BBC documentary on LSD microdosing


#1

Originally published at: http://boingboing.net/2017/04/17/bbc-documentary-on-lsd-microdo.html


#2

“But a small community of people in the UK are doing it anyway, and say it’s improving their lives.”

Utterly meaningless.

There are people who will tell you Heroin improves their lives. Others will tel you "Jesus’ makes things better and so on endlessly. I can turn on my TV late at night and see endless parades of people who swear that one product or another is a miracle and has changed their life for the better…

Anecdotal evidence is worthless. Might as well ask a drunk how their reaction time is doing. Shouldn’t be hard to pull one out of a wrecked car who will tell you he is fine and in full control, even as he tips over and collapses.


#3

Not meaningless, but insufficient by itself. In a rational world we’d do a double blind trial where a cohort are given either a microdose of LSD or chalk pills without being told what they’re taking, and include a control against the placebo effect by giving people chalk whilst telling them it’s a microdose of LSD, and giving others microdoses of LSD whilst being told it’s chalk, etc. then follow what happens to them. It could even be done legally in some countries like Portugal.


#4

We aren’t going to get anything better in the UK, thanks to our drug laws.


#5

That’s not entirely correct. Anecdotal evidence is not used as validating evidence, but it is used to suggest new hypotheses.


#6

I’m convinced! Where do I sign up? And when will I receive my LSD?


#7

I know. If none of these 15 minutes include instuctions on how an oldish, uncool homebody might relatively safely and discreetly obtain such substances, they’re not really telling me anything I need to know. More like teasing, really.


#8

As a 60’s Macro-dose user I find all this a fun read. And it makes me wonder about how many other illegal “recreational” drugs in the proper dosage can be beneficial. PCP, DMT, STP, so many more?
Far out.


#9

I am hopeful that proper studies can be done with more ease on these substances. As one of the interviewees said, just because people have had bad experiences with the drug does not mean research should be stopped. If anything more research needs to be done.


#10

First of all, as Ayelet Waldman will tell you, it’s false that “there is no medical evidence to say what the benefits or harms of it may be”. I recommend reading the book! It’s both well-written and well-researched, and it goes into the details of the medical science and the law in equal measure.

Regarding the harm: There is tons of evidence that say there’s essentially zero harm. Nobody has ever died of an LSD overdose. Bad trips can happen if you don’t pay attention to mindset and setting, and you may act irrationally while high on LSD, so the responsible thing to do is a have a tripsitter if you’re taking a “macro” dose, but physiologically it isn’t going to hurt you.

Regarding the benefits: it was legal for a long time. Lots of legal research was done on the benefits of taking a full dose of LSD. Not all of the research was perfect, but plenty of it was scientifically thorough and well-designed.

There isn’t much research on the benefits of microdosing specifically, but the book discusses Waldman’s participation in an ongoing study of the phenomenon. This study definitely isn’t scientifically rigorous, it’s very anecdotal, but it is research and it has data nonetheless.


#11

I too would like to try microdosing, does somebody know where I can buy a year’s supply?


#12

Dude, totally right. I don’t even have a tattoo or a piercing, so people mistake me for a cop. Or worse yet, a square. But if only they knew that actually I grok.


#13

There are places where you can discretely order spores which, depending on where you live, may be legal because they don’t contain psilocybin. I’ve personally been too timid to have something like that mailed to my house, however.


#14

Thank you for your interest in our study! We will be sending you samples of the treatment via USPS. Because of local laws, however, we will have to be discreet; our samples will be disguised as ordinary postage stamps affixed to innocuous looking mail. You will simply have to lick all postage that comes in that manner, and wait 30 minutes to one hour to determine whether it was an active sample. Enjoy!


#15

There may be some harm involved in taking a psychedelic on a daily basis over a period of many years. People who are doing this are hopefully weighing the risks.


#16

So it is possible for it to hurt you psychologically. Which in turn can also hurt you physically. Drunk drivers usually hurt themselves and others not just because the alcohol hurts their bodies but because they irresponsibly engage in activities they shouldn’t while under the influence.

See, I’m glad you responsably suggested to pay attention to mindset and setting as well as suggesting a “trip sitter” but as someone who does not have any experience with this yet also believes proper research and decriminalization are beneficial to society I’d like to point out that I view with suspicion any account that minimizes the actual risk of harm.

I say this not to “prove” drugs are bad, but to ground the conversation, and understanding risk can only help people be safe.


#18

There’s plenty of research showing that LSD is stunningly safe given the wide range of psychological effects it can create. Nothing is entirely safe. Peanuts kill more people every year than LSD, as do bicycles and toasters.

Fadiman’s research, while anecdotal (the only kind that can exist under our current fascistic drug laws), has been overwhelmingly positive. Anecdotes do not equal data but dismissing anecdotes as scientifically worthless is a kind of “fundamaterialism.” I guess some folks don’t believe dreams exist, either?

Anyone who thinks microdosing can help them would be a fool to wait years (decades?) until double-blind trials have been done. Leaving your mental health to the whims of an imperfect political system makes you a Subject rather than a free human being.


#19

Isn’t it pronounced or-RAY-gun (like Oregano without the o)?


#21

Mispronouncing locations is a quick way to lose people’s attention. Having lived in Nevada for a long time (though i no longer do) it was common to hear people mispronounce the state or many of the Spanish named locations. Locals tend to pronounce them in very odd and particular ways.

Recently i was watching a Mental Floss video on youtube and Hank Green mispronounced Tonopah and i corrected him by screaming at my screen. My friend that was there thought i was crazy lol. I couldn’t stop myself after he mispronounced it like 3 times in a row though


#22

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