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May 1963

Lysergic Acid Diethylamide

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1963;8(5):425. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1963.01720110001001

Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD-25) was introduced as a psychomimetic drug and became a powerful investigative tool. Significant research was conducted on animals and later on humans. However, the comparison of the psychological and physiological effects of LSD-25 with those of schizophrenia could not be validated after careful study, and the concept of a "model psychosis" was found to be weak.

LSD-25 then was used as an adjunct to psychotherapy, presumably loosening defenses and facilitating "insight." The affective release interested many psychiatrists who administered the drug to themselves, and some, who became enamored with the mystical hallucinatory state, eventually in their "mystique" became disqualified as competent investigators. Lay people "bootlegged" the drug for its pleasurable effect, and a few writers published stories and books on the subject for the lay public. Motion picture actors extolled its benefits, and television psychiatrists enacted its curative powers.

Now the deleterious effects

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