dreams are now insanely vivid, and also I start smelling that indole/perfume-y side effect of the manufacturing process at random times during the day*. I've heard that once you have had DMT, if you lucid dream smoking it- it'll invoke the full DMT experience while you're dreaming. Can't wait to give that a try the next time I lucid dream!

* Or I'm losing my mind. Eponyite Jest, indeed!
posted by hincandenza at 4:40 PM on July 30, 2012


I am dying to try LSD.

If you want to alter your time perception, you can drink a small bottle of Robitussin DM.
posted by Egg Shen at 4:46 PM on July 30, 2012


Also: Do not take LSD and watch Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

Trust me.
posted by Egg Shen at 4:47 PM on July 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


Interesting article, and one I generally agree with.

I used LSD somewhat extensively over a period of six years or so (1987 - 1993). I probably took LSD 60+ times in that span, mostly just for fun. My experiences were mainly very good, and I experienced life changing insights and profound truths that still persist all these years later, but my experience also included some bad trips that were really, really unpleasant. I eventually had to stop because I was having panic attacks in my regular, everyday life for reasons unrelated to the LSD, but this soon bled over and I began worrying so much about having panic attacks while I was tripping that I either ended up having a panic attack anyway, or spent much of the trip worrying about having a panic attack (and thus having a pretty crummy time). It was a lot of fun while it lasted, but eventually I just had to stop as I couldn't convince myself ahead of time that I could complete the trip in the right mind set, and once you've bought the ticket you have to take the ride. Still, I am forever grateful for my lysergic experiences, and while it's been almost 20 years, I'd consider doing the drug again if I knew I were a) taking something pure, and b) knew that I was taking a fairly mild dose. I always admired my friends who were psychedelic warriors, but I was just not cut from that cloth.

On a contrary note, my wife has a first cousin whose schizophrenia was likely triggered/activated/made evident (pick your phrase) by a single LSD trip. That was 25 years ago and he's still battling his schizophrenia -- mostly with success, but not always. Now, it's very likely his schizophrenia would have manifested itself anyway, but the LSD did bring things to a very unpleasant head. This, it bears repeating that not everyone's psyche is up to the challenges this drug can present them with. Consider that a data point, but one that needs to be stated here for the sake of completeness; it isn't all dancing muffins and fractal sunbeams.
posted by plowhand at 4:54 PM on July 30, 2012 [6 favorites]


Actually, Roger Rabbit doesn't sound bad at all. I'd avoid anything violent, and pizza (don't ask). Watching tanks roll across north Africa in Patton REALLY messed with me.
posted by evilDoug at 4:56 PM on July 30, 2012


If you just want to hallucinate, you can set up an environment to experience the Ganzfeld effect. I haven't done it, but it's supposed to work.
posted by Mitrovarr at 4:57 PM on July 30, 2012


While we're sharing interesting hallucination tales in this particular genre, this National Geographic story on ayahuasca is pretty interesting.
posted by Ghostride The Whip at 5:01 PM on July 30, 2012


The author of the article's web page, with his picture and a quote from Quentin Crisp!
posted by Obscure Reference at 5:03 PM on July 30, 2012


Whoops, link got lost.
posted by Obscure Reference at 5:04 PM on July 30, 2012


So everyone experiences things differently. It is a profound, profound loss of control. I just cannot call it safe for that reason alone.


(And yes...twelve hour blotter trip.)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:09 PM on July 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


Life itself is invariably fatal and yet most of us are trying it. You don't seem to be in all that bad shape from your trip.
posted by Obscure Reference at 5:10 PM on July 30, 2012


St. Alia of the Bunnies: (And yes...twelve hour blotter trip.)

These are words that I never in my wildest thought I'd see being typed by you. I need some time to digest.
posted by gman at 5:16 PM on July 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


hincandenza: someone often has to have had some non-native experience to recall what that state is, Kandarp.

That's true, as far as confirmation of comparison goes. It's very interesting to wonder about differences between the self-induced states of an acid veteran vs that of a virgin; could the imagined LSD trip be more accurate than the remembered LSD trip? If you tell me about a dream you had, and I then dream about the same thing, is my dream your dream?

See this is why we really need more science in this field, and I need more drugs.
posted by Kandarp Von Bontee at 5:24 PM on July 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


If you want to alter your time perception, you can drink a small bottle of Robitussin DM.

Hoo. Hoo boy. Different animal. I mean, yes it will alter your perception, but in my experience you're also likely to puke and then maniacally shred your clothes and sweat to techno music for several hours. I felt (and looked) like Bruce Banner after having been the Hulk.
posted by cmoj at 5:27 PM on July 30, 2012


I've taken my fair share of LSD and primarily found it to be a positive experience; very meditative, positive, and enjoyable experiences. There a couple of exceptions, like the time I got stuck tripping with a guy who wanted to do nothing but listen to Brian Eno, or the time I really could have used a hug more than a couple hits of acid.

Overall though, my experience with hallucinogens has been overwhelming positive, and I think it's a damn shame that uninformed fear mongering from the Drug War (one of history's most hard-fought and least won wars) led to these drugs ending up as Schedule I and thus retarding research into their effects. Particularly when you realize that psychedelics like LSD work on the same 5HT receptors as many antidepressants, the barriers put up between them and researchers seems arbitrary and counter-productive.

Maybe if those barriers hadn't been thrown up, we wouldn't have to deal with the New Age nonsense that Fadiman wrapped up it, and would have some real science. We also wouldn't have to deal with the patronizing ethnocentrism of journalists trying to shoehorn hunter-gatherer rituals into awkward metaphors on American politics.

What I really came in here to say though, is that the thing I miss the most about having a fairly regular supply of shrooms and acid, is the cleaning. If I was ever left alone while tripping, I would inevitably start cleaning and organizing everything around me. I'm not generally a tidy person generally, but housekeeping on acid felt divine; like putting the whole universe in order piece by tiny piece. Even now, while dusting, mopping, or washing dishes, I'll still think, "this would be so much more satisfying if I were tripping balls." That sentiment probably applies to a lot of things though.
posted by Panjandrum at 5:34 PM on July 30, 2012 [7 favorites]


The seventies were a heckuva time.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:35 PM on July 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


I'd be interested in knowing how a moderate trip compares to a strong meditative state - third jhana/entering the stream level. If someone here has a basis for comparison, could a trip be used as a shortcut, or do you basically end up back at Go when it wears off?
posted by Mooski at 5:40 PM on July 30, 2012


It is a profound, profound loss of control.

You say that like it's a bad thing.

I did it a few times in my youth, circa 1976 -1980. Every time was sublime. Losing control was part of what made it so wonderful. I loved the way it seemed to open my awareness of a separate reality beyond the "normal" one. Like Jobs said, once you've seen it, you always know it's there.

OTOH, I have a sense that it varies with personality. I've never known anyone who had a "bad trip," but mine were always, I suspect, among the best possible experiences. Same thing with mushrooms.
posted by caryatid at 5:44 PM on July 30, 2012


Ghostride The Whip: I seem to recall in 2000 or so there was a big bust that took down the guys who supplied something like 90% of the acid in the US, but can't remember enough to Google it.

This was the Pickard lab bust, estimated to produce 90% of the LSD supply.


NeuroSoup is a youtube channel by a woman who was involved with the LSD chemist / informant who helped take down Pickard. She has "trip reports", and some other interesting videos

This video is her explaining where has all the acid gone.
posted by smartypantz at 5:48 PM on July 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


It is a profound, profound loss of control.

The human need for control is an sickness that is best burned off periodically, as we do with dry brush to let new foliage flourish.
posted by Greg Nog at 5:53 PM on July 30, 2012 [15 favorites]


MeFi's own asavage commented on LSD on AskMe many years back. It's stuck with me as pretty good advice ever since.
posted by absalom at 5:54 PM on July 30, 2012


You might want to avoid Van Der Graaf Generator while peaking, as things may get somewhat crazy.
posted by parki at 5:55 PM on July 30, 2012


If someone here has a basis for comparison, could a trip be used as a shortcut, or do you basically end up back at Go when it wears off?

I've only done Vipassana, which I think of as vibrating with the universe to remind me of my place in it.

LSD isn't a shortcut, IMO, which isn't a good or bad thing. It's a different journey, brought on quickly by outside forces that drop you off somewhere. Vipassana (again, this the only meditation I've experienced a deeper or wider level of consciousness) is a slower journey that gradually builds on earlier lessons/experiences to gain insight of a higher level. Or maybe, if you work at it.

LSD is a train ride to the top the mountain. You're not back at Go, but your'e now longer on the mountain, just aware that you saw something beautiful. Vipassana is the walk, where you get to observe every rock and tree, feel the breeze, sniff the air and reel the effort of working and climbing to reach a view of something you're not sure you'll see.

Neither is objectively better, they're somewhat similar, but ultimately different experiences. One isn't a shortcut to the other, it's a different path.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:57 PM on July 30, 2012 [5 favorites]


I did some saliva a couple days ago for the first time. Pretty wild and the trip reminded me a lot of SLD. First hit I saw reality break apart to show the underlying matrix of gravitational nodes and how matter sunk into the lowest parts of the matrix like a sort of fuzzy water, and I slid down in a low spot to chill. 2nd hit I was inside Game of Thrones with Arya Stark, trying to escape King's Landing. The aural & olfactory tapestry of cookpots and craftsmen and animals and clinking armor was amazing. I remember feeling my body melt into the gritty sandy walls. The 3rd, last hit and events became unable to be related with the human tongue but everyone present washed up on the other side of reality in ok shape.
posted by laconic skeuomorph at 6:14 PM on July 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


I know you mean salvia, but man, the saliva typo is awesome.
posted by nonmerci at 6:17 PM on July 30, 2012 [8 favorites]


I have been typing like crap today. Maybe it's the saliva.
posted by laconic skeuomorph at 6:27 PM on July 30, 2012


I'm actually gonna agree with St. Alia on this one. "Profound loss of control," indeed.

I did acid exactly once. It was absolutely awesome and I don't regret it for a second, but I did not have a good time. I am of the mind that if you're going to completely immerse yourself in a dreamworld, it's probably best if your body is immobile.

Just know what you're getting into, is all.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:30 PM on July 30, 2012


Me, I've been smoking a freakin' ton of DMT lately (DMZ to you, nevercalm :) ), and notice that my dreams are now insanely vivid

I get the same effect from my blood pressure medication.
posted by billyfleetwood at 6:33 PM on July 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


Interesting article, though a little heavy on the "Divine," but that's got more to do with my world view than with the drugs.

My experience with LSD has run the gamut, but the coolest has been using it in small doses as a study aid. Some years ago I was studying biology for the first time (I managed to miss most hard science in high school), and some of the concepts were pretty difficult for me. Photosynthesis, for instance, was just not sinking in. Then I took a small* dose of LSD and cracked my biology book. Like a brilliant light shining on the science and showing me the connections, it all slid into place. After that I took small doses several more times for studying or just when I wanted to put myself in an intellectually sharp space. Loved it then, would probably love it now if it fell into my lap. Micro-dosing sounds like a simply marvelous idea.

(*I guesstimated at the time that it was 20-30mcg, as compared to a usual [for me] dose of ~120mcg)
posted by Rocky Mtn Erica at 6:46 PM on July 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


> I feel like I read somewhere, not too long ago, that based on a dramatic decline in emergency room visits by acid users, the authorities have concluded that acid use is basically nonexistent in the US.

I can definitely tell you that when I attempted to find acid in the last six months, both sources I contacted had it, I tried both, and both were good.

It's truly a fantastic drug and will, quite possibly, change your life for the better. Please exercise caution, have some good friends around, and make sure you have a controlled environment for the first time.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 6:49 PM on July 30, 2012


"If you want to alter your time perception, you can drink a small bottle of Robitussin DM."

As cmoj wrote, DXM is very different than LSD. Dextromethorphan is a dissociative, like ibogaine, ketamine, salvia, nitrous oxide, and ether. As you can see from that list, dissociatives do vary quite a bit, from those that are more likely to result in hallucinations to those less likely to do so. There's a strong overlap with the hypnotics/sedatives. All are basically anaesthetics. As such, they need to be taken with care; more so if the dose response curve is steep.

Dextromethorphan in the form of a cough suppressant is dangerous because many formulations include other active ingredients. The most dangerous is acetaminophen and you can easily kill yourself if you consume as much acetaminophen as you'd get when trying to get the DXM that you desire. There are formulations available that include only dextromethorphan. The dose response curve is pretty shallow and through most of it people report not much at all, or very subtle things. Only at high doses is the trip unsubtle and at that point it may be something that is not what you really want. I mean...it's a dissociative. It sounds good to me in a way that a set of more purely sensory distortions does not. But many people, perhaps most, prefer exactly the opposite.

LSD is really very different from DXM. Or, for that matter, MDMA. Each are in different classes; both by mechanism and effect. The psychoactive drugs vary hugely.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 6:49 PM on July 30, 2012 [4 favorites]


Oh, man, it's been YEARS since I had any LSD in my life, and I'd love to have some again. For a few years, I'd do it every chance I could get, and then I mellowed out a bit and did it about 4x a year (aiming for the solar holidays) sort of as a reboot for my life. Worked wonders at chasing out the cobwebs and organizing the chaos in my brain. I'd be thrilled if I could find some again. I think my last experience was around 2000 or so.

Back when I last sat down and counted, I'd taken over 150 people on their first psychedelic experience, mostly with LSD, a bit with shrooms, and some with mescaline-bearing cactus of various sorts. LSD was always appreciated the most by the newbies I had with me. I think largely because I always plan a tentative road map for tripping -- assembling a variety of toys and creative stuff to have around, selecting in advance several possible batches of music of differing moods, having a couple of quality things picked out to put on the television if that seems to be what people want to do...

I also generally tried to take people on day trips instead of night trips. Day trips give you lots of pretty colors and the opportunity to go out wandering and such. They also don't ruin your sleep rhythms for the next day or three afterwards. Night trips are fun, but they're more about watching the shadows dance. And not everyone has friendly shadows they want to dance with.

And yeah, DXM is NOTHING like LSD. There was a very short period of time when they were selling DXM-only gelcaps in the US, and one full package of them was a solid 300mg, plenty for a good trip which, depending on your body weight, would be borderline between stage 1 and stage 2, or full-on stage 2. It's the only drug I've taken where I felt truly unable to function physically and, upon lying down and closing my eyes, ended up spending what felt like a good month in some odd other world, quite vivid in my experiences of it... turns out it was only about the length of 3 of the disks in my 6-disk changer. (Yes, this was a while back.)

MDMA is, again, something else entirely. Bold comfort and contentment in pill form, while also stripping away interpersonal fear. Great drug to take with someone you want to get close to. Bad drug to take with someone you don't want to get close to. I'd do it again tomorrow if I had some.
posted by hippybear at 7:05 PM on July 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


If you do find yourself with some LSD you should put some thought and preparation into the experience. An LSD trip is usually a long 12 hours you might be able to initiate an action like hopping in a car and driving some place but you can be easily distracted and wander away from the fact you need to give your attention to driving so 1st rule only trip under the supervision of someone who knows what is going on and is prepared to stay with you until you are capable to care for yourself. Sharing the experience with someone you love and trust is nice. Try not to trip with more than two couples avoid trips out for snacks or drinks or to hospital emergency rooms.(don't ask) A nest if throw pillows on the floor is nice. Sharing a sleeping bag out under the stars on a warm summer night is good just don.t set up on a golf course you never know when the sprinklers will turn on. Set and setting are key. Not every trip is mind bending sometimes it is about the profound joy of life. Your smile muscles will start to ache after a while you will be grinning for most of the experience. You can sometimes peek behind the curtain and watch yourself doing things this compares to the meditative state where you gain an awareness of being more than your personality. This might be an epiphany or no big deal. Try and go where the trip takes you. Remember you are under the influence of a drug and you will eventually return to a more normal state. Have fun be careful learn.
posted by pdxpogo at 7:06 PM on July 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


in a community where the drug users were very smart and took a lot of pride in how careful and safe their experiences were, following sets of rules about having people around and the like, one fellow found his way to the roof and leaped 6 stories to the ground. somehow he slipped through the cracks? I guess I'm trying to say, be even more careful, ok? For what it's worth, he survived.
posted by spbmp at 7:07 PM on July 30, 2012


So everyone experiences things differently. It is a profound, profound loss of control. I just cannot call it safe for that reason alone.

Profound loss of control? Depends on the dosage, depends on the setting, depends on the activities done, depends on your mental state beforehand, depends on a lot of things like that, namely to do with your expectations.

If you think it's just another fun thing to do at a party and drop a full/strong dose and go on expecting a alcohol-like buzz except only "more intense", then yes, your subverted expectations will make you feel a profound loss of control. If, on the other hand, you take all the above factors into account and trip smartly, there's no reason whatsoever to experience such a profound loss. And I never heard of microdoses; I thought my LSD days were behind me but I'd like to give that a try. They seem like an utterly practical way to experience LSD, and if you think they will result in a "profound, profound loss of control", then you you didn't RTFA.
posted by zardoz at 7:11 PM on July 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


spbmp you need to keep the group small so your sitter can keep up with everyone. Not sure I ever felt the urge to fly or hurt myself nor have I witnessed that type of behavior but yeah stick to the groud floor just in case.
posted by pdxpogo at 7:14 PM on July 30, 2012


avoid trips out for snacks

Yeah. This.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:45 PM on July 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


@nebulawindphone: How is that wikipedia article *less* interesting than the "story"? Or did I just get Pickrolled...
posted by uosuaq at 7:55 PM on July 30, 2012


Shopping while tripping is just an exercise in overly bright colors in harsh lighting in an environment where it is unacceptable to get lost in fascination.

Better places to go while tripping -- ren faires, and Disneyland.
posted by hippybear at 8:07 PM on July 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


There's this great big fucking dark place at whose bottom is you, who is also me. The floor smells solid beneath your hands, and craning my neck upward, everything is deeply green unto black, with a point of green light, like the one we see when I take a shower and squeeze my eyes tightly shut underwater (with little iridescent -- is that a good way to "adjective" iris; you refer to the little veins that are more radial than otherwise -- wires), as though the apex of the ceramic upturned bowl of enormous height which we just know you are under has been punctured and the puncture covered with green plexiglass of great oculomorphic strength. I am running out of air.

You hear in front of me a needle, whose base is in the ground, firmly, firmly, in the firmament, and tapered like a needle, so that the fact of its barely-huggable width testifies to the enormous height we must climb (to puncture the green green glass) if we are to breath (assuming this needle slopes upward in proportion to the tapering of a tiny tiny tiny tiny tiny tiny tiny tiny tiny one). You climb.

A Complicated Person is above, and to the left, while I'm high above the ground but nowhere near the green green porthole (and running out of air). The person is Huitzilopotchtli, with the stone teardrop and beak sewn shut with self-similar wire, like a Slinky within a Slinky's coil's constituent Slinky, et cetera. There is also a simpler person, Descartes with an A harmonica and a bad attitude, looking at you sideways and leading the witness.

I am the witness. He has a hat.

Each question tastes different, and so far each is easy, which gets you some help, from the harmonica, which is like a bridge in the tidal zone, where the water changes direction every few hours, from dominant to tonic according to the moon, which is the simpler person's dome-skull under the wig and hat, and which would resemble the ceramic giant dome if you were inside it and I was his brain, thinking the fucker into existence.

Up up up the needle. The simpler person, who is Descartes with an A harmonica, has a harder question, and I answer and you are wrong. I don't see the point. The Complicated Person, who is Huitzilopotchtli, delivers the punishment, which is a blessing, with the stone teardrop, and it is a blessing because everything has become very very light and your heart is gone and it matters less that I cannot breathe any longer because, like, what would be the point if the little capillaries, which are iridescent in the new sense of the iris-light's veins, but not in the usual sense, are still?

Now he gives it back, because you weren't that wrong, and the simpler person relented anyway, and you touch the green, green, glass. The inquisitive person outside touches my head and breaks the glass and you climb out and we sit on the rim of our skull and look at the sky, while the rusty pipes conduct orange water below us.
posted by kengraham at 8:18 PM on July 30, 2012 [10 favorites]


Personally it baffles me why anybody would leave the house when high. I'm a zealot for my very specific protocol of darkness, silence and solitude. I have no interest in the whole behaving 'like the village drunkard in some early Irish novel' mode of tripping. No sir. This is serious business.
posted by Kandarp Von Bontee at 8:26 PM on July 30, 2012 [6 favorites]


Better places to go while tripping -- ren faires, and Disneyland.

Oh, goodness yes. I've enjoyed several wonderful trips at Six Flags Land of Wheeee! A good rollercoaster ride can be a peak all by itself.
posted by Rocky Mtn Erica at 8:31 PM on July 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


I hope to soon be one of the 400,000 the article describes, and cannot wait for the experience. It turns out that Metafilter is my gateway drug - I hadn't seriously considered trying LSD until I read The Episode. Although the story is frightening, it really sparked my interest.

I even talked it over with my mother, who was in her twenties during the 60's and had once been dosed by an acquaintance (a cop who was dating a hooker - they were hanging out in the cruiser). While she warned me to be careful, she said I seemed to have done my research and she wasn't concerned that I'd have a bad time.

Maybe by the next LSD thread, I'll have an actual anecdote to contribute. My plan thus far includes many crafting supplies (paints, drawing implements, and GLITTER), while excluding mirrors. I need to make a playlist or two. On preview, why can't I live closer to Disneyland?
posted by youngergirl44 at 9:03 PM on July 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


As for location, either firmly ensconced in your own house/apartment OR out in nature: the forest, the mountains, the beach, etc...this is particularly true for those amazing, wonderful magic mushrooms. While on any kind of hallucinogen (or on weed), crowds are generally a really bad idea. Way too much potential for getting paranoid, especially if there are “peace” officers around. The only intoxicated state in which I become social enough to want to be in crowds and talk to strangers is when I'm drunk.
posted by zardoz at 9:06 PM on July 30, 2012 [2 favorites]


I think that I have a source that's reliable enough to cover the promise of delivering real LSD.

I've balked, once (without being a dick about it; it was an availability/timing thing - if you don't got already, kinda thing).

As a molecular biologist posing as a neuroscientist, I really want to try LSD, and it looks like that I can, checking things out with the source.

I don't like myself very much right now and I recently got a "bad trip" from MDMA (that was exceptionally pure, it somehow ended up with me being honest with myself and ended up with ... oddness and profound and lasting unfulfillment and loathing). I'm ok - and drugs AREN'T "bad." It's just a cautionary tale of playing around with one's own serotonin reuptake kinetics.

How "emotional" is LSD?
posted by porpoise at 9:23 PM on July 30, 2012


I have noticed that LSD is far easier to get than it was for years. I think it has something to do with the high unemployment among college educated youth. They have the expertise and many of their friends are feeling discouraged with the current social clime and are looking for something more.

Psychedelics in general are more common and there are far more choices than there were when I was younger. I hope this is a sign of some radical social change.
posted by psycho-alchemy at 9:24 PM on July 30, 2012


My plan thus far includes many crafting supplies (paints, drawing implements, and GLITTER), while excluding mirrors. I need to make a playlist or two.

I'd avoid the glitter, frankly. It gets everywhere.

I would include play-do or modeling clay or something very tactile like that.

Color change markers are amusing, as are other special effect art supplies that aren't too complicated.

One of my favorite trip toys is corn starch mixed with water. (Make it up ahead of time -- it's devilishly hard to stir even when not tripping.) It's a fascinating substance because it's more solid as long as pressure is placed on it, but as soon as you relax, it turns to liquid and runs through your fingers. GREAT tactile trip toy.

I also recommend bubbles.

As for playlists, I would suggest making several -- rock (classic from the 70s works well, Pink Floyd, prog rock, Freebird, etc), bubblegum pop from any era (focussing on the happy stuff, not the heartbreak stuff), a good techno mix (I suggest actually finding quality DJ mixes like the Junior Vasquez mixthrough albums, YMMV), and some more quiet introspective music (stuff like Enya, but also some quality 70s Jarre like Oxygene or Vangelis stuff, or downtempo chill vibe electronica, or whatever... just stuff that would work well in the background)

I also find it's great to have books like art books, big coffeetable books with beautiful color pictures or sketches. Nothing too narrative (you won't get into the story if you're tripping), but complex drawings work well... R Crumb can be fascinating, as can Where's Waldo.

Abstract non-narrative videos are great. The Mind's Eye series is excellent. As is things like Fantasia. Or even the Spike & Mike's Animation series. I prefer to have videos on DVD in a longer form so I'm not poking about on YouTube or whatnot for the next thing to watch. That can be horribly distracting or even end up being a rabbit hole.

Other things you will want to have around: orange or other citrus juice. (Vitamin C can help boost your trip.) Simple foods like grapes or bananas. You probably won't actually be hungry while you're tripping, but if you are, the more simple and less prepared the food, the more likely eating it won't turn into a turn-off for you. You might be tempted to get oranges, but if you do, peel and section them ahead of time. (Trust me on this.) Yogurt will be a mixed bag -- sometimes it's fabulous, sometimes it's horrifying.

More than anything else, realize that you're planning 12-16 hours of triptime with LSD. So make sure you have MORE THAN ENOUGH available, and never feel pressured to do any of it. Let your mood be your guide. Don't wander around aimlessly outside, although a short trip to the corner store can be amusing if you're still coming up or are well past your peak.

Some people get really into/annoyed by aromas when tripping, so having incense or scented candles in a couple of different directions (sweet vs spicy vs nature smells) might be a good idea if you find this happens to you.

Oh, and more about playlists -- nature sounds, like a rainstorm or ocean waves or whatever... those might be helpful to have around. The white noise can help with masking undesired external noise, and can paint an environment inside your space which can change the nature of your trip if you're not comfortable with the direction it's going.

More than anything else, understand that anything you're experiencing is temporary and will pass with time. If you're truly in a bad place, find a mantra to repeat to yourself, like "time will pass, all will be well", and don't feel embarrassed to sit rocking in a ball saying this out loud. I guarantee, before long it will all change and you will be back to laughing and playing and discovering that the universe is indeed your toy.
posted by hippybear at 9:58 PM on July 30, 2012 [3 favorites]



@nebulawindphone: How is that wikipedia article *less* interesting than the "story"? Or did I just get Pickrolled...


I just meant they didn't actually have a secret underground lair in an abandoned missile silo. The other bits of it are plenty interesting, but for some reason the "missile silo" part of it turned into an essential part of the urban legend version of the story that went around my hometown, and so I was sort of disappointed that it wasn't true.
posted by nebulawindphone at 10:13 PM on July 30, 2012


I have a great hope of some day getting to experience a trip on acid or shrooms. Shrooms should be really easy for me to get in theory, all my local friends insist they just grow wild in the cattle fields, but I don't know how to identify them and none of my friends seem willing to actually follow through and help me get hold of some or get in contact with someone else who can.

I have done salvia, and although that's a very difficult drug for a lot of people, I've always enjoyed it. To be honest part of the reason I'd really like to try LSD or mushrooms is because it seems like you can actually interact with the outside world during those trips, at least during parts of them; the salvia trips are so intense and wholly internal, and although I enjoy and value those experiences, I'd like to try altering my worldview by literally altering how I view the world and interact with it.

When I trip on salvia I like to play very mellow indie folk type music. Iron & Wine is the best psychedelics music for me. I'm never aware of it while I'm on the trip, because I'm inside my head, but the trips seem to be consistently more mellow and pleasurable with that music playing than when in silence or with other types of music.

I've noticed that salvia has an aftereffect on my mood, but it is a variable one: it always makes me feel very concerned with the concept of What Is or Is Not Fair, which sometimes manifests as being very mellow and calm and going out of my way to be a gentle person for an hour or so, but sometimes ends up manifesting as anxiety on behalf of Those Who Are Not Treated Fairly. I mean, I tried to watch Yellow Submarine while taking small hits of salvia (sub-dissociative; I've learned to eyeball it so I can smoke just a tiny bit and just get minor visuals and perspective alteration, but the short trips on salvia means having to smoke the tiny puffs at fairly short intervals. For the record this isn't a very good idea even if you're an experienced salvia psychonaut; it gets physically exhausting quickly regardless of whether or not you're mentally exhausted, I find) and ended up crying because they had stolen Ringo's car and seemed not to care about him. Poor Ringo...
posted by titus n. owl at 10:22 PM on July 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


The lack of study leaves us in the dark about the incidence of long term psychosis or other lasting mental health impacts from use of this chemical.
posted by humanfont at 10:35 PM on July 30, 2012 [1 favorite]


To be honest part of the reason I'd really like to try LSD or mushrooms is because it seems like you can actually interact with the outside world during those trips, at least during parts of them

INDIVIDUAL RESULTS MAY VARY.
posted by infinitywaltz at 11:05 PM on July 30, 2012 [3 favorites]


Also: Do not take LSD and watch Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

Too late. It was pretty cool. No complaints here. We saw that one in the theater tripping and then watched several more animated movies on a friend's VCR.
posted by krinklyfig at 11:34 PM on July 30, 2012


The lack of study leaves us in the dark about the incidence of long term psychosis or other lasting mental health impacts from use of this chemical.

It helped me quit drinking. So, the long lasting health impact for me is that I'm alive.
posted by krinklyfig at 11:36 PM on July 30, 2012 [5 favorites]


Ah 'microdosing' A.K.A. "A little bit of Vitamin LSD every day"...

I Miss Jerry.
posted by mikelieman at 12:35 AM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh, and I want to add that the toxicity of LSD is tiny compared to any other mind-altering chemicals.

To the best of my knowledge, no one has ever died of an LSD overdose - though people have certainly hurt and killed themselves through misadventure, please be careful.

Quite a few people have had 100 hits, by eating a stash rather than be arrested for example, and lived to tell the tale.

I read once, in the pre-Internet days, a medical report abstract about three people who accidentally took thousands of hits of pure powdered LSD, thinking it was cocaine - one of them got 3,000 hits - and they recovered (physically) without medical intervention (probably mentally tattered or even torn, certainly).

Imagine that you successfully consumed even 100 drinks - you'd be pushing up the daisies.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 3:25 AM on July 31, 2012


Also: Do not take LSD and watch Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

Heh. I once dropped some microdot and went to see Tron. The MCP was...impressive.
posted by Thorzdad at 4:05 AM on July 31, 2012


Also: Do not take LSD and watch Who Framed Roger Rabbit.

And especially make sure you don't mix LSD and say, "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride".
posted by mikelieman at 4:38 AM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


On my first trip, I went to the theater and saw Vanishing Point. It was hilarious. Then I went to my local bar and looked at the Xmas lights they had strung on the ceiling (it wasn't anywhere near Xmas). They were gloriously beautiful.

I think it's possible to have a perfectly fine experience without all this over-preparation, which could just serve to make one needlessly anxious. I had no minder, no playlist, no "safe place." I didn't even plan on the trip at all - one of my friends was making doses with blotter paper and an eyedropper. He told me to open my mouth and close my eyes, and he dropped it directly on my tongue. YMMV, but everything turned out fine for me.

It's been many years now, and precise memories have faded. All I remember is an extremely pleasant experience - the world was profoundly beautiful and funny, I was happy, nothing hurt. It was like completely understanding the universe's inside joke.
posted by caryatid at 5:59 AM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


And especially make sure you don't mix LSD and say, "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride".

Getting ready for the first time I ever tripped, I was dead-set on renting "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas." I'd never even seen the movie sober, it just seemed like the appropriate thing to do. It's about drugs! We're taking drugs! What could go wrong?

Merciful fate intervened, in the form of a good friend who insisted on seeing "Finding Nemo" instead.
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:51 AM on July 31, 2012


1. 16 episodes (240 minute VHS tape, on half-speed) of Monty Python, back to back. People were actually screaming by the end. And for some time after.
2. Being asked 'What's that T-shirt about?' by the server in Tate Britain's cafe. Said T-shirt: J R "Bob" Dobbs.
3. Vomiting on Japanese tourist's shoes, having been asked directions, in Kew Gardens.
4. Manhattan skyline from Brooklyn rooftop.
5. Getting down from Brooklyn rooftop.
6. Convinced of telepathic skills, attempt to communicate with tripmate purely through this mechanism.
7. Trying to unfreak tripmate after staring at him silently for, like, ever.
8. Currents flowing in the river Thames, like muscles beneath skin
9. The orgasm where all the sequential bits went off in the wrong order.
10. Discovering William Blake exhibition in basement of Tate Britain. He'd understand Dobbs.
posted by Devonian at 7:07 AM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


I haven't caught up on the reading yet, but since the Pickard case came up, I wanted to note that the narc in this circumstance, Gordon Todd Skinner, generally seems to be a pretty terrible person by all accounts I've heard. I'm talking things like kidnapping, drugging and physically abusing people. That he has been a free man for as long as he has, presumably in exchange for selling others out to the government is really, really disturbing to me.
posted by nTeleKy at 8:11 AM on July 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


> Taking LSD was a profound experience, one of the most important things in my life. LSD show
>s you that there’s? another side to the coin, and you can’t remember it when it wears off,
> but you know it. - Steve Jobs

"It would be just like the West to find consciousness through a material." -- the Maharishi
posted by jfuller at 8:17 AM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


Myself and a few friends made mushroon Coffee in a filter coffee machine, and then watched "The Shining". Man was that ever awesome, but I wouldn't recommend it to first-timers.

LSD? Yes please, love the stuff; the queen of drugs. Once, Me and a mate took a trip and, when we had come up a bit, went to see a couple of friends at their place, and we sat in and watched "Aloha from Elvis - live in Hawaie" and "Elvis - The Biopic" with Kurt Russel (!!!) as Elvis. Probably the funniest five hours of my life. Me and my mate who were tripping were riffing off of each other, and this would spark the other two into saying funny stuff. God I ached that night. Worth it though.

I saw one of the non-tripping guys recently and he mentioned this and said "Elvis couldn't move or anything without us making a quip. Oh man, what I wouldn't give for more nights like that.
posted by marienbad at 8:18 AM on July 31, 2012


@to sir with millipedes
With regard to the considerable fall off in LSD emergency-room "emergencies"
Around the early 1990s, the gov't effectively removed a chemical precursor to LSD from world-wode availablity.
The people that mfr LSD countered with a new recipe that didn't require the now obscure precursor, and the new LSD made in this way was entirely smoother than it had been in the past, and not by a small degree. Smooth enough that the runaway train sensation common to strong LSD trips was now absent from strong (medium to large dose) LSD experiences. That "thoughts as runaway train" quality to an LSD trip was gone, and with it went most of the emergency room episodes of the past.
Ask anyone who did LSD in the 1980s and then again in the 1990s, it wasn't a small change and its easy to see the difference.
posted by Fupped Duck at 8:29 AM on July 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


> Merciful fate intervened, in the form of a good friend who insisted on seeing "Finding Nemo" instead.

Odd you mention that movie. I watched it for the very first time while on acid, and have never watched it since, which puts it in the same disturbing category for me as Requiem for a Dream; both are movies that I found equal parts moving and horrifying. It should have been named The Universe Hates Nemo, Here's a Couple Hours of Terrible Things Happening to Him.
posted by Panjandrum at 9:53 AM on July 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


Come to think of it, what ended up happening is we all got distracted and never watched any of it. But I'm still glad I got overruled. Just tripping in the same room as a copy of "Fear and Loathing" seems like it would be inviting all sorts of unspeakable horrors.
posted by nebulawindphone at 10:23 AM on July 31, 2012


Hitchcock's Vertigo is the best acid movie.
posted by Burhanistan at 10:36 AM on July 31, 2012


Articles like this really make me miss that stuff, it has been years. I used to microdose pretty regularly (just kinda eyeballing doses vs. doing it smartly) and would likely do so regularly again if it were available - moreso than going for high-dose experiences.
posted by Golem XIV at 2:00 PM on July 31, 2012


>How "emotional" is LSD?

Very, potentially.

Since it would be your first time around, it's helpful to apply the age-old dogmas:

Positively frame and prep your set and setting; get your snacks in order; have a guide with you, if possible; treat it as a semantically-loaded, question-addressing ritual act rather than a party or an experiment.

Your experience might be light and whimsical and ephemeral... but it also might not be.
posted by darth_tedious at 3:19 PM on July 31, 2012


What snacks would you recommend for a vegetarian on their first trip?
posted by pointless_incessant_barking at 8:29 PM on July 31, 2012


Chances are you won't be hungry.

But, snacks... I'd recommend simple fruits -- grapes, pre-peeled and sectioned oranges (Vitamin C is a great way to boost a trip back up when you're on the downward slope), maybe bananas (these can be an adventure in peeling and texture if you're not into them while tripping)... Perhaps some cheese of different sorts (I've had mixed results with this).

I do recommend having orange or grapefruit juice on hand, as well as plenty of water. And beer isn't a bad thing while tripping -- you won't notice the effects of the alcohol, but it's a real adventure in taste and sensation.

LSD isn't nearly has hard on the body as, say, MDMA, so you don't have to worry about things like overheating and dehydration nearly as much.

Personally, I've found that the more processed a food is, the less appealing it is while tripping. And mostly, I don't find food interesting at all while tripping, YMMV.

I did go to a bbq ribs place in Disneyland while tripping once, and while I don't remember how much I ate, I do know I consumed enough ribs and beans and potato salad to be full and energized, and also remember giggling uncontrollably at the intensity of the sauce on the ribs and simultaneously being a bit grossed out if I thought too hard about exactly what it was I was eating.

As a wise hippie once said to me during a 4th Of July weekend spent with friends north of CA, when I asked about the timing of dosing vs. dinner... "Well do you want to eat your food, or play with it?"
posted by hippybear at 8:46 PM on July 31, 2012 [1 favorite]


A hippie of my acquaintance was always sure to keep a couple tabs of high test blotter on him. When he told me about this and I asked him "why?" he said "in case of emergency."

Which still does my head in to this day.

Nothing against acid, but what the heck constitutes the type of emergency for which the appropriate response is to take acid?
posted by juv3nal at 9:20 PM on July 31, 2012


what the heck constitutes the type of emergency for which the appropriate response is to take acid?

I can think of very few which would be inappropriate. :)

Alternate answer:

You'll know it when it comes along.
posted by hippybear at 9:22 PM on July 31, 2012 [2 favorites]


As for location, either firmly ensconced in your own house/apartment OR out in nature: the forest, the mountains, the beach, etc...

Seconded. Natural hot springs and a full moon are a nice combination.
posted by homunculus at 10:54 PM on July 31, 2012


Alexander Hatchell: "I have never been drunk, never smoked pot or used any other illegal drug, and after reading this and similar articles I am dying to try LSD. Micro dosing sounds wonderful."

I'm the same (have never used drugs, have never been drunk), but if I ever get diagnosed with a disease that gives me a limited time, I definitely want to try all sorts of drugs.
posted by deborah at 2:44 AM on August 1, 2012


You just ate the most acid I've ever seen anybody eat in my life!

(BTW I think Disneyland is literally the last place in the world I would ever want to trip! Dear god that sounds all sorts of harrowing, even without the eating ribs part. I like to find a field and sit in it... In high school we would sometimes go to the Pink Floyd laser show at the planetarium.)
posted by désoeuvrée at 7:55 AM on August 1, 2012


I've noticed that salvia has an aftereffect on my mood, but it is a variable one: it always makes me feel very concerned with the concept of What Is or Is Not Fair, which sometimes manifests as being very mellow and calm and going out of my way to be a gentle person for an hour or so, but sometimes ends up manifesting as anxiety on behalf of Those Who Are Not Treated Fairly.

Seratonin depletion?

1. Low seratonin levels appear to cause ultimatum game players to have more concern for fairness.
2. Low seratonin levels are associated with negative mood.
3. Salvia users often seem to report negative mood.
posted by grobstein at 9:09 AM on August 1, 2012 [1 favorite]


Why would anyone want to use salvia regularly? Jesus, a strong enough dose of that will just totally strip everything away. Good thing it keeps for years.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:19 AM on August 1, 2012


Chances are you won't be hungry.

But, snacks... I'd recommend simple fruits -- grapes, pre-peeled and sectioned oranges (Vitamin C is a great way to boost a trip back up when you're on the downward slope)


The last time I was tripping, I spent most of the day eating nothing, just drinking water to replenish the sweat I was losing from it being such a hot day outside. As I was on the downswing back to sobriety, I sat in a bathtub full of cold water, munching lettuce leaves and sipping lemon juice and a bit of tequila while I read comics. Gosh, it was a lovely time.
posted by Greg Nog at 9:30 AM on August 1, 2012


Oh, and off all the pschedelics and other trippy drugs, salvia divinorum would be the only one where I'd say a sitter is really a requirement for high doses. And that sitter should know just to keep the user out of harms way and not bother interacting with them until they're good and stable. You mightthink you're the best tripping psychonaut who ever touched drug to neurotransmitter, it's better to have someone around, preferably someone who has used it.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:39 AM on August 1, 2012


Well, that had all kinds of grammatical errors. I don't think I smoked any salvia just now, but I can't be sure.
posted by Burhanistan at 9:44 AM on August 1, 2012


I think Disneyland is literally the last place in the world I would ever want to trip!

The joys of tripping in DL involve the illusionary nature of the place and the infinite amount of distractions available.

With multiple themed environments each literally a short walk apart, any number of possible experiences (from thrill-ride-ish things to quiet benches in well-tended if not sculpted gardens [often with a soft musical soundtrack playing in the background] to quiet slow rides full of exquisite detail), all sorts of REALLY BRIGHT COLORS, nothing ever truly threatening (because this is, after all, Disney)... I've tripped there a half-dozen times, and it's always been the greatest of fun.
posted by hippybear at 6:18 PM on August 1, 2012


Salvia utterly floored me the one time I took it. I think I smoked rather a lot without being completely aware of what it was. Then nothing, talking to things in smeary coloured circles, and then slow dissolve into reality.

2CB had little discernible effect on me, but I was permanently stoned at that point anyway.

LSD on a couple of occasions, and I'm probably ready to do it again, should the opportunity arise. I'm much more self-confident than I was then, and I'm curious as to where it would take me now.

I just don't have the connections these days. It's probably for the best.
posted by inpHilltr8r at 11:33 PM on August 1, 2012


Yeah, I would MOST DEFINITELY say have a sitter with your salvia, VERY ESPECIALLY if it's your first time, and after that too most likely. It's a lot to handle, and if you think you can handle it, well, no, really, it is a lot to handle, like, more than that, no, more than that too. It can be a very mentally and emotionally taxing experience even if you have a good trip, and although the trips are really short in the real world, a proper dose will wreck your ability to conceive of things like time or that you're on drugs or that you exist, so during the trip the fact that it's maybe five or ten minutes long won't matter to your mental state at all. It's very intense stuff and I don't want the fact that I personally enjoy it to accidentally lead others to underestimate it.

Most people who take salvia do not enjoy it. Some have a bad trip, others just have an experience which they afterwards say was "worth it" but not "enjoyable" as such. I seem to be some kind of outlier on that, because even my worst trips have still been something I consider really valuable and I continue to do it. Not regularly, though - once a month, tops, and only when both my mood and the time is right. (Needs quiet, dim lighting, and most importantly a contemplative and optimistic mindset: going into it physically relaxed and anticipating an interesting and enlightening time.)

And if you're ever sitting for somebody who's on salvia please don't touch them unless you absolutely have to in order to keep them from hurting themselves in some way. During one of my earlier trips my sitter touched me and since at that time I thought I was a two-dimensional "window" between different concepts of reality her touching me really threw me off and I became afraid that I would shatter and the realities would leak. Don't touch them while they're tripping.
posted by titus n. owl at 12:59 AM on August 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


And to be clear, we're talking about the more powerful extract-enhanced salvia (the kind that says 20x, 30x, etc). 30x is really more than anyone needs, and anything more is just overkill that probably won't be perceived. One hit of that is enough to floor anyone, and it usually takes effect while the pipe is still in your hand. Smoking or chewing the regular dried leaves will be much milder (and is the preferred method of the Mazatecs who cultivate it).

And yeah, don't even talk to someone who's peaking on salvia extract. Just let them be nuts for the 10 or so minutes that the peak lasts (the total trip time is around 40-60 minutes). That video of Miley Cyrus smoking salvia with some idiots is kind of heartbreaking for me to watch because they don't shut up and let her trip peacefully.
posted by Burhanistan at 5:10 AM on August 2, 2012 [1 favorite]


The International Foundation for Advanced Study included a character named Alfred M. Hubbard. Hubbard has an interesting history.

Al Hubbard started out as a radio technician for Roy Olmstead, the big Seattle bootlegger. More on Olmstead and Al Hubbard can be found in Emmett Watson's "Once Upon A Time in Seattle."

When Roy Olmstead was busted by the Treasury Agents for bootlinging. Al Hubbard cut a deal and became a Treasury agent and informant. It was during this period of time that his skipperered some rum runners and acquired the title Captain.

Some of Al Hubbard's life as a T-man is sketched in this book which is mostly about Roy Olmstead. There is another local historical society book on Hubbard during this period privately printed by a local historical society. I'm not able to find a web link to it, but a little off line research by interlibrary loan may turn it up.

With WWII, Al Hubbard becomes more interestng; now pardoned of all bootlegging offenses by FDR, Hubbard became some sort of US intelligence agent. There is controversy about what he did for whom, to what and where it happened. Some of the stories involve gun running to Canada for the British, some talk about working for the OSS or the US military, both at home and abroad. His title "Captain" appears to have originated from his rum-running days, but he is remembered serving in different uniforms of different branches and ranks.

There are tons of on-line scraps and leads (only a few of which look solid enough to track down by offline research, but by the end of WWII, Captain Al (now pardoned of all bootlegging offenses by FDR) became acquainted with a new product of Sandoz know as LSD but marketd under the brand name of Delysid. Al became a believer and buying a very large quantity, became "Captain Trips".

A google search for "Al Hubbard Captain Trips LSD" will fill up your day with anectdotes, a few interviews, lots of sighting reports. including the Good Captain showing up at Millbrook Brook (Tim Leary's estate in NY) dressed up as some sort of armed paramilitary police agent with a delivery of acid under his arm. The stories are wild and Hubbard sort of became the Johhny Appleseed of LSD in America.

He appears all over in footnotes, but there doesn't seem to be a definitive biography, which is a shame. I still have photos of a 1968 Greatful Dead show in Seattle at the Eagles Auditorium featuring Captain Trips as one of the warm-up acts.

This is a long comment and maybe somebody with more talent (filthylightthief I'm looking at you) could expand this into a front page post. I gotta warn you, though. The good Captain has such and active and interesting life that there are lots of rabbit holes his biography
posted by warbaby at 11:52 AM on August 2, 2012 [2 favorites]


Sorry the unmentioned bridge book about Hubbard as T-man was Whispering Wires
posted by warbaby at 11:55 AM on August 2, 2012


Man, I must've done salvia all wrong. I got mildly high, but more fuzzy-headed and felt really down. And it gave me a splitting headache that lasted longer than the high. That was it.
posted by zardoz at 5:13 AM on August 3, 2012


On Salvia:
I have never talked to anyone who has gotten anything good out of salvia. Or rather, there were a minority of people who had amusing, rather than scary experiences, but there were none who came out of it with any positive change to their lives. What is the point?

On LSD:
Of the people I know who have taken LSD - while a bunch just had an amusing experience, for a significant proportion, it has deeply changed them, for the better.
Being in a loving, accepting headspace, and just observing the patterns in their lives, and emotions, allowed them to open up into much healthier people.
Almost all of those experiences happened when people were by & large by themselves, and just able to sit and process stuff they normally couldn't face. Facing body issues, drug issues, loneliness, depression, family dysfunction, just grieving and realising they loved themselves.
If there was ever anything close to a miracle cure, psychologically speaking, I'd guess it would be a trip combined with a good, thoughtful therapist. I'm sorry that that isn't available for people, and feel really sad that that is the case.

If you just want to have an entertaining time, it is easily done of course. I do wonder sometimes if people often set themselves up for a rather superficial experience (taking it late at night, when you are going to be exhausted 12 hours later, or with alcohol, at a party or a rave, or just watching cartoons), because they don't *want* to have a meaningful experience. Fair enough.

Finally, people who are extremely worried about a loss of control, shouldn't take it. If you were on a 12 hour guided tourist tour, and things didn't go how you wanted, would you get extremely upset? Distressed? Insist on being taken home?
If so, don't take it. You cannot will yourself into being not-tripping, no more than will yourself not-drunk, or not in France if that's where you are stuck without transport! So you have to be willing to accept where you are for that 12 hours, and that you will get back home at the end of that time.
posted by Elysum at 3:18 PM on August 6, 2012


How the CIA's LSD Mind-Control Experiments Destroyed My Healthy, High-Functioning Father's Brilliant Mind
posted by homunculus at 1:25 PM on August 9, 2012


The science and politics of mind-altering drugs
posted by homunculus at 10:46 AM on August 14, 2012


This is the first time I've taken LSD in my life. We went to a cabin in the mountain and I was 100% sure that what I see is not real so I took a picture form the edge of a cliff...
posted by homunculus at 8:41 PM on August 21, 2012


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