The sixties were known for the abundance of drug use, especially those of the psychedelic nature, such as LSD and STP. These drugs were powerful agents that had an intense effect on the psyche of the users. Even one use of these stays with a person in some way for the remainder of their lives. It can be detected through hair follicle testing in life or at autopsy after death. Unfortunately, the sixties did not offer the education that we have access to today regarding the potential effects of the drugs that were running rampant in many areas of the world.
Imagine, if you will, the feeling of being under the control of a narcotic substance. Maybe you haven’t used drugs recreationally, but you have been under the influence of a prescription drug, or even alcohol, to use as a means of relating to this example. Now, imagine that you never come out of that feeling. The drug never wears off and you are living the rest of your life with this same feeling. It may have been fun in the beginning (or it may not have been), but being unable to come off it is definitely not.
I know a man who faces this as his lifelong reality. He used these powerful psychoactive drugs in the sixties for fun. It was all part of the lifestyle and he was the life of the party. Today, the party is over but he hasn’t left the room at all. Everyone else is gone, but not him. He is still there and by the looks of things, he always will be. He is now living with what is referred to as a “perma high” because he is indeed, permanently high. He is never sober and under the power of a clear thinking mind. There is never a day that he feels normal and healthy.
His life was destroyed by the use of these drugs and he is not alone by a long shot. There are many other people who have been left with shattered lives, broken dreams, and ruined futures because they thought that the drugs would be fun and never understood the reality of them. Today, many don’t understand reality at all. Although the man that I know was a severe case and has kept him institutionalized much of the past forty years, there are others like him. Still others exist today who suffer recurrent flashbacks due to the brain damage that was inflicted by these psychedelic drugs. They may be able to function normally much of the time, but when the flashbacks come, they are often extremely frightening and bring on paranoia and high states of anxiety.
Drug use is never just “recreational”. There is always an effect on the mind and body of the user. The drugs that were popular in the sixties, however, affected the brains of their users in ways that were irreversible. In that era, the users didn’t have the education to even make a decision that was based on knowledge because the long-term affects were largely unknown. Today, they are known and in the worst of ways for those who are living with them and regretting the “fun” that they engaged in so many years ago.