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Nightmare Drugs
by Donald Louria, MD
Donald Louria 
Book Reviews
Reviewed by RNA, 6/18/2011

Dr. Louria, as chairman of the N. Y. State Council on Drug Addiction, knows a great deal about heroin and its use. He knows very little about the use of psychedelics. Unfortunately, nobody is very much interested in heroin and heroin addiction these days, while almost everybody is interested in LSD and the other mind-manifesters. Thus the book is touted on both its paperback covers as having LSD as “the focus of this highly penetrating, uncensored study.” In actuality, only two of the eleven chapters deal with psychedelics. A few quotes from those chapters indicate where the doctor is at:

“... while LSD and related drugs may be destined to play a significant part in medicine, their use for non-medical purposes may well become such a threat to the public that the very research needed to discover how to harnass these drugs for productive purposes will be hindered.” (p. 41)

“The problem is that the differentiation between a stable and an unstable personality can only be made after careful evaluation by a physician. Those who are tempted to take LSD in uncontrolled illicit situations are likely, whether they know it or not, to have considerable personality instability.”

“. . . hallucinogens in a non-medical setting are taken primarily for hedonistic purposes.”

“Indeed, it would make sense to simultaneously reduce the penalties for marijuana and substantially increase those for the illicit manufacture or sale of LSD.”

A lengthy pamphlet could be written concerning the attitudinizing, the lack of documentation, the bias, the plain errors in these chapters, but it would be unfair to a conscientious public servant trying to deal level-headedly with the grave social problem of narcotics addiction. But psychedelics have nothing to do with narcotics addiction. We can only wonder at Dr. Louria’s orientation when he implies that the threat of general hedonism is a problem in the same category. This book is only of value for a knowledge of the context out of which so many of the future attacks on the use of psychedelics will be taken.

Originally Published In : Inner Space, Vol 1, Issue 1, Oct 1966 pg 9.
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