How did LSD affect the teens of the 60's? Bre Martin 08-09

vietnam_protest_rs.jpgBackground on teens in the Sixties:
The teens of the sixties were disillusioned with America. They were tired of a hypocritical society that was riddled with conformity and rigid conservatism. Their parents were stuffing them into pre-designed society roles that they refused to fit into. They were surrounded by materialism and inauthenticity. Their nation was in a war fighting for something that they barely even had at home. Their government was hiding the truth from the people it was designed to serve. Their world was laden with tremendous amounts of injustice and violence. They couldn't stand it. So, they did a complete cultural 360°. They banded together, loved each other and, most importantly, they dropped out.

Turn on, Tune in, Drop out
shrooms.jpg LSD, A History:
LSD, or Lysergic acid diethylamide was first synthesized by Albert Hofmann from a grain fungus called ergot. His intentions were to use the substance as a psychological treatment.(1) However, these were spoiled when Ken Kesey, who had tried the drug when he volunteered as a research subject in a medical research stufy for the CIA, and his Merry Pranksters brought LSD to the west by holding "acid tests" and distributing free LSD.(2)

LSD is normally ingested orally, with a substrate, such as a sugar cube. The minimum dosage for the LSD to have any effects on humans is 20 to 30 microliters. In spite of this, The average dose taken in the 1960's was between 200 and 1000 microliters.(3)

LSD causes a plethora of effects. Physically, those who drop acid experience pupil dilation, tremors, hypothermia, elevated blood sugar and hypereflexia, among other effects. Psychologically, acid droppers go on an acid "trip." They experience vivid colors, animation of objects, distorted sense of time and loss of their sense of identity or ego. Users of LSD also report a spiritual experience. Many call it a "revelation."(4) However, if you ere not in he right state of mind, you could experience adverse effects, called a "bad trip".

Timothy Leary was a major promoter of unregulated LSD use from his MIllbrook, New York colony. He believed that acid was a powerful tool of psychotherapy. He coined the phrase "Turn on, Tune in, Drop out." He distributed LSD to kids as young as 9. (5)

The Popularity of LSD
As the decade progress, LSD's popularity grew. They were receiving messages from everywhere that they should try it. The hippies, the musicians, their friends. Drugs were all over popular culture. Artists were turning on and then painting. Musicians were dropping out and performing. Everyone was doing it. By the mid 1960's, 70% of all drug arrests were from individuals of age 19 or younger, whereas it had been 20% years before. (6)
Kids would get together and listen to popular counterculture music such as Janis Joplin or Jimi Hendrix and drop acid. It became a central part of their culture and experience. They considered it to be an awakening.

Propaganda As LSD became more popular, the government began to try and combat it more and more.They began producing films that illustrated the dangers of LSD.

Conclusion LSD was a way to escape the prison that was American conformity and hypocrisy of the 1960's. The counterculture enthralled them because of its stark contrast from everything that they knew before. LSD was a key to another universe, as well as a totally new community. Acid was a means of connecting with others as well as yourself on a spiritual level.