Acid Is the New Xanax

Writer Ayelet Waldman was on the verge of suicide until she self-medicated with LSD.
Ayelet Waldman, a novelist and former federal public defender, at home in Berkeley, California on December 8, 2016. Waldman has written a memoir about her discovery of microdosing, the illegal but voguish drug regimen whose adherents use tiny amounts of LSD much as one might use Prozac. "I didn't do this on a lark," said Waldman. "I did this because I was afraid I was going to kill myself."
02_03_LSD_01 Source: Justin Kaneps

The scene was at once familiar and strange. Ayelet Waldman and I were at the kitchen table of her large old house in Berkeley, California. Her husband, the Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist Michael Chabon, wandered in from the supermarket and started preparing dinner, something involving salmon. One of their four children, on break from college, came in search of beer, lingering for a few moments to chat about politics.

The strange part was what I was there for: Waldman’s month-long experiment with LSD, which she chronicles in her enjoyably punchy new book, Known primarily for her frank and with a description of her depressive tendencies, which she’d been treating with halting success for years. But prescribed psychotropics offered only itinerant help, and her suicidal ideation began to flourish.

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from Newsweek

Newsweek2 min read
Photographer Eva Sereny Captured Sets Of Iconic Films
Sereny was one of the only female set photographers in the ’70s, and worked with every major director, from Bernardo Bertolucci to Steven Spielberg.
Newsweek4 min read
‘Beautiful Boy’ Captures the Stark Reality of Addiction
Nic Sheff nearly succumbed to meth addiction. He’s now being played by Timothée Chalamet, the Oscar-nominated star of “Call Me by Your Name.”
Newsweek3 min read
NASA Satellite to Show How Much, How Fast Seas Rise
Loss of ice at the North Pole could shut down the Gulf Stream, plunging Northern Europe and Scandinavia into a deep freeze.