The drugs back then were mostly just pot/hash/hash oil, some cocaine (not much), and psychedelics, especially LSD. PCP was also quite popular but it was also very much maligned. It was usually not called PCP but instead it was called “crystal” or “cannabinol”. Crystal would be sprinkled on marijuana leaves and passed off as pot. Cannabinol looked like a very small amount of silly putty. It was smoked.
Many to most users saw themselves as “hippies.” Hippie culture was still going very strong in the early to mid 1970’s. In fact, hair never got that long in the 1960’s. It was in the 1970’s when men really started wearing their hair long and hippie culture definitely went mainstream in a huge way. In the 1960’s, I think it was always somewhat sidelined as a freak phenomenon. Most high school and college students in the 1960’s were probably not hippies. I would wager that many more were in the 1970’s.
LSD was usually “windowpane” – some of the craziest, strongest LSD I have ever taken. It was just a tiny sliver that looked like a piece of very thin glass. Some people would put it in their eyeball! It gets into your bloodstream just fine that way.
I remember one day, two of my best friends showed up at high school with a cassette tape box. They opened it up and showed it to me. Inside were 300 hits of Brown Windowpane LSD. It was very early in the morning. The school day was not yet through before they had sold out the whole box – all 300 hits in a school with 3,500 students enrollment. That shows you the extent of drug use at a White middle to upper middle class high school in the suburbs in those days. Drug use was off the charts. Could you sell 300 hits of strong LSD at a suburban high school nowadays before the day was out without getting caught?
This was another thing. No one would tell on you back then. Narcs were seriously hated and if you turned in a drug user or dealer, your name was mud for eternity. There were probably straight-o’s that might turn you in, but I think even they were afraid of being “narcs.” If an undercover officer tried to make a drug arrest in the middle of the school day, I am afraid that he might actually start a riot – that’s how anti-police high school students were back then. Anyone who wanted to be a cop when he grew up would be completely eliminated from everyone’s social circle as a “straight-o”, a “geek” an “idiot” a “loser” and especially a “pig.” If he tried to attend a party, someone might hit him. “Police officer” was simply not an acceptable career choice.
Neither was going in the military. This was during the Vietnam War Era with Watergate going on, and all high school kids hated Nixon. Only a complete idiot would volunteer for the military. Remember that during this era, ROTC offices on college campuses were actually being bombed and burned to the ground! I do not know one person who went in the military after high school.
Why would anyone do that? Such a person would be known as an “idiot” and really, you would not even want someone like that in your social circle. At the very least, you would be a “square” and that was very bad. Squares got ostracized in the worst way, thrown out of most social circles and no one would talk to them. They might join up with some other squares and form some square clique, but everyone else avoided them. Also to be a square was to be a “geek” and a nerd, and the idea was no chick would look twice at you.
That’s how popular acid was back then. Most people didn’t take it many times – just a few times here and there. But others were acidheads – I had friends who took it every single weekend for years on end and eventually racked up ~300 trips. I never met a single LSD casualty in my life. I don’t think they exist. One of my best friends is held up as a classic LSD casualty, but there is nothing wrong with him at all other than the fact that he seems very weird in that he has all sorts odd mannerisms, etc.
The problem with the LSD casualty account for this guy is that he is 100% normal and logical in his mind – if anything, he is an inhibited introvert. Supposedly the acid caused all these weird, basically neurotic or eccentric mannerisms, but the thing is, I knew this guy when he was only in 7th Grade before he had taken even one drug and he was far weirder than than he was after the dope. If you want to play cause and effect, go for it, but in his case, you are forced to conclude that the drugs actually made him more normal. Truth is this guy was weird as Hell from day one and he was way weirder before drugs than afterwards, so you were not seeing drug effects, you were just seeing some naturally eccentric person.
Interestingly, I saw his IQ score when my counselor showed me mine b because his name was right next to mine. He had the exact same IQ that I have – 147. So this was probably a case of as IQ rises higher and higher, you start to reach a point of diminishing or even negative returns where with each rising IQ point, the person seems to get weirder and weirder and this actually gets seriously in the way of making a living and even functioning well in society.
That’s why you see all those 160+ IQ men who are not married, never date, are celibate, live alone in small apartments, are painfully shy and introverted, are unemployed or have very low paying jobs and live on the edge of poverty. These people have the problem that they are so damn smart that they are basically too smart to even function in our society, so they end up being social and occupational failures in many ways.
I have seen some very bad trips – a friend of mine was hospitalized for 48 hours on a bad LSD trip that was more funny than anything else. I never had a bad trip on LSD, but I have only taken it nine times.
There were also pills called “whites”. That was illegally manufactured amphetamine made by motorcycle gangs. I believe I have heard that the stuff was never anything but ephedrine. They were quite popular. Downers were also popular, especially Seconal. Those were called “reds.” I took one once and it was like drinking a six pack – a similar seriously drunken feeling.
Meth was for all intents and purposes nonexistent.
Cocaine was very expensive and hardly used outside of very wealthy circles. However, it was heavily glamorized as a harmless recreational drug, which it is certainly not.