We all know that feeling of negativity in the workplace. Its insidious reach can bring the mood of the whole office down. Whether it's caused by a failing project, office politics, or just because it's a Monday, negative energy can really hinder everyone's enjoyment at work.
Usually, team leaders try to fight this negativity with some peppy speeches, team-building activities, or free doughnuts. But one employee decided to take it upon himself to improve the atmosphere. He thought that LSD was the answer.
Have you ever heard of Lucy?Lysergic acid diethylamide, LSD, acid, window, tripper, smilies, rainbow, stars, tab, paper mushrooms, microdot, Lucy, liquid acid, hawk, flash, drop, dots, cheer, blotter, trip. These are all names for the hallucinogenic chemical drug, commonly known as LSD.
LSD has been around for over eighty years.Swiss chemist, Albert Hoffman, first created LSD when he was searching for ergoline derivatives, which can be used to alleviate migraines and symptoms of Parkinson's disease. He originally ingested it by accident and discovered its hallucinogenic properties. In 1943, he went on to ingest the drug intentionally and found it to be much stronger than he had anticipated.
LSD used to be legal.It went onto the market in 1947 and was labelled "a cure for everything from schizophrenia to criminal behavior", "sexual perversions," and "alcoholism." People went wild for it in the realm of popular culture as authors and musicians began to experiment with it. But from 1966, it became illegal as people were unsure of the effects that it was having on both the mind and body.
Would you be able to recognize it?LSD is a clear liquid. It's usually sold on small squares of paper, which often have pictures on them, known as "tabs" or "blotters." Sometimes, it is sold as pellets, known as 'microdots,' or in liquid form. It has no smell or taste, so it is easy to see how someone could take it accidentally (like if their co-worker spiked them). But traces of the drug can be seen in urine, plasma and blood samples.
You never know if it will be a "good" trip or a "bad" trip.Taking LSD is a very imperfect art. That's one of the reasons why it is seen to be so dangerous. It is completely subjective. The trip is affected by your mood, the people that you're with at the time of taking the drug, where you are, what you've eaten, your size, and whether or not you've taken it before. It is impossible to know in advance whether or not it will go "well". The quantities are often unknown, so it can last for between three and twelve hours.
From euphoric giggles to paranoid fear.As a psychedelic drug, LSD can cause visual and audio distortions. Colours and objects can seem odd, inanimate objects and patterns may appear to move, and time can become a very difficult concept to understand. Although it can provide feelings of euphoria, energy and empathy, it also causes paranoia, suspicion, confusion, panic, anxiety and fear. As reality becomes less certain, people often lose their sense of self. Although it is always temporary, it can create a lasting impression.
LSD is illegal.In the UK, LSD is a Class A drug, and in the USA it is Schedule I. It is considered very risky to use as the quantities and outcomes are unknown. Possession of it, as well as selling it or giving it to someone, can land you in jail. This is particularly the case if you are caught spiking unsuspecting co-workers…
Hippies had a different opinion of LSD.The 1960s was a decade of a perpetual state of the summer of love for many people. It's a decade that, for many, passed in a haze that they can barely remember. This was, in part, because so many people began taking LSD. They found that the mind-altering substance allowed them to be more relaxed and to think in a different way. As they lost themselves, they felt that they were able to access a different level of consciousness.
LSD was glamourized by celebrities.The 60s were a time of great musical and written achievements. It is also a time when many celebrities began to try LSD and unlock their creativity. From Bob Dylan to Aldous Huxley, the world began to witness a creative awakening. Music, art and books all began to explore the effects of hallucinogenic drugs on the mind, and on their work.
LSD was thought to open "the doors of perception".Aldous Huxley, author of Brave New World, was notorious for his use of psychedelic drugs when they first came on the market. He chronicled his experiences in The Doors of Perception, as well as drawing strong parallels in Brave New World. He was strongly in favour of them, once stating: "The mystical experience is doubly valuable; it is valuable because it gives the experiencer a better understanding of himself and the world and because it may help him to lead a less self-centered and more creative life."
"Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds."The Beatles recorded Revolver in 1966 and were famously very strongly influenced by their experiences on LSD. In particular, "Tomorrow Never Knows," includes some very strong psychedelic tones. It even has a part that plays backwards. Lennon also wrote a song called "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," which obviously shares the initials of the hallucinogen, but he claimed it was inspired by a drawing that his son did.
"White Rabbit" is the ultimate trippy song.Jefferson Airplane's song is ostensibly about Alice in Wonderland, but the lyrics make it very clear that it is really an ode to drugs. Beginning with the lyrics "One pill makes you larger, and one pill makes you small," and later saying "when logic and proportion have fallen sloppy dead," it is ultimately a song that leaves nothing to the imagination.
Hendrix personified the era of "Purple Haze".Jimi Hendrix was a child of the time and was known to indulge in the psychedelic drug. His song "Purple Haze" is the epitome of the LSD craze. The lyrics include lines such as "Purple haze all around, don't know if I'm coming up or down," and "is it tomorrow, or just the end of time."
It wasn't just music that was affected by this psychedelic craze.A lot of record covers began to possess psychedelic imagery, which is now thought of as a classic style for the time. Hipgnosis was a notable English art design group who gained fame through their cover for Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, and went on to design the sleeves for many bands, such as Led Zeppelin, the Pretty Things, and ACDC.
The effect of LSD can still be seen in modern art.
via: GettyIn 2000, British artist, Damien Hirst, made his neo-pop piece entitled LSD. This was followed by a piece called "In Search of Oblivion," which was an exhibit of hundreds of pills. He has also created a showcase of work entitled "Schizophrenogenesis," in which he exhibited large-scale capsules, pills and medicine.
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is one long trip.You don't have to read much of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas to see that the author, Hunter S. Thompson, had clearly tried LSD at some point, and possibly was still feeling the effects of it while writing the novel. For anyone less interested in reading the garbled explanation of perception that Thompson so effectively delivers in the book, the movie with Johnny Depp and Benicio del Toro is a very accurate portrayal of the events in book. It certainly makes the viewer feel as if they have been experiencing the trip along with the characters.
A lot of modern music portrays the influence of LSD, too.The Flaming Lips are a band that make it very clear that LSD is a part of their lives. Although they claim that they don't work on LSD, some of their songs contain not-so-obscure references. Tame Impala is another band with strong connections to LSD, amongst other drugs. Their song, "Nangs," is meant to depict trying NOS balloons.
Even Chance the Rapper has gotten involved.The song, "Acid Rain," is, unsurprisingly, about trying acid. It begins with the line, "Kicked off my shoes, tripped acid in the rain." It later says, "I see his demons in the empty hallways, I trip to make the fall shorter." While the song is about Chance's friend who sadly passed away, there is no ambiguity about the fact that he uses and enjoys the effect of LSD.
Now LSD is returning to the mainstream.In Silicon Valley, a new craze has taken off. It's called micro-dosing. It involves taking one-tenth of a recreational amount of the drug while at work. The people who are doing it believe that it helps them to be more creative, more flexible, and better at learning. However, they tend to do it voluntarily, rather than after being spiked by a colleague...
Micro-dosing is becoming increasingly popular.While it began in Silicon Valley as an underground habit to try to stay one-step ahead in a fiercely competitive environment, micro-dosing has now begun to spread to other areas too. It is thought that the small doses enhance happiness as it mimics serotonin. At the same time, the slight disconnect that it causes between different parts of the brain allows people to problem-solve in a more flexible way to usual, which they believe creates better results in the workplace.
Where's the proof?This is the tricky bit. There is no proof. As drugs are illegal, people do not admit to taking them, so it's harder to monitor the effects that they are having. It's been proven that LSD alters the way the brain works, although most users would presumably be able to say the same just by trying it. Beyond that, little is known about whether or not micro-dosing does help people to work better. However, if they take too much then they would probably end up having a full and intense trip in the workplace. Not ideal.
Project MK Ultra used LSD to manipulate people's minds.Back in the 50s, the CIA heard rumours that the military in Korea were able to manipulate people's minds through synthetic drugs. From 1953 through to 1973 (ostensibly), the CIA used human experiments to see if they could control people. The vagu idea was that if hallucinogens make them disconnect from their sense of self, then that was an opportunity to implant some new ideas. The experiments involved a lot of illegal activity and were often inflicted on unwitting subjects who in no way signed up for it.
There was also a Psychedelics in Problem-Solving experiment.As psychedelic drugs became more common, and more sought after, scientists desperately tried to work out what, exactly, they were. Crucially, were they the key to unlock some of the mysteries of the mind, or were they a dangerous waste of time? The subjects of this experiment reported that they experienced enhanced functioning and flexibility alongside lower levels of inhibition and anxiety. However, apparently, they were also administered other drugs. It is important to note that they were all in a very controlled environment, with small, measured quantities. It does not mean that trying it at home would provide wondrous results. Which is something that the worker should probably have considered in advance...
Why would anyone ever think that it was okay to spike someone?We all know the Negative Nigels who can make work feel worse than it needs to. And we may have thought of doing something to cheer them up. But spiking someone's drink is very clearly taking it a thousand steps too far. And what's more, giving someone LSD at work against their will, would be purposefully giving someone what could be a terrifying ordeal, or a living nightmare, just because you wanted them to smile more. Very uncool.
Renting a car suddenly became a very different experience.Two co-workers were going about their day at work - they worked at Enterprise Rent-A-Car in Arnold, Missouri. Then, seemingly without any reason, they both became dizzy and shaky. That's when they found out that their co-worker had spiked their water bottles and coffee cups with LSD.
One wily worker managed to avoid being spiked.The manager had seen the nineteen-year-old suspect messing around with all the drinks. Although she hadn't seen what actually happened, at one point she thought that she had seen him holding a water dropper over her bottle of water, so she didn’t drink it. When the workers reported their symptoms, she sent them to the hospital and she called the police.
The teen admitted why he spiked their drinks with LSD.Apparently, the teen spiked their drinks because, "they were too uptight, and they needed to have better energy." Surely he can see that administering an illegal, hallucinogenic drug isn't the best way to improve people's energy?
He may face jail time.The suspect was released without charges, but that is only until the lab tests come back with the results. However, if the results come back and prove that he did spike their drinks with LSD, he faces charges of both second-degree assault and possession of a controlled substance. It's definitely enough to send him to jail.
LSD is a serious, powerful and mind-altering drug.Although many celebrities have said that they have reaped numerous benefits from LSD, and although it may enhance creativity, it is also very powerful. It can create an inescapable nightmare inside someone's head. The most important thing that people have said about LSD is to make sure that your mindset and setting are both right before taking the drug. Being spiked, unawares, at work is not the way to give someone a positive experience.
Do you know Frank?
"Talk to Frank" is a website that provides "honest information about drugs." It is a website that you can visit for any information you may need about any drug. It explains the different names and different effects of drugs, as well as the risks and how legal it is considered to be. Frank is a great source of information and also a place that you can contact if you are worried about yourself or others. Perhaps if the worker had taken a look at Frank first, he wouldn't have thought that spiking people at work was such a good idea...