Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Sunkist by LSD

The Legend:  Excessive LSD use left a young man in a psychiatric hospital, believing himself to be a glass of orange juice.

Status:  False

[Taken from the Internet]

This guy goes down to the States from Canada.  He comes across this amazing deal on acid, so he buys a hundredlot. He figures that it's not likely they'll strip search him, so he tapes the whole sheet to his stomach when he goes back. At the border he's ordered to get out of his car and wait in a room while they search the car. He gets so freaked out, thinking that they're going to strip search him after all, that he starts sweating. The sweat soaks the sheet taped to his body and he absorbs a hundred hits of acid through his skin. Pretty soon he thinks he's an orange and decides he'll have to peel himself, so he starts peeling off his clothes. To this day he's confined to a psychiatric ward, still convinced that he's an orange.

  • A guy was running from the cops and had a sheet of LSD in his pocket. He knew he was going to get busted so he ate the whole sheet. Now he thinks he's a glass of orange juice and his biggest fear is that someone will drink him.
  • In some versions the victim believes himself to be an orange (rather than a glass of orange juice), although he may also harbor fears that he will turn into orange juice if anyone touches him.
  • The patient is sometimes said to be afraid to lie down (lest he spill), go to sleep (because someone might drink him), or allow anyone to approach him (for fear he might be peeled).
  • Often this story is told about a guy "right here in our town."  You remember Dave, I think he graduated with your brother...
  • Drinking orange juice will intensify the effects of LSD.
  • Drinking orange juice can help a person come down from a bad trip.

What I really want to know is why are there so many urban legends and myths that connect LSD to oranges?

This rumor shows up in a few places, including a book called Storming Heaven, by Jay Stevens, and a book called Mind Drugs, by Margaret Hyde. Despite these scholarly references, a search of medical literature using the terms "LSD" and "orange" together turns up exactly zero articles.

These rumors are classic LSD scarelore. As improbable as it may seem, this tale and similar others about the "LSD psychotic" were taken quite seriously by the anti-drug community of the mid-1970's, when the long-term effects of LSD use were still unknown.

This "orange juice man" story is repeated as if it were a case study, by health care professionals who should know better.

As for the rumor that drinking orange juice, or some other specified type of fruit juice, will intensify an LSD trip, there is no science, research or physical evidence to support this claim, and no biochemical reason for this to be true. However, if a person tripping on LSD thinks that a glass of OJ is going to enhance their experience, it probably will.