Written by Kelsey Dickerson, Staff Writer
You might associate LSD with the 70’s or the rave scene, but the drug is getting a new face. Young professionals—most notably business men and women along with electronic coding workers all over the United States— are experimenting with sub-perceptual doses of psychedelic drugs to boost performance and creativity. The new trend, dubbed “micro-dosing” has some science backing it’s use, but professionals are still weary, noting that even in small doses, psychedelic drugs can have some ill side effects.
If you tried this new trend to boost your focus on school work you wouldn’t be alone. Thousands of users have taken to Reddit, a social networking site where users can post threads based on their interests, to document their micro-dosing journeys or to ask for tips to begin using LSD or mushrooms.
Supporters of the micro-dosing trend point to drugs deemed “safe” by the government, like the widely prescribed Adderall, which have the same effect as small doses of psychedelics, but can be addictive and have to be taken every day to be useful.
A micro-dosing user of LSD only has to take between 10 and 15 micrograms of substance every four days to experience the drug’s benefits, and runs no risk of becoming addicted. The micro-dosing experience is said to be a lot like drinking strong coffee—the user becomes more focused and alert. Some even say they feel “more connected” with the world.
The leading study in micro-dosing comes from Dr. James Fadiman, Ph.D, who started a study on micro-dosing back in 2011. Fadiman would provide his email to anyone wishing to participate in his study and instruct them how and when to micro-dose for a month-long period, encouraging subjects to note their experiences. Subjects in the study reported alleviation of depression, headaches, and chronic-fatigue syndrome.
Those opposed to micro-dosing continually look to what we already know about psychedelics. In his Forbes article, Robert Glatter, MD, speaks out about LSD’s side effects: elevated heart rate and blood pressure, nausea, and even miscarriage if a full dose of the drug is consumed, not to mention seizures and bouts of hallucinations. Psychedelics are also shown to work poorly with Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors, which are used to combat depression.
Though the reports from Dr. Fadiman suggest that micro-dosing could alleviate depression without the need for SRRIs. Drugs like LSD are also hard to obtain in their purest form. Because LSD and other psychotropic drugs are illegal in the United States, they can be laced with a myriad of other drugs when purchased and could therefore cause side-effects unknown to the user. And they may not give the desired brain-enhancing outcome, instead resulting in a “bad trip” causing brain function to be severely altered.