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January 6, 1975

Psychedelic Drugs

JAMA. 1975;231(1):86. doi:10.1001/jama.1975.03240130066040

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That some chemicals are capable of profoundly altering thought and behavior has been known for centuries. The list of hallucinogens or psychedelic drugs has expanded rapidly in the last 50 years, and so too has medical, scientific, and public interest in these fascinating substances. They have been praised, denounced, embraced, and prohibited. Myths about them have sprouted to such extent that they obscure the truths about these compounds. Small wonder, therefore, that they are today the subject of much controversy, a controversy that will persist until fact is separated from fantasy.

Psychedelic Drugs is a readable, authoritative book in which a serious effort is made to identify what is true and what is false about hallucinogens—LSD, marihuana, mescaline, and heroin—but also many other less popular ones. Brian Wells clearly discusses the dangers involved in the use of psychedelic drugs as well as their potential benefits. His coverage is reasoned and