D-lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) is a powerful hallucinogen that comes as a clear, odorless liquid that is often applied to sugar cubes or blotter paper, or sold as a pill or capsule. When some people hear the name “LSD” they may think of tie-dye, acid rock and the counterculture of the 1960s. However, people are still using the LSD and some of them may require LSD addiction treatment.
LSD, also known by a variety of street names including Acid, Blotter Acid, Window Pane, microdots, Loony Toons, Sunshine, and Zen, was discovered by Albert Hoffman, a Swiss chemist, in 1938. Hoffman absorbed traces of the drug in 1943 and discovered its hallucinogenic properties. He believed it would have significant use in the treatment of psychiatric disorders, particularly schizophrenia. In the 1950s, researchers studied the drug to find potential applications. They included the CIA which believed the drug may be used as a truth serum on prisoners of war. In the early the 1960s author Ken Kesey volunteered to take LSD as part of a study funded by the agency. Kesey came to believe that LSD was consciousness expanding and could produce spiritual experiences in its users.
At around this time Timothy Leary, a Harvard University psychology professor, was researching LSD. After taking the drug he, too, became convinced that LSD could open its users to spiritual enlightenment. Both Leary and Kesey extolled these qualities and helped to make it an integral part of the 1960s counterculture.
After the 1960s, LSD use waned until the drug again became popular as part of the rave scene in the 1990s. In 2015, NIDA’s National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that 10.70% of Americans 26 years or older say that have used LSD at some point during their lifetime. Today, LSD is especially popular with young people as a club drug used at raves, nightclubs and concerts. The NIDA survey found that 7.7% of Americans 18 – 25 reported having used LSD.