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Meher Baba's comments regarding LSD

In the 1960’s a number of westerners came to Meherazad. They met with Meher Baba and told him about their use of and experiences with LSD and other drugs. He instructed them that these drugs were mentally, physically and spiritually harmful and that they should completely stop using them. However, after these westerners had left, Meher Baba asked Dr. Goher Irani to get information on LSD. She obtained a book and read it out to Him. Baba asked her to underline certain parts in the book, which she did. Meher Baba also asked Dr. Goher to summarize other parts of the book that had to do with the psychological effects of the drug. She made a written summary according to his order. Meher Baba also told her that in the future LSD would be of use in the treatment of patients with psychological problems.

Dr. Goher Irani gave the above explanation, the book (which had the underlined portions) and also her summary to this writer in March/April 1993. The book and summary were returned, within a short time, to her at Meherazad.

The following paragraphs, within the quotation marks, include the entire text that Meher Baba asked Dr. Goehr to underline and a summary of a portion of the book which she wrote. The underlined portions were very slightly edited ( with additon of commas, periods, etc.).

The book that Dr. Goher Irani read to Meher Baba: Lysergic Acid Diethylamide and Mescaline in Experimental Psychiatry (Proceedings of the Round Table on). ed. Louis Cholden, M.D. Grune and Straton. New York. 1956.

Underlined portions
“It is a tasteless drug and it is highly active by mouth. After absorption it is found in highest concentration in liver, spleen, kidneys and adrenals. It is also found in the brain but in much lower concentrations. It is completely excreted through the liver and bile into the intestinal tract from which it is eliminated within a short time after administration. In higher doses it causes ataxia, paralysis and sometimes increased reflexes as well as a variety of vegetative symptoms. It is a respiratory depressant (even in smaller doses) and death can result from respiratory failure and arrest. Amongst the most important pharmacodynamic properties are: increasing the contractility of the uterine muscle, decreasing vasomotor tone and producing a marked antagonism toward 5-hydroxytryptamine (serotonin). LSD precipitates a multiplicity of vegetative symptoms (some of which are sympathetic and others parasympathetic) among them: mydriasis, hyperglycemia, increase in body temperature (strong effect even with small doses), increased sympathetic activity, increased salivation and lachrimation, bradycardia and blood pressure decrease. Large doses can produce increased intestinal peristalsis, vomiting, ataxia, paralysis of the extremities, etc., as well as respiratory standstill and death.”

Dr. Goher Irani’s summary
“Clinical symptoms were induced by oral doses of LSD varying between 0.1 and 0.25 mg, with an average of 0.12 mg. The onset of symptoms was usually noted after 30 or 45 minutes, the peak effect after 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours, and total duration of effect from 9 to 12 hours. The intramuscular route produced an initial response in about 15 to 20 minutes, with the peak effect after about an hour, and total duration of effect about 9 to 10 hours. The intravenous route of application was used to apply 0.04 to 0.18 mg of LSD, the average dose being about 0.10 mg. Symptoms appeared within several minutes, and showed a peak effect, if thedrug action was not interrupted, in about an hour. It lasted about 9 to 10 hours. In effect the action lasts 9 – 12 hours. There is a rapidly decreasing response (psychic and pyrogenic effects) to the drug and tolerance develops quickly. Mescaline and epinephrine have structural similarities and initially the substance produced by the body that led to the development of psychosis was thought to be a metabolite of adrenaline. Adrenochrome (an epinephrine metabolite) in doses of 25 to 50 mg produced prominent psychological changes and was the first substance produced by the body which had shown to be a hallucinogen (Dopamine was later identified as the substance probably playing the central role in the causation of psychosis). Adrenaline plays a central role in the autonomic nervous system. In volunteers who took LSD-25 disturbances of the autonomic nervous system preceded mental symptoms.

Low doses of 20 to 50 ug of LSD produce psychic changes. A state is produced which is similar to drunkenness, characterized by exaggerated imagination. Perceptual changes constitute the most dramatic effects which are usually visual and tactile and may consist of either distortions or hallucinations. With eyes closed, fantastic pictures of extraordinary plasticity and intensive color seem to surge to the person. After two hours the effect wears off.

Marked changes in mood occur; the person becomes quite emotional, and laughs or cries with only slight provocation. Both euphoria and dysphoria occur. Intellectual processes are impaired resulting in confusion and difficulty in thinking. Intellectual impairment may be primary but may also result from emotional and motivational changes produced by the compound.

There are several known antidotes: 1) Sodium amytal, 2) methamphetamine, and 3) chlorpromazine. Amelioration of psychotic symptoms was produced by sodium amytal (200 to 500 mg IV) and methamphetamine hydrochloride (20 to 40 mg IV). The compounds were effective alone but their efficacy was greater if they were given in combination. (Methamphetamine may be contraindicated as an antidote since it can also induce psychosis). Rauwolfia does not act immediately on the experimentally induced psychosis.

Chlorpromazine (largactyl) is seemingly an even more potent and effective antidotal agent (50 mg – antidote) when administered intravenously at the height of the psychotic reaction. For instance, if about 50 mg. of chlorpromazine is administered intravenously in about 10 cc. of diluent over a five minute period, rapid and complete disappearance of autonomic phenomena such as nausea, vomiting and dizziness is obtained in 30 to 60 seconds after the injection. Vegetative symptoms are usually the first to disappear, and then a marked reduction of motor activity and verbal productivity takes place. It has been observed that the more intense and clear cut are the symptoms brought on by the psychosis producing drug, the more effective is the eradication of the symptoms by chlorpromazine. Firstly, an improvement in contact is observed and a more clear relationship to reality is established as well as a reduction or elimination of motor restlessness and verbalized feelings of anxiety.

If chlorpromazine is given to subjects two hours before or two hours after LSD-25, the psychomotor activity decreases. Both LSD -25 and Chlorpromazine have something to do with the function of the midbrain especially the reticular substance.

The LSD experience is a manifestation of the psychic unconscious. The LSD experience frequently leads one straight to the core of the patients problem. Three areas are mainly affected. First, the re- living and emotional working outof earlier, often forgotten traumatic memories. Second, experiencing of a second inner self; the neglected side of the personality. Third, contact with the archetypes.

Regarding the suitability of psychiatric patients for treatment with LSD, the tense driving obsessional patients do best. Regarding the treatment of psychotics, success was obtained in a patient with puerperal schizophrenia. A similar patient was treated with hashish and recovered after a “re – birth” experience; which is notable given the similarities of action between LSD and hashish.”