Psychedelic Drugs

A major influence, but not the only influence, of many the aspects of the counterculture was drugs. Drugs caused many people to see another world. Psychedelic drugs were taken in order to expand your mind. Introduced during the 1950s during the Beat Generation, LSD was a popular drug of choice for the youth culture of the 60s. Other drugs were also consumed or smoked, such as marijuana, heroin, ecstasy, and peyote. While on these drugs, people would envision a whole new separate world. The music and the art of the counterculture immensely reflect these highs, both of which have very unmistakable and peculiar styles that had never been seen or heard before.

Although drug use was popular during the counterculture, people were not stoned all the time. As Bob Weir says, “Drugs were there, and they were visible… but we were all artists, musicians, and freaks all the time” (Perry, Charles. The Haight-Ashbury: A History. New York: Wenner Books, 2005, pg. xi). People fed off the highs of other people and developed there own sober sense of this separate world.

During the beginning of the 1960’s counterculture in San Francisco marijuana and acid were the drugs of choice. But, as more and more people flocked to the scene, they brought other psychedelic drugs into the picture. There was a quick transfer from acid and pot to speed, STP, and heroin. In combination with these drugs and not eating sufficiently, many people became hysteric. They robbed people and stores (the Free Store on Haight was robbed one night…the robbers could have gotten whatever they wanted for the same price if they had just gone in the afternoon…). They would do anything to get money for their next round of drugs. They thought nothing of their fellow followers. This was not the hippie way.

So drugs not only inspired much of the counterculture sights and thoughts, but it eventually led to the destruction of many of their values, organizations, and their utopian community.

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