4inquiries (4inquiries) wrote in psychoanalysts,

Savage/Zizek/Lacan on the Drugged Subject

From “Variations in Ego Feeling Induced by D-Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD-25)” (1955):

In 1955 we see in the journal Psychoanalytic Review a claim that the effect of anaesthesia or hallucinogens on the ego is something like a psychotic loss of ego-wold boundaries, “If perception is accurate, the differentiation of ego from the outer world is complete; where perception is inaccurate, as in drowsy states, anesthetized states or LSD intoxication, ego boundaries may lose ego feeling and be lost altogether” (Savage 14).

This understand of intoxication continues today, despite having been disproved. In his essay “Do We Still Live in a World?” Slavoj Zizek, a ‘card-carrying’ Lacanian, seems to still understand the intoxicated subject as excluded from psychoanalytic ‘talking-therapy,’ “What drugs promise is a purely autistic jouissance, a jouissance accessible without the detour through the Other (of the symbolic order)” (Zizek 2007). However, this understanding of drug use seems to dismiss intoxication as psychotically foreclosed from the symbolic order, whereas even Lacan says in My Teaching that the symbolic order is still intact with an intoxicated patient - “even so, LSD can’t completely mess up the signifying chains” (Lacan 45). If we cannot understand the drugged subject to be a psychotic subject, how might we rethink what is happening in the case of intoxication, from the point of view of psychoanalysis?
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