"The LSD story [in the May issue] contains many inaccuracies. Dr. Marvin Block is quoted as saying that persons suffering LSD psychosis would never recover. I know of no such statement. It is true that some people with no previous psychiatric history become psychotic through the use of LSD, but it is a well-known fact that LSD does not cause psychosis but may hasten it in an already disturbed person. Also, the statement that there is no valid medical use for LSD is categorically untrue! A good deal of LSD psychotherapy is presently being conducted in Canada. I must presume your article was very poorly researched or deliberately slanted. In either case, it hardly deserved inclusion in something called The PLAIN TRUTH." George Lane, Mill Valley, California
Every statement made in the LSD article was thoroughly researched and verified before publication! For instance, the writer says he knows of no such statement as we quoted Dr. Marvin Block. The plain truth is, the Toronto Globe and Mail carried a forthright article on a speech given by Dr. Block, vice-president of the U. S. National Council on Alcoholism. Dr. Block spoke to a group of 650 teenagers at a conference on alcohol education. We quote the news release: "Dr. Block said there were 250 young people confined to Bellevue Hospital in New York who were 'totally insane only through use of LSD.' He said they would never recover" (Globe and Mail, Toronto, January 1, 1967). Enough said about Dr. Block's statement. What about the other claims? Is it "a well-known fact," as asserted, "that LSD does not cause psychosis... "? Not at all. We quote a pamphlet published by the District Attorney's office of Los Angeles County: "We know that long-term subtle psychological damage may result from LSD. Such damage may be glossed over by the pleasure and enthusiasm engendered by the substance, but we have seen too many cases of psychic breakdown to doubt the serious dangers of the drug. "It is even possible that the brain is structurally damaged. There is recent evidence that LSD attacks hereditary genes. "In short, our professional medical opinion is that playing with LSD is a desperately dangerous form of 'drug roulette.' The medical evidence is clear. Any person taking LSD runs the risk of psychotic breakdown and long-run physiological damage" ("Drug Abuse and the Law," quoting a statement by Drs. Dana L. Farnsworth, M.D., director, and Curtis Proud, M.D., chief of medicine, Harvard University Health Services). Is that enough proof that LSD can cause psychosis? Or does the questioner need the confirming statement of Dr. Donald B. Louria, president of the New York State Council on Drug Addiction and Associate Professor in Medicine, Cornell University Medical College? In his book The Drug Scene, Dr. Louria, an authority on drugs, states: "Any individual, no matter how well integrated into society, and whether or not he or she has any past hi story of psychiatric difficulty, can, after a single ingestion of LSD, suffer an acute psychotic break — severe enough to require hospitalization... Once acquired, the psychosis may last for days, weeks or even months. The precise percentage of LSD experimenters who will experience psychoses requiring hospitalization is not known, but the large number of LSD-induced psychoses seen in New York City and On the West Coast indicates that this is a major risk for any individual taking the drug promiscuously" (p. 149). Dr. Lauria quotes a noted neurologist, Dr. Roy Grinker, writing in the Archives of General Psychiatry in 1963, as saying: "There are increasing numbers of reports that temporary or even permanent harm may be induced in spite of apparently careful pre-therapeutic screening of latent psychosis and careful precautions during the artificial psychosis" (p. 148). On page 152 Dr. Lauria further commented: "Approximately one-sixth of the patients referred to Bellevue Hospital for LSD-induced psychoses do not recover during the hospital stay but must be referred to other hospitals for possible long-term care. Only half of these have hi stories of prior overt psychiatric abnormalities..." He continues later in the same paragraph, "... LSD may precipitate an active psychos is requiring hospitalization which may persist for many months or years or even possibly result in permanent psychosis" (p. 152-153). Finally, it is claimed by the questioner that our statement concerning no valid medical use for LSD is categorically untrue. Oh) States the United States Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs: "Although openly and irresponsibly promoted as a means of expanding consciousness, the hallucinogens have yet to be proved valuable medically" (Fact sheet 9). Concerning the medical "uses" of LSD, Dr. Louria says: "In summary, there is at present no clearly documented place for LSD in medicine or psychiatry..." (p. 135). He does show, however, that research is proceeding in possible future uses of LSD in treating such conditions as alcoholism, psychoneurosis and terminal disease (the latter merely to assuage pain, not to cure the disease!). The results of such research are tentative, at best — far from being conclusive. Some question if the "treatment" in this case isn't worse than the original problem, in the long run! Much more could be said regarding LSD, its dangerous traits, its association with chromosomal defects, increasing evidence linking it with birth deformities. Why elaborate? Surely, any sound-thinking individual can see the dangers by now, if he is not biased Or prejudiced. Reader Lane seems to have drawn conclusions without having had all the facts, first. The PLAIN TRUTH article on LSD was not slanted, but told the whole story — the plain truth — "like it really is?