Erowid References Database
“A Critical Review of Theories and Research Concerning Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) and Mental Health”.
Masters Thesis. 1998.
This introduction will demonstrate the contemporary relevance of a re-evaluation of research concerning LSD and its effects on mental health. It outlines the objectives and methods used for this dissertation. The research is located within its social-political context and the historical suppression of social uses of psychedelic substances. Relevant changes in psychiatry and research methodologies are discussed, and the major confounding variable of pharmaceutical purity of LSD is elaborated.
The relevance of this study for Mental Health practice.
The influence of evidenced-based practice in mental health is growing, particularly in it's challenge to orthodox beliefs and practices. This dissertation will examine the research concerning the orthodox beliefs that LSD use has adverse consequences with no therapeutic use.
In my professional capacity as a mental health social worker I am frequently involved with individuals who have used LSD, in addition to working with their relatives or carers. It is important that I have a full appreciation of the true risk, underpinned by research, and can give reliable information and support to both. The use of LSD is heavily stigmatised and misunderstood within the field of mental health, and has become grouped with a range of other street drugs as yet another drug of abuse. This is reinforced by the worldwide prohibition of the substance.
This is particularly relevant now since research in the United States has recorded a rise in the use of hallucinogenic drugs between 1991 and 1996, rising from 6% to 14% (Hunts, 1997). Also recently in the United States the Food and Drugs Administration has now authorised research on human subjects (Yensen and Dryer, 1995) after a gap of almost 30 years, and the therapeutic potential may yet be established.
With the rise in the use of hallucinogenics, the recommencement of medically supervised human experiments and the accumulation of a widespread and established literature relating to LSD, it seems pertinent to re-examine these beliefs and re-evaluate the research carried out todate.
[ Cite HTML