D-lysergic acid diethylamide, acid, LSD
Researcher Albert Hoffmann discovered LSD in 1938, at Basel Switzerland, in laboratories of Sandoz Pharmaceuticals(1). It was discovered when Hoffmann was researching ergotamines, a drug that is isolated from a fungus that grows on rye(2).
Animal testing of LSD showed restless and abnormal behavior. But the tests went no further. The Hoffmann team went on to investigate other alkaloids. In April 1943 Hoffmann was the first human to discover the effects of LSD. After synthesizing a new batch of LSD he was interrupted by unusual sensations. Believing he might be coming down with something he left work. He made the following notes to his supervisor: "I was forced to interrupt my work in the laboratory in the middle of the afternoon and proceed home, being affected by a remarkable restlessness, combined with a slight dizziness. At home I lay down and sank into a not unpleasant intoxicated-like condition, characterized by an extremely stimulated imagination. In a dream-like state, with eyes closed (I found the daylight to be unpleasantly glaring), I perceived an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colors. After some two hours this condition faded away."(3).
In 1949 doctors Anthony K. Busch and Warren C. Johnson had gotten a supply of LSD from Sandoz labs for experiments. Their first published reports they concluded,"LSD-25 may offer a means for more readily gaining access to the chronically withdrawn patients. It may also serve as a new tool for shortening psychotherapy. We hope further investigation justifies our present impression.". By 1965, around 30,000 to 40,000 psychiatric patients around the globe had received LSD therapeutically. Also an additional thousands of normal volunteers had received it experimentally(4).
During the 1950's LSD was used as part of psychotherapy either in group sessions or in individually. The "disorders" treated psychoneuroses, acute and chronic character disorders, including sociopathy, homosexuality, and sexual perversions. The patients of this treatment reportedly showed a "marked improvement" . The treatment of Alcoholism showed a 94 percent improvement rate(5).