For many, upon hearing the word psychedelic or L.S.D, images emerge of ruffled hippies, staring longingly at fluorescent kaleidoscopes. These stereotypes arise from the psychedelic-filled ‘Hippie Movement ’ of the 1960’s where many of these hallucinogens have been illegalized in several parts of the world.
Lysergic Acid Diethylamide or its’ street name; ‘Acid’ is conceivably well- known but, there are numerous others. These include Psilocybin mushrooms (‘shrooms’ or ‘magic mushrooms’), Ayhauasca, and Ibogaine.
These substance seem to be making a bit of a ‘come-back’ in modern society .Carte Blanche covered a story in August about a lady named Monica Cromhout, who was arrested for ‘dealing’ Psilocybin mushrooms, although her related ceremonies have allegedly aided its recipients greatly. In Brazil certain inmates are being given Ayahuasca as a form of rehabilitation. The seeming rise in popularity of transcendental festivals has also certainly created a rise in psychedelic use.
There are many claimed benefits of using psychedelics. To name a few, a recent study has stated psilocybin as a possible causal factor in the termination of smoking addiction as well as reducing anxiety in cancer patients. Ayhauasca has reportedly improved the lives of many where it is claimed to help the brain move past traumas. Ibogaine has been said to aid with opiate withdrawal. Furthermore, The discovery of the revolutionary ‘Polymerase Chain Reaction’ was partially discovered by Dr Kary Mullis who attributed this finding to his use of LS.D. A third year Biochemistry student even went as far as to say. “…it literally removes blockages of ideas.” which is not an unfounded statement considering the fact that Ayahuasca and ‘magic mushrooms’ have both been claimed to increase the neuroplasticity of the brain thereby leading to improved cognitive ability.
” The social consequences of the psychedelic experience is clear-thinking-which trickles down as clear speech. Empowered Speech.”-Terence Mckenna
Of course, with such intense benefits come almost certain risks. To name an extreme few, some psychedelics can lead to flashbacks of the ‘trip’, are claimed to emphasize certain mental illnesses(although some claim the opposite) and cause one to take dangerous actions whilst ‘tripping’, ,where over dosage is also possible on certain substances. Some psychedelics such as Ayahuasca are advised to always be taken in a retreat setting with professionals. Lastly, let one not forget the possibility of being imprisoned.
The question then is, should one actually be put behind bars for experimenting with hallucinogens? If not, should it be ingested within a regulated setting or should we have the right as sovereign individuals to decide our own explorations? Certain measures could possibly be taken in society, likened to that of drinking laws. Whatsoever one chooses, the use of hallucinogens are increasingly evident and so perhaps their demonized status needs to be reconsidered.
Carte Blanche: http://carteblanche.dstv.com/player/909554
The New York Times http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/29/world/americas/a-hallucinogenic-tea-time-for-some-brazilian-prisoners.html?_r=0
Wikipedia (background information) : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_hippie_movement
The Pharmaceutical Journal: http://www.pharmaceutical-journal.com/news-and-analysis/features/psychedelics-entering-a-new-age-of-addiction-therapy/20066899.article
Metamorphosis- Ayahuasca Documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dz0XLVUq3WI
Ayahuasca and the brain https://youtu.be/aufjjU0EYxk
Promega connections http://www.promegaconnections.com/10-surprising-facts-about-hallucinogens-psychedelics-and-magic-mushrooms/
What is Neuroplasticity? http://www.whatisneuroplasticity.com/
Drug Free World http://www.drugfreeworld.org/drugfacts/lsd/what-are-the-risks-of-lsd.html
Brown University Health Promotion: http://www.brown.edu/Student_Services/Health_Services/Health_Education/alcohol,_tobacco,_&_other_drugs/psilocybin.php
Dr. Kary Mullis about L.S.D https://youtu.be/CC5ApU4YKBU