The ultimate bad trip

By Cynthia Kuhn and Wilkie Wilson


Salon Staff
July 25, 2000 3:30AM (UTC)

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You write, "the physical effects of LSD are not terribly dangerous to the user if he or she is young and healthy." As I understand it, however, the effects of LSD and other drugs can be quite disastrous if the users are too young -- under 15 or so. Then, the effects can be, and are more likely to be, permanent. This fact is crucial as we educate our kids about drugs. The "it's OK as long as you're young and healthy" line can be a bit dangerous to hand out, don't you think? Because the biological facts are, it's not always true. Similarly, the statement that "the most likely thing users will experience is a bad trip" is misleading, since in the same breath you remind us of the possible lasting flashbacks and psychological effects.

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I've nothing against educating your kids about drugs, but minimizing the possible devastating effects is an awful way to do it. You can teach safety as well as the possible dangerous results of a drug without being so tyrannically anti-drug that your kids ignore it, and so accepting that they think there are no consequences.

-- V. Wade

This may seem like hair-splitting, but a couple of doctors dispensing advice ought to know that DSM-IV, and us folks who have it, call it hallucinogen persisting perception disorder, or HPPD -- go to the Web site to find out all sorts of kicky things about the lingering effects of LSD. Of course, I've had to go armed with articles and papers to my doctors and therapists to convince them that what I have is real, upsetting and a chronic reminder of yesteryear's blunders. Also, it would serve you well to remind your curious readers that HPPD will never, never go away.

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-- Jim


Salon Staff

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