LSD — microdosing LSD in the name of self-improvement | DW Documentary

the hallucinogenic drug known as LSD ismaking a comeback but only in very small doses the effectsare barely perceptible still many users report a positive experience you justfeel a little bit happier you feel a little bit lighter you feel a little bitmore open you have a little bit more energy you’re a little more cognitivelike on top of things LSD has helped some people to deal effectively withpsychological problems virgins are nestled esteem and liberal attitude infact I believe that LSD saved my life it gave me hope againVidar flourished many users say that LSD has allowed themto rediscover themselves but this process can sometimes produce strongemotions I feel this hand grabbed me and it’s my younger self it’s the it’s thevery person I saw when I looked in the mirror as a child and he said O’Keefethat I’ve been looking for you this whole time but the use of psychedelicsubstances can also end in tragedy for a number of different reasons does Steve you don’t know where thesedrugs came from look what they’re made of or how much you’re taking style inversus industry walk for Vic she’s often diabolical drug or miracle cure is itsimply a matter of dosage in a kitchen somewhere in Berlin thisyoung man is preparing ice cubes that are laced with LSD I put in two drops ofliquid LSD 12 micrograms per cube that’s the pleasant micro doses we’ve agreednot to use the man’s real name we’ll call him Ben Oh in higher doses LSD cancause hallucinations but Ben Oh is using just 12 micrograms per cube a fractionof the amount that some people use to get high for several hours that’s notthe sort of trip he’s looking for Ben oh says that a micro dose of LSD willproduce an enjoyable experience I feel more awake my mind is clearer I’mmore focused and my overall performance improves some positive paranoid benno ignores the fact that thepossession of LSD is illegal in Germany he buys his drugs from a dealer heconsumes about 10 euros worth per month like many other people who micro dose heuses LSD for just a few weeks and then takes a break for several months he’sconfident that he won’t become addicted the my snorted into a person most peoplewho end up hooked are looking for an escape they want to feel numb or to geta euphoric high for a while that’s not what I want and I wouldn’t get it anywaywith such a small dose I saw this with Nintendo after three quarters of an hoursometimes up to two hours benno experiences a change in hisconsciousness you start feeling really good more like yourself you feel restedand motivational like you’re having a great day just Google Talk we’ll talk to benno later to find outhow he’s doing for this film we interviewed severalother people who micro dose they all know that using LSD is illegal that’s why we’ve agreed not to showtheir faces by this disaster Martha the first time I tried it I noticed a verysubtle effect after half an hour things were a little more intense and that wasmy focus yeah if I constantly attack as a family uses an absolutismit was a groundbreaking experience and a turning point in my life for me microdosing is like taking medicine uten Pharma didn’t seem Gant’s was on on dayswhat I’m expected to do a lot of work it really helps me to focus when the microgoes on a micro dose I feel like I’m switched on the whole day goosed LSD was created in 1938 by AlbertHofmann a Swiss scientist who was trying to develop a respiratory and circulatorystimulant Hoffman worked with substances thatincluded a grain fungus called ergot he was the first to synthesize lysergicacid diethylamide or LSD for short in April 1943 Hofmann tested a high doseof 250 micrograms and experienced the firstLSD trip in history later the pharmaceutical company Sandoz hisemployer marketed the drug under the trade name della CID and claimed itcould successfully treat a number of psychiatric problems in the 1960’s LSD found its way from thelaboratory to the street a German news program reported on the drugs rise in1966 didn’t enough anyone who takes LSDbecomes intoxicated and we’ll never see life the same way again opens evening benno certainly doesn’t feel intoxicatedright now he’s in a good mood a micro dose of LSD has become part of hiseveryday life he uses the drug at work and during his free time I don’t feelhigh at all oh I hardly noticed the effects yes but it’s just kind of therebut it’s a good feeling cause if you drive the Nishikado harbour it’s sort oflike the way you feel when you come back from vacation you’re relaxed and you canstill ignore the stress of everyday life you know in Japan alone benno started micro dosing five yearsago his goal self-realization and personal optimization he says LSD makesit easier for him to set priorities and carry out tasks he believes the drug canhelp him stay focused when he’s stressed out for example when I’m in a newsituation and I’m afraid I can’t handle it LSD helps me to concentrate I feelbetter and have more confidence to do this but it’s a fine line betweenpersonal optimization and loss of control large doses of LSD can causeparanoia anxiety and impaired judgment benno is unfazed micro dosing as aphenomenon originated in San Francisco and Silicon Valley where it’s viewed asan insider’s tip to enhance performance and creativity Paul Austin has become something of amicro dosing guru he’s the founder and CEO of an organization that advocatesthe use of psychedelics as a means of personal development and collectivewell-being I’d say I’m on a mission yeah to educatepeople about like the benefits and the potential risks of not only micro dosingbut generally like psychedelics more than anything I’m a teacher I teachpeople about micro dose and I teach people generally about psychedelics andI’d like to like approach them in terms of where they’re at and just help guidethem further along in terms of you know what they need to learn about thesesubstances Austin’s organization is called thethird wave a reference to the use of psychedelics over centuries he organizes seminars and online coursesto educate people about the responsible use of these drugs these events attractpeople who care and who want to learn more and who want to be part ofsomething it’s very rare that you’ll have someone who comes to these eventswho is anti psychedelics or anti micro dosing so that energy here is like it’sthyself because it’s usually very positive and supportive and like openand curious and that’s it’s just refreshing compared to most people mostplaces so one question I want to start with as they everyone here donepsychedelics Austin doesn’t need to win anyone over most are here to find outmore about these drugs and about micro dosing but he warns that buying LSD inthe US and many other Western countries is illegal it’s usually best practicenot to try to get drugs at an event like this so although we have a psychedelicwebsite and we are putting on event this is not a great place to actively pursuethat this is a great place to build connections and build relationships butattitudes are changing for example the possession of psilocybin mushrooms hasbeen decriminalized in several US cities more and more people seem to be tryingthese drugs you have people from every walk of life who are micro dosing fromcollege students in the Midwest to stay-at-home moms in California to techexecutives in New York to people who are retired who you know live on farms andNew Zealand you literally have people from all walks of life who are becominginterested in this it’s not just limited to tech executives in Silicon Valley whoare micro dosing with LSD Austin is convinced that legalrestrictions on the sale and possession of LSD in the US will eventually belifted he won’t have to worry about being arrested when he uses it Austin has soaked a small shred ofcardboard with a liquid micro dose of the drug he’s not too concerned aboutadministering an exact amount when I’m mic reducing I don’t worry about that asmuch because I’ve been doing acid now for nine years and so I tend to have apretty good fit if it’s a little bit too less or a little bit too much I canhandle it and kind of go with it and just go with the flow after Austin has taken a dose of LSD heenjoys walking around outside in the forest or at the seashorethe effects of the drug with this amount are mild but Pleasant I feel good I feel like euphoric I feel just my sense of touch my sense of smelleverything’s a little bit high and more sensitive to like everything that’sgoing on around me so yeah I feel great I feel really good in the u.s.The useof LSD has become popular among a well educated and professionally successfuldemographic this is the group that Paul Austin is targeting with his businessmodel and his public information campaign the drugs that I’ve chosen to use happento be highly illegal and not yet and that’s a keyword they’re not yetaccepted culturally but they will be very soon and I just happen to be one ofthe pioneers who’s talking about this in a more public way Austin is always on the lookout for newinvestors he earns money from online courses which started $49 each andpersonalized coaching sessions at just under $400 per half-hour I want towelcome you to the first video that we’re doing for the third way of microdosing course and community I’m your instructor Paul Austin his goal is tolegitimize the responsible use of psychedelic substances starting withMike reducing so the best way to calibrate your dose level is to startlow and go slow he’s in a legal gray area the thing with the third wave isyou know we don’t sell drugs we only sell information so we’re just creatingthe space so that people if they make that decision to do it they can do itsafely and effectively but in terms of actually crossing any sort of legalissue we’re very careful about you know what we do because psychedelics stillyou know are very legal in most countries in 2011 psychologist and researcherJames Fadiman published a book which claimed that ultra low doses ofpsychedelic drugs can improve cognitive functioning emotional balance andphysical stamina I have called the godfather of micro dosing which is moreamusing and embarrassing I would say that I rediscovered micro dosing throughmore mistakes than wisdom but in discovering it I found something thatpeople found generally safe and for many people useful Fadiman began his researchon these substances in the 1960s he says that the purpose of micro dosing is notmind-bending intoxication but the enhancement of normal functionalitymicro dosing is far and away the most boring form of consuming psychedelics novisions no angels no being eaten by snakes no seeing all of your relativesfor 15 generations no becoming one with all humanity and with all matter andfinding that you were part of divinity none of that in the mid-1960s San Francisco becamethe epicenter of the countercultural movement the use of illegal drugs waswidespread in 1967 tens of thousands of young people flocked to the city toexperience the Summer of Love many had their first acid trip here the movement in the 60s wanted to createa counterculture they wanted to create something that was opposite ofmainstream culture whereas today we want to integrate psychedelics intomainstream culture to actually transform culture itself many young people takingLSD felt liberated from social constraints but for some the use ofhallucinogens ended in bad trips and overdoses the u.s.Banned LSD in 1970and a UN treaty that outlawed psychotropic substances was approved ayear later high doses are different world and are scary and take preparationand take a full day out of your busy life micro dosing is something that youdo as part of your life it doesn’t interfere it actually improves yournormal behavior but there is no conclusive clinicalevidence to support Fatima’s claims he recommends that a micro dose should betaken only once every three days so that the body doesn’t develop a tolerance forthe drug Fadiman has conducted a survey on his website in which he asks microdosers to comment on their use of psychedelics most of the 1,600 responseswere positive but how credible are these testimonials it sounds like a wonderdrug as long as you’re thinking of it as a pharmaceutical because how cansomething both be interesting for migraines for depression and changepeople’s eating habits so they eat healthier that makes no sense at allfrom a pharmaceutical point of view so what we’re seeing is micro dosing seemsto increase the body’s natural healing capacity the German micro dosers weinterviewed would agree with that assessment jovan mentioned tag on some days I feellike I’ve been given a superpower plan it’s like a small tool that gives youhuge energy it gives me creative insights and abilities that I wouldn’tnormally have my my textbook was signage hittin a button when I’m at work itdefinitely helps me to concentrate I’m wide awake and more focused on theater Mike Eruzione allows me to focus morequickly and ignore all the stuff that’s not important it really helps me toconcentrate have never considered soon this person hold this DC guns Kleinertfiner and spun on it gives me a very subtle sense of relaxation micro dosingallows me to get in touch with myself my body and my feelings I’m calm I’mfurious but is there scientific evidence tosupport such claims or are these people simply imagining that a micro dose ofLSD improves their performance we travel to the Netherlands to find out more at the University of Maastricht we meetjohannes rama cares a professor of psychopharmacology he’s conducting oneof the first lab based studies on micro dosing nobody has actually been able toassess whether this claim is true or false right now we’re just beingpresented with case reports of individuals that support the claim butobjective evidence of whether such a tiny dose because it really is a tinydose really has a positive effect has not been established ROM occurs gave thetest participants five ten or twenty micrograms of LSD he wanted to determinethe short-term effects that the various doses would have so far he believes thatsmall amounts posed no serious risks in general psychedelics are relativelyharmless in the sense that I do not produce any toxic effects onphysiological parameters or health health outcome params so in that respectthey are really safe the but at the same time at subside Alec that plays aroundwith your mind and that’s where the potential risks can be found but this isparticularly true for when people use high doses open your mouth and it ispoured into cheek and the participants were given either LSD or a placebo andwere then tested over a 24-hour period ramicus and his team showed how themicro dose has affected the subjects mood creativity concentration andgeneral sensitivity the smallest dose produced no effectsbut the researchers noticed a change at ten micrograms participants reported asmall increase in their moods a particularly positive mood and eventhough this increase was not very big and she would not expect also for microdose it was very consistent and it occurred directly after the intake ofthe micro dose and it lasted for as long as the drug is actually active so for anumber of about 10 hours or so the study found that the micro dose helped theparticipants to concentrate better but it did not make them more creative theseresults are only preliminary and further research will be required also rumoccurs wants to find out how micro dosing would affect test subjects over aperiod of several weeks but he advises that the results will probably show thatmicro dosing is not a miracle cure as some have claimed you can’t expect thata mic could also convert you into the next Nobel Prize winner mica dose is nota one of those and the changes that it produce by definition will be mild so aperson that is not creative will not become creative but some micro doses arenot interested in improving their performance productivity or creativitythey use LSD to treat depression Julian is studying for his doctorate degree inchemistry Julian has battled severe depression for seven years one analysttea without LSD I probably wouldn’t be here right now LSD saved my life ithelps to restore my sense of hope after four or five years of despair – fianoften occurred yulian tried everything to combat hisdepression including psychotherapy alternative medicine hypnosis andantidepressants but nothing worked and he was desperateto find a solution spa dozen zips inverter sweetsie – 2017was the worst for his dismay oh I thought seriously several times aboutsuicide and just giving up this eternal struggle and find for me I gave him oneSuzanne I asked myself what I was getting out of life is definitely andand the answer was nothing on infinite Oscar food then you lee undiscovered psychedelicssome friends and the netherlands introduced him to truffles laced withLSD and for the first time in years he felt better later he found that microdosing helped to relieve his depression symptoms in the fossil specifically hardwork I don’t do some really tough time there were days when I didn’t even getout of bed I had no motivation at all does micro dosing but micro dosing gaveme new hope it showed me that life really was worth living and helped me tostart enjoying things again I was much more aware of my surroundings and I wasable to get in touch with them Julien spoke to his psychologist about microdosing but she couldn’t prescribe LSD therapy because the drug is illegal inGermany in Switzerland where LSD was discovered 80 years ago scientists arestudying whether the drug can be used effectively to treat depression at the psychiatric university hospitalin Zurich researchers are studying the effects that this drug has on the humanbody test participants are given a full dose of LSD not a micro dose and themedical staff monitors their reactions they’ve found that the drug changes morethan sensory perceptions as even if and oldest among innovation we’ve observedchanges in mood emotional perception and self perception the participants havemore empathy they also experience less social anxiety that is they don’t feellike they’re being ostracized and eager for and then mention oh gosh Lawson somebias beer after the test subjects ingest a dose of LSD they undergo an MRI brainscan analysis of these scans indicates that the drug changes communicationpatterns among various regions of the brain including activity and networkingin areas where such exchanges rarely take place LSD seems to affect the waywe think and our emotions and self perceptions the results indicate forexample that these drugs can be used to treat depression many people who sufferfrom mental disorders simply withdraw from society it’s essential to bringthem back into a social environment and we hope that psychedelic drugs can helpin that process the concept of using LSD to help treat mental illness is not newbut these days the idea is getting a lot of attention from researchers Katrine brother and psychiatrist fundsfull inviter are now studying how hallucinogensparticularly psilocybin could be used to treat depression both Monheit devicesthat the siffredi cannot we have learned something new called it’s a luminarystudies indicate that one or two doses of saw Simon can over a period of threeto six months she helped to reduce depression symptoms by b61 Arthur Debrathief is symptomatic at CERN in a recent study 60 patients who suffer fromintermediate level depression took part in a study on the effects of psilocybin30 test subjects were actually given the drug the others a placebo theirreactions were constantly monitored by a therapist in case the psilocybin broughtback traumatic memories the participants were a sleep mask andlistened to relaxing music to help them concentrate on the experience the earthmetals disease of stands and I hope that this will help the patients to escape atleast for a while this downward spiral of emotions and negative self-assessmentwe can help to reduce their depressions on items over the long term even d/deafresumes informal and fuzzy arts begin this would be a major step forward indepression therapy only 7 sessions are involved three four preliminarydiscussions one for the actual ingestion of the drug and three for debriefing theresults seem promising an Academy of calm depth is one of the main effects ofpsychedelics is that they blur one’s perception of the external environmentfrom thoughtful there’s a loss of the sense of self command of inhibitions andthis allows people to interact more effectively with others of course it alldepends on the dosage the systole is a panic but the researchers warned that it couldbe dangerous for people to take a full dose of psilocybin or LSD without properpreparation and medical supervision it’s browsed Naha this treatment iscomplicated and it involves therapy before and after the drug is takenpatients have to go through the entire process otherwise they’ll just have asingle pleasant experience that will mean little antennae partition processbut yulian did not have access to this kind of therapy he decided to treat hisdepression symptoms with LSD without medical supervision his girlfriend Naylahas been with him through good times in bed she has doubts about whether microdosing will help a long-term I have to trust him when he says that he knowswhat he’s doing but he’s been suffering from serious depression and it’s oftengot out of hand so I’m still worried about him but Ialso see that the drugs seem to help him he feels better now and I’d reallymissed seeing him happy for house an infamous table english julian has nowstopped micro dosing he feels better today than at any time since hissymptoms first appeared he’s glad that he used psychedelics but he alsorealizes that he was taking a risk in surviving these drugs have a hugepotential but they can also be dangerous so they’re not for everyonedominus inviting him I wouldn’t recommend self-medicating with LSD foreverybody I really prepared myself before I started using alpha but I did medical experts point out that takingLSD without proper supervision can make existing psychological problems evenworse is micro dancing can be a real problem if people do it on their own butat this point we don’t know enough about the effects to be able to properlyassess the risks Vitas goofy le so we strongly advise against people usingpsychedelic drugs to treat themselves and far as Memphians feared as we’vesaid LSD and psilocybin are still illegal in most countries but a numberof alternative therapists have been experimenting with these and otherhallucinogens anyway in 2015 in the town of Honda low near Hamburg nearly 30people were hospitalized after they ingested a drug called 2c e which issimilar to LSD they had been attending a seminar on how to expand theirconsciousness and were given the drug by the therapists to organize the event thus SD these substances have a darkside there’s always the potential for abuse in this bout what’s more than youdon’t know where these drugs came from what they’re made of or how much you’retaking the therapists often have no idea either this is off I’ll finish WasedaEnglish on men but some medical experts believe thatLSD could be used in certain kinds of therapy the topic was discussed at arecent conference in Berlin one of their participants dr.Gerhard Grunder plansto launch a clinical study on the possible therapeutic use ofhallucinogens concerns and definitive cook it’s definitely time to re-evaluatethe status of psychedelics if people use substances that are pharmacologicallypure administered in specific doses by experienced therapists and are givenappropriate preparation and follow-up we can substantially reduce the risks Idon’t love it a solution one finished maqamone of those who believes that LSD can play a role in medical treatment is theberlin-based researcher henrik young Avella he heads an organization thatpromotes the study of psychedelic drugs unless the yield up to the subpoenas fornow the medical benefits are limited to the treatment of depression and anxietythe preliminary data suggests these drugs could also be used to treatpost-traumatic stress disorder and alcoholism don’t echo whole isthmusthis light machine can mimic the effects of psychedelic drugs some who have usedit report that the experience enhances their sense of well-being for decadesresearch into LSD was ridiculed but now that’s changing young Avila says thatit’s time for government regulators and ethics committees to take a second lookat the drug because there are drugs out that are supposed to be Wonder drugshope based on the drugs and actually how can we how can we respond to thesebeliefs and to these hopes by showing people if they were one person convincedthat LSD works is in the audience Julian has travelled to Berlin to attendthe conference and share his experiences with the experts this is a finished usestimate this is the first time that I’ve had the chance to meet people whoare actually doing research in this fieldO’Malley India I’m really looking forward to learning from them the goal is to regulate LSD fortherapeutic purposes but some here believe it should be legalized so anyonecan take a trip by Moses Tony samehada unzips a lot of people are looking for anew spiritual experience for whatever reason and they shouldn’t have to go toa shaman or self-proclaimed therapist to get their drugs I believethat we should take LSD off the illegal underground market and provide a safeand professional environment for those who want to use it for self explorationwhich is explore Hudson atonium could demand for chemically induced selfexploration is nothing new and the Netherlands is one of the few countrieswhere it can be indulged in publicly truffles laced with psilocybin are legaland sold openly the effects of psilocybin are similar to those of LSD this is the synthesis retreat nearAmsterdam a privately run facility that gives its customers the opportunity toexperiment with psychedelic drugs in a medically supervised environment keith is a 49 year old doctor from theUS this is his second stay here I want to reconnect with my younger selfthat that person who was not jaded by life who was not guarded bydisappointment who had not adapted to the circumstances in a way that hadchanged the underlying person which I felt my life had done so the differencebetween many of these people are going to try psychedelic drugs for the firsttime the staff provides an extensive preparation program we want to createthis safe space and container that will allow you to surrender fully into theexperience so that you can go as deeply as possible into the experience trust inthe truffles that they know exactly what you need and they’re going to help youhave the experience that you’re supposed to have most of the clients come fromEurope and the u.s.A three days day costs about two thousand euros the company’s director of businessdevelopment miles Katz explains the renewed interest in the use ofpsychedelic drugs we live in a world that’s like highly digitalized and sowe’re always looking at screens and you know our societal norms for work-lifebalance aren’t really healthy and so people really feel themselves goingthrough the motions of things but not really living a fulfilling life or totheir full potential they’re really feeling connected to anything at all andthat’s often one of the most powerful outcomes from these experiences peoplejust feel this immense sense of connection to themselves again to thenatural world to the other people in the group that they share these experienceswith we weren’t allowed to film the clients actually experiencing apsychedelic trip but we did watch the staff prepare the drugs after theclients have consumed a psilocybin truffle they lie down and wait for thehallucinogen to take effect an average experience lasts up to eighthours a nurse is present at all times but not a qualified drug therapist thenext day Keith tells us how it went he saw no bright colors or mythicalcreatures but he did encounter his younger self I started walking down thishallway and I feel this I’m gonna cry because I always do with this stupidthing I feel his hand grabbed me and it’s my younger self it’s the it’s thevery person I saw when I looked in the mirror as a child and he said Oh KeithI’ve been looking for you this whole time where have you been the shiftbetween me being a responsible adults trying to make this connection for myown health and then seeing what to my mind was absolutely me looking up to mesaying I’ve been looking for you this whole time it was just so profound staff members later interview theclients about their experience miles Katz says that synthesis has developed aprofitable business model and the company hopes to expand it looking out20-30 years into the future as legislation change maybe every majorcity will have one or two synthesis type centers where people are going on aregular basis maybe every six months or every 12 months to go have theseexperiences where they can kind of reconnect reset check in with themselves Katz has helped to develop one of theworld’s first facilities where psychedelic drugs can be consumedlegally and safely the German micro dosers we spoke toearlier say that LSD has become part of their daily lives yeah Dilek yes itdefinitely has my consciousness has been liberated and I won’t let anyone takethat away from me and others should have that freedom as well so decision if Idisposed sense namely listen I don’t really care what people say these drugshelp me the big question is what will happen if I don’t take them as finishesknees name the future mayor of Clairol public needsto be informed of the benefits of these drugs and they need to be legalized soeveryone can choose whether they want to take them in Canoga that’s marked withonly Brno has experimented with LSD in both large and small doses so far he’spleased with the results we get sued well I’m doing fine and it’sa good feeling but they’ve also been times in my life when I wasn’t doing sowell I hadn’t discovered micro dosing yet and now I’m grateful that I havedone better benno says he’s not addicted to thedrugs and could stop at any time so why doesn’t heI simply noticed that when I use them I feel better I’m sure it’s possible toexperience the same journey that you take on micro dosing without using drugsone was up sponson but it’s quite possibly a harder road to travel likevilla you

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