NEW YORK (CBSNewYork)– Looking for a boost?
A growing number of professionals are taking what they call a wonder drug to amp up their performance and stoke their problem-solving abilities. And the drug is actually a well-known, and illegal, substance that they say provides an “IQ Trip.”
The 60s was an era of rebellion and experimentation with drugs, including psychedelics like LSD. Fast-forward more than 50 years and LSD is back after being banned because of problems.
But now, it is taken in small doses it’s referred to as micro-dosing, CBS2’s Kristine Johnson reported.
Techies, entrepreneurs, and artists are among the users who take about a tenth of the normal dose, not to hallucinate, but to give them an edge and make them more creative and productive.
“I feel focused and I can take away my distractions easily — much more easily,” an artist named Briana said.
Veteran software engineer Kevin Herbert said LSD helped him solved some tough problems at work.
“Software engineering and hardware engineering — incredibly complex. There does appear to be a benefit,” he said.
Researcher Dr. James Fadiman conducted pioneering LSD research when it was still legal. His subjects took moderate doses of LSD.
“There were theoretical physicists. There were chip designers,” Fadiman said.
Each brought technical problems they could not solve, but after dropping acid they found success.
“We had 48 problems, 44 solutions,” Fadiman said.
Today, Fadiman is collecting reports from hundreds of micro-dosers from around the world.
“They feel better, they feel more competent,” he said.
But some say more studies are needed on the practice. Steve Chassman of the Long Island Council on Alcohol and Drug Independence said the hard scientific data is just not there yet and he urges caution.
“Without the research to support it, we would definitely here, based on our work, say micro-dosing is dangerous,” Chassman said.
He said there’s good reason LSD is banned and recommends more healthy and legal ways, such as meditation, to improve focus and creativity.
“This is what we see across the country, better living through chemistry kind of mentality,” Chassman said. “Is this really what we need?”
There is a variety of methods to distribute the drug, which is still illegal. The drug is most commonly found diluted in liquid in dropper bottles. But experts warn no one knows what dose is safe.