RE: Psychedelics and memes

Gatherer, D. (
Fri, 11 Jun 1999 09:15:21 +0200

Date: Fri, 11 Jun 1999 09:15:21 +0200
From: "Gatherer, D. (Derek)" <>
Subject: RE: Psychedelics and memes
To: "''" <>


Hallucinogenic drugs (e.g. LSD)are more harmonics oriented in that they
exagerate/play-down sensory harmonics (colours etc) but the individual
retains some sense of 'self'; they do not experience the delusions caused by
psychotropic drugs (cocaine, speed etc):


Is this correct? Some LSD users report personality fragmentation, paranoia,
depression and confusion. I would equate paranoia with 'delusions' (I'm not
sure what you mean by delusions). Long term LSD use produces psychosis,
depression and permanent personality change. I would take delusion to be a
part of such a psychosis.


This suggests that there are mental conditions that would benefit from LSD
etc to enable a sense of 'normality'.


It used to be used of course for schizophrenia, but there are too many side
effects and long term problems (as above) to make it a good treatment.

Somebody else wrote:

>Psychedelics have a reputation as "hallucinogens" but in my experience
>they tend to be just the opposite. They most strongly disrupt the
>linguistic and cognitive structures by which a person orders the world,
>while leaving the actual perception of the world more-or-less intact (with
>some fireworks and oddities thrown in).


Other people have thought along the same lines. For instance Shulgin (1978)
has suggested the term 'phantasticants', and Brown and Braden (1987)

[referring to what somebody else wrote above] Correct. They maintain a sense
of 'self', a 'core' context that is stable.


Not sure that self is what is imoprtant. Amphetamine and cocaine psychoses
resemble schizophrenia, I grant you, but:
a) some LSD users report similar symptoms anyway (see above), and
b) these conditions do not erode any sense of self.

Brown RT and Braden NJ (1987) Hallucinogens. Pediatric Clinics of North
America 34, 341-347
Shulgin AT (1978) Psychotomimietic drugs: structure-activity relationships.
Handbook of Psychopharmacology 11, 234-333

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