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January 11, 1965

Patterns of Hallucinogenic Drug Abuse

Author Affiliations

From the US Public Health Service Hospital, Lexington, Ky. Dr. Ludwig is now at Mendota State Hospital, Madison, Wis, and Dr. Levine at the Psychopharmacology Service Center, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Md.

JAMA. 1965;191(2):92-96. doi:10.1001/jama.1965.03080020020006

The use of hallucinogenic (psychotomimetic, dysleptic, psychedelic) substances to produce altered states of consciousness is not new,1-3 but recently there has been increased interest and publicity given these agents. This renewed attention has been spurred by the discovery of several new substances, such as d-lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), psilocybin, and psilocin, which have potencies far greater than the older agents (peyote, mescaline, teonanacatl, ololiuqui). These drugs have captured the imagination of many people who have speculated on their application in many different areas. Anthropologists4, 5 have described the socially sanctioned use of some of these agents in "primitive cultures"; novelists6 have conceived of their role in utopian societies; and physicians have espoused their usefulness in treating mental illness7 and for the production of "model psychoses." Others have proposed or described their use as educational tools3 and for inducing religious "mystical" experiences.8-10 Still others have commented on