LSD before Leary: Sidney Cohen's Critique of 1950s Psychedelic Drug Research

  title={LSD before Leary: Sidney Cohen's Critique of 1950s Psychedelic Drug Research},
  author={S. Novak},
  pages={87 - 110}
  • S. Novak
  • Published 1997
  • Sociology, Medicine
  • Isis
  • In 1962 Sidney Cohen presented the medical community with its first warning about the dangers of the drug LSD. LSD had arrived in the United States in 1949 and was originally perceived as a psychotomimetic capable of producing a model psychosis. But in the mid 1950s intellectuals in Southern California redefined LSD as a psychedelic capable of producing mystical enlightenment. Though LSD was an investigational drug, authorized only for experimental use, by the late 1950s psychiatrists and… CONTINUE READING
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    Publications referenced by this paper.
    125:137-141. In the early 1950s Nicholas Bercel complained that negative publicity about LSD was making it difficult for him to find volunteers; see Bercel et al., "Model Psychoses Induced
    • 1968
    1979); [Alcoholics Anonymous], "Pass It On": The Story of Bill Wilson and How the A.A. Message Reached the World (New York: Alcoholics
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    81:348-359; and Bernard Bressler et al., "Research in Human Subjects and the Artificial Traumatic Neurosis: Where Does Our Responsibility
    • 1959
    A Physicians' Revolt: Objective: To Free the AMA of Drugmakers
      Chemical Concept of Psychosis,
      • 1954
      Cohen and Ditman published a more detailed summary of the complications in "Prolonged Adverse Reactions to Lysergic Acid Diethylamide
        Cohen explained that "the discriminating, critical capacity is lost. The ability to observe oneself, to evaluate the validity of one's ideas and swift flowering fantasies, is lost
        • 1966
        Cole hypothesized that the differences must have resulted from "a therapistinduced mystical experience similar to religious conversion."42 POPULARIZING LSD
        • 1959