Renton cannot believe what is happening to him. He feels like he can die at any moment. He tries to fill his own emptiness with drugs. This emptiness engulfs him much like the heroin that engulfs him. There was a point in the story when Renton is trying to give up heroin. He goes on to explain the steps to relinquishing heroin. He then gives himself an opium suppository for just one more hit “I’ve never had my finger up my own asshole before,” (Welsh, 77). Renton says. “I’m vaguely nauseous” (Welsh, 78). Dr. Albert Hoffman accidentally discovered LSD-25 in 1938 in Switzerland while experimenting with ergot.
Lysergic acid diethylamide is the full name for LSD and the 25 added at the end is intended to signify that it was discovered the twenty-fifth time that is was experimented. Rather than being called LAD it is called LSD because the German word for acid is saeure. LSD is commonly referred to as “acid”. Some common street names for LSD are Cid, Bart Simpsons, Barrels, Tabs, Blotters, Heavenly blue, “L”, Liquid, Micro-Dots, Mind Detergent, Orange Cubes, Orange Micro, Owsley, Hits, Paper Acid, Sacrament, Santos, Sugar, Sunshine, Ticket, Twenty-Five, Wedding Bells, Windowpanes, the list goes on.
It is colorless, odorless and has a slightly bitter taste and is usually taken by mouth in tablet, capsule, and liquid form. The liquid form is sometimes added to absorbent paper and cut into decorative squares. LSD is the most potent mind bending chemical. Ergot, a fungus that grows on rye, has lysergic acid in it and this where LSD is contrived. Dr. Albert Hoffman describes his feelings while on LSD “I suddenly became strangely inebriated. The external world became changed as in a dream. Objects appeared to gain in relief; they assumed unusual dimensions; and colors became more glowing.
Even self-perception and the sense of time were changed. When the eyes were closed, colored pictures flashed past in a quickly changing kaleidoscope. After a few hours, the not unpleasant inebriation, which had been experienced whilst I was fully conscious, disappeared. What had caused this condition? “(“Acid in its entirety”) LSD is one of many drugs that make up the hallucinogen class. It is a psychedelic drug used for many reasons. It was used in many medical tests with the mentally ill, alcoholics, and many others. But it soon became clear that LSD was not suitable for these tests.
Many different people have used LSD for their own reasons. Recreational use of the drug began with the psychedelic movement in the 60’s. It then decline in the 70’s, but reemerged in the 80’s with the institution of acid house parties. Many believe that is harmless, others believe that LSD is pure evil. The “trip” is often very difficult to describe by users. Words lose meaning and are often insufficient in describing the effects of the drug; thoughts may seem unclear. The “trip” begins to taper off after about 6-8 hours and is usually completely gone after a nights sleep.
But when something goes wrong in taking the drug or something is bothering the user it may result in a “bad trip”. These experiences are long and arduous. Typically it would end in about 12 hours. Many LSD users progressively and voluntarily stop their use over time. LSD is not physically addicting. It does though produce a tolerance. Some chronic users need to gradually take higher doses to accomplish the same state of intoxication that they had previously achieved. Due to the highly unpredictable nature of LSD this practice of taking higher doses is very dangerous.
Even though LSD does not create the same compulsive “drug seeking” behavior as cocaine, amphetamine, alcohol and heroin it still resembles the same escape that the user in looking for by taking that said drug. In The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe tracks the story of Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters “following the eye of the storm so to speak as it leaves the Beat Generation, stops by the Perry Lane bohemians and then crashes onto California at full force with the hippies, LSD and psychedelia. ” (Wolfe, 51).
Ken Kesey was born in 1935. He grew up on farms in Colorado and Oregon. Kesey was voted “boy most likely to succeed” at his high school in Oregon and went on to a creative writing fellowship at Stanford University. He attended the University of Oregon, where he participated in wrestling and drama. In 1959 his life underwent a dramatic change, when he volunteered to be a subject in experiments with hallucinogenic drugs. Near the end of the experiments, he began working as a janitor during the night shift in a mental ward.
He began to feel that the patients weren’t really crazy after all, just more individualized than society was willing to accept. And he began to believe that he was a part of them and he felt a need to escape. “You’re either on the bus… or off the bus” (Wolfe, 96) While under the influence of hallucinogenic drugs Ken Kesey wrote One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest (Kesey). This story is set among the patients and workers of a mental institution. It tells the story (narrated by an inmate) of an energetic con man that seeks institutionalization as a means of escaping the pains of a prison work farm.
Before long, in order to reduce the sexual and emotional impotence of the men at the institution, he began to challenge the tyrannical Nurse Ratched, irrevocably altering the destiny of those in the ward. The story is made up of series of skirmishes between McMurphy and Big Nurse. McMurphy became a hero, changing the life of the inmates, but pays dearly for his individualism. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest may have had more influence on society than society had on Kesey. Drugs to some people are an escape. To those people they feel as if that acid, heroin or any other drug would fill that emptiness.
“Big, black hole like a clenched fists in the centre ay my fucking chest” (Welsh, 150). This line from Trainspotting sums up the underlying truth about addiction and drugs. Addicts use drugs to escape, to fill emptiness within, but with the consumption of more drugs the emptiness builds and builds. In the words of Sick Boy from “Trainspotting” “So, we all get old. We can’t hack it anymore and that’s it” (Welsh, 48).
Works Cited Welsh, Irvine. Trainspotting. W. W. Norton, 1996 Wolfe, Tom. The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test. Black Swan, 1995 Kesey, Ken. One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest.Pendant, 1962 “Acid in it’s entirity”. Erowid Psychoactive Vault. http://www. erowid. org/psychoactives/psychoactives. shtml 1995-2003 [email protected] org Irvine Welsh’s Website http://www. irvinewelsh. com/index. php “Ken Kesey’s Reading’s”, Intrepid Trips http://www. interpidtrips. com Online Database http://library. queensu. ca/inforef/guides/databases/lion. htm.