Erowid References Database
Decker WJ, Brandes WB.
“LSD Misadventure in Middle Age”.
J. Forens. Sci.. 1978;23(1):3-4.
The use of the hallucinogen lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) is usually associated with young people in their teens and twenties. Although this substance is normally self-administered, in many instances it has been given to individuals without their knowledge. This report describes a case of a middle-aged woman who unknowingly received a dose of LSD under quite uncommon circumstances. A 54-year-old white female was brought to a San Antonio, Texas, hospital emergency room by her husband. She was visibly frightened, in a severe state of hyperreflexia, and was experiencing perceptual distortion. The resident on duty called the authors (then stationed at the U.S. Army Medical Laboratory, Fort Sam Houston), who subsequently interviewed the husband. He stated that his wife had consumed about 2 oz (60 ml) of vodka in a mixed drink approximately an hour before he decided to seek medical attention for her. Soon after drinking the vodka, she began to exhibit bizarre behavior. The husband immediately suspected the bottle of vodka, poured what remained down the sink, and placed the bottle in the garbage. Upon request, he retrieved the bottle and brought it to the laboratory. The patient was treated with diazepam; recovery was uneventful. The bottle of vodka had been given to the patient by a 71-year-old widowed friend. The latter had died three months prior to the incident described; her death was attributed to natural causes by her personal physician. Less than 1 ml of vodka remained in the bottle. Fluorometric analysis  (Aminco Bowman SPF; excitation, 335 nm; emission, 435 nm) revealed LSD present at a concentration of 1 mcg/ml. Gas chromatographic assays for common adulterants of LSD such as amphetamine, methamphetamine, cocaine, or strychnine yielded negative results. No blood or urine specimens were obtained from the patient. The patient's presentation was highly suggestive of LSD ingestionŠan acute panic reaction coupled with an acute toxic reaction [2,3]. Based on the laboratory findings of approximately 30 mcg LSD/30 ml of vodka, she may have received upwards of 60 mcg of the drug, quite enough to produce the effects noted, particularly in a hallucinogen-naive individual . The circumstances surrounding this donation of vodka containing LSD pose a number of interesting speculations, but remain shrouded in mystery. The elderly lady had lived alone, and her survivors had no knowledge of where or how she obtained this item.
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