The nature of drugs


Garden & Nature

Social Sciences

Alexander Shulgin


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Pages 368


A Course on Pharmacology, Pharmacokinetics, Societal Responses and Social Impact Vol 1

The Nature of Drugs is the story of humanity’s relationship with psychoactive substances from the perspective of a master psychopharmacologist. Derived from a lecture series by “Sasha” Shulgin at SFSU on the origins of drugs, how they work, how they are processed in the body, and how they affect our society.

Alexander Shulgin

After serving in the Navy, he obtained his doctorate in biochemistry from UC Berkeley in 1954. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, he worked as a post-doctoral research fellow in psychiatry and pharmacology at the University of California, San Francisco, and briefly as a research director at BioRad Laboratories, before becoming a senior chemist in chemical research at Dow Chemical Co. In 1960, he worked with mescaline for the first time. He then decided to synthesise it, which led to the DOM, among other things. In 1965, he left Dow Chemical Co to become independent. He taught public health at Berkeley and San Francisco General Hospitals. In 1967 he had the opportunity to work with MDMA, although at the time no one had used it. Although he did not invent MDMA, he created a new synthesis process in 1976 and presented the material to Lion Zeff, an Oakland psychologist who worked with so-called psychedelics. Zeff introduced hundreds of therapists to MDMA and the word quickly got out in the therapy community. Sasha's partner, Ann, also conducted psychedelic therapy sessions with MDMA. Since that time, Shulgin has synthesised hundreds of psychoactive chemicals, recording his work in four books and over two hundred journals. He is a figure in the psychedelic community, lecturing, giving frequent interviews, and instilling a sense of reasonable scientific thought in the world of self-experimentation and psychoactive ingestion. He is a member of the Bohemian Club. According to some authors, his approach as a chemist is similar to an artistic approach in his quest for perfection (the search for an effective and non-toxic substance that is powerful and controllable).
Agence Schweiger

Agence Schweiger