LSD: a new treatment emerging from the past

Psychedelics fell from medical grace nearly half a century ago, but recent activity suggests that some researchers have “high hopes” for their return.1,2 Over 60 years ago, Albert Hofmann at Sandoz Pharmaceutical Laboratories in Switzerland first synthesized lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and personally experienced its effects (later described as a voyage into madness or a chemically induced psychosis) in 1943. Hofmann’s drug opened up a new era of hallucinogenic research. Over the next 15 years, more than a thousand articles on the use of LSD appeared in medical and scientific publications. In 1957, that work gave rise to the term “psychedelic” to describe a mind-manifesting response, described by some as an experience that brought to light matters that had previously been part of the unconscious.