The 5 Types of LSD Users

And how to spot them

Farid Alsabeh

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Why do people use drugs? For some, it’s an escape: a chance to break away from our usual patterns of thought and behavior. For others, it’s an opportunity to explore the mind: to chart the unknown territories of consciousness, as an intrepid psychonaut.

The Czech psychiatrist Stanislaw Grof believed that there were five basic personality types that seek psychedelic drugs. Having researched the use of LSD for mental health treatment in the 1960s, he observed not only the effects of this powerful drug, but the kinds of people that it draws.

His findings were documented in his famous book, LSD Psychotherapy. Below are the five categories of LSD-seekers that Grof mentions in his famous book, along with examples from popular culture that you might recognize.

The rebels

“It is true that in many instances the drug is used for kicks or in the context of juvenile rebellion against parental authority of the establishment.”

There are two kinds of rebels. The first are the conscious activist types, who use altered states of consciousness to solve social antagonisms and resist oppressive systems. The second are the social dropouts who, in the face of the very same challenges, choose resignation instead of resistance.

In both cases, the rigidity of social conventions is the target of rebellion. Having glimpsed reality in its nakedness, without the distorting lenses of social conformity, the rebels use their newfound perspectives to formulate creative solutions. But this vision holds just as much chaos as it does promise, and some may never return to apply their insights.

Into this category we can place the fictionalized portrayal of Hunter S. Thompson in the movie Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. What other reason can we give to checking into a hotel on multiple tabs of acids (among other hard drugs), if not to challenge the status quo, and find in this wilderness of style that unprecedented way of reporting that became uniquely his?

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