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Full Review
Dropping Acid: A Beginner's Guide to the Responsible Use of LSD for Self-Discovery
by Dale Bewan
Book Reviews
Reviewed by David Arnson, 5/28/2014

“When you take LSD or (most) other psychedelics, you experience a state that is even more conscious than your regular state; just as your regular state is more conscious than your groggy-just-woke-up-and-need-coffee state. This comes as a surprise to some people,as they assume – quite incorrectly – that their normal state of being was the most conscious they were capable of being.”

The pseudonymous “Dale Bevan” has written a self-published guide for those interested in taking LSD for the first time. It is written in a very thoughtful manner, and, to it’s credit, does not necessarily act as a cheerleading ‘infomercial’ for use of the substance. What we are given here is a fairly balanced overview of LSD in terms of it’s history, chemistry, and the author’s own experiences with it.

It is notable that the writer identifies himself as having Aspergers’ Syndrome, a degree of autism where one can still be highly functional. Part of the book’s purpose is to convey that a methodical use of LSD has helped the author recognize and compensate for his his condition, primarily in regards to his behavior in social settings, and has even helped him find solutions at his job as a software developer.

You can get an idea of the ambitious scope of the book by the listing of the chapters’ titles here:

The Effects of LSD
Your First Trip
Structure Of The Trip
Tales Of Some First Trips
Dangers And Risks
Don’t Panic
Self -Discovery
LSD And Creativity
The Meaning Of Life
States Of Mind
Where Do I Get It And How Do I Take It
LSD Research And Medicine
The History of LSD
LSD And The Law
The Chemistry
Final Words

Much of the information is, of course subjective, but overall sober and sensible, such as advice on avoiding crowded public places, and for having access to a safe ‘home base’ for decompressing afterwards. One learns that Sydney, Australia’s ‘Bondi Beach’ is a good place for having a first experience (the author was living near there for a while)! Some interesting comments are delivered in the ‘Meaning Of Life’ chapter, and on LSD’s spirituality-inducing qualities even as the author remains an atheist.

In the chapters on ‘Where Do i Get It And How Do I Take It’ and ‘The Chemistry’, Bewan practically stumbles over himself listing all of the possibilities, pitfalls and factors on whether what you have is real or fake, but still, better over-informed than under-informed, right? And again, it is very interesting to read how LSD (and MDMA) has helped the author deal with his Asperger’s Syndrome.

Overall, this is a reasonably good overview and user’s ‘101’ manual for someone who really wants to do their research and homework before ‘Dropping Acid’. At 280 pages, myriad fact and factors are earnestly addressed, and the all-important concept of ‘set and setting’ is constantly reinforced. Kudos on mentioning ‘’ as an information source, but we will subtract one microgram of credit for misspelling Ken Kesey’s bus as ‘Further’ and not the more often used and well-documented ‘Furthur’!

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