Flashback: Psychiatric Experimentation With LSD in Historical Perspective

Wednesday, August 31st, 2005

The Canadian Psychiatric Association looks at the history of LSD in Flashback: Psychiatric Experimentation With LSD in Historical Perspective:

In 1938, in search of a new migraine medicine, Swiss biochemist Albert Hofmann synthesized LSD at the Sandoz Pharmaceutical Laboratories. It was not until 1943, when some of the liquid chemical substance spilled onto his hand, that Hofmann had the first recorded LSD “trip.” Three-quarters of an hour after absorbing some of the chemical into his skin, Hofmann experienced growing dizziness, some visual disturbance, and a marked desire to laugh. After about an hour, he asked his assistant to call a doctor and accompany him home from his research laboratory. In Hofmann’s mind, he was not on the familiar boulevard that led home but, rather, on a street painted by Salvador Dali — a funhouse roller coaster where the buildings yawned and rippled. Hofmann later wondered whether he had permanently damaged his mind. Hofmann’s serendipitous discovery of the chemical compound LSD introduced a new drug that subsequently inspired a flurry of medical interest.

(Hat tip to Boing Boing.)

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