Psychedelic Psychiatry: Lsd On The Canadian Prairies

Item Information
Item#: 9780887557330
Author Dyck, Erika
Cover Paperback

In the early 1950s, the leading centre of the world for LSD research was Weyburn, Saskatchewan, where two psychiatrists sought to revolutionize the treatment of mental illness and, in the process, gave rise to a new form of therapy: psychedelic psychiatry.

Psychedelic Psychiatryis the tale of medical researchers working to understand LSD’s therapeutic properties just as escalating anxieties about drug abuse in modern society laid the groundwork for the end of experimentation at the edge of psychopharmacology. Historian Erika Dyck deftly recasts our understanding of LSD to show it as an experimental substance, a medical treatment, and a tool for exploring psychotic perspectives. She recounts the inside story of the early days of LSD research in small-town, prairie Canada, when Humphry Osmond and Abram Hoffer claimed incredible advances in treating alcoholism, understanding schizophrenia and other psychoses, and achieving empathy with their patients.

In relating the drug’s short, strange trip, Dyck explains how societal concerns about countercultural trends led to the criminalization of LSD and other so-called psychedelic drugs. In this well-written and fascinating book, she confronts the ethical dilemmas of the time and challenges the prevailing wisdom behind drug regulation and addiction therapy.

Table of Contents
Ch 1: Psychedelic Pioneers
Ch 2: Simulating Psychoses
Ch 3:Highs and Lows
Ch 4: Keeping Tabs on Science and Spirituality
Ch 5: Acid Panic
Ch 6: “The Perfect Contraband”