Science | July 22, 2020 11:09 am

More Americans Are Experimenting With LSD During the Pandemic

Why? Oh, because the world is on fire.

A little LSD with your pandemic?
Stock / Getty Images

You may have noticed that life is a waking nightmare, and if you are like an increasing number of adults in America these days, you may have recently tried dropping acid to cope with this bleak reality.

Authors of a recent study on Americans’ LSD use found that the drug is on the rise among adults in the country, and they have a pretty good idea as to why that might be: the world is on fire.

“LSD is used primarily to escape. And given that the world’s on fire, people might be using it as a therapeutic mechanism,” University of Cincinnati doctoral candidate Andrew Yockey told Scientific American. “Now that COVID’s hit, I’d guess that use has probably tripled.”

In one of the first major studies to examine acid dropping trends among U.S. adults, the study authors found that the drug has seen a significant rise in popularity in recent years, even before COVID made us desperate to escape the nightmare of everyday life during a global crisis. Analyzing responses from 168,000 Americans, researchers found LSD intake increased by 56.4 percent between 2015 and 2018.

While the it-drug of the day is typically declared by the young, it turns out Gen Z isn’t behind the great acid renaissance. Researchers found LSD use increased the most among those aged 35 to 49, whose interest in the drug shot up 223 percent in the three-year period. The 50+ age group saw a 45 percent increase in LSD use as well, while use among people aged 26 to 34 increased by 59 percent. However, the youngest potential acid-droppers, those aged 18 to 25, were the only age group whose LSD use saw a decrease, dropping 24 percent.

But even with the substantial increase in LSD use among older Americans, researchers say the drug still hasn’t matched its mid-20th century peak. “LSD is a lot less popular today than it was in the late 1960s and 1970s,” NYU Langone Health drug researcher Joseph Palamar — who was not affiliated with the study — told Scientific American.

But if you, like many of us, would rather hallucinate through this flaming hellscape of an apocalypse, there’s perhaps never been a better time to try on an altered state of consciousness. It can’t be any worse than this one.

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