Psychedelics In Scientific Trials Could Be The Answer To PTSD And Depression
Photo: KatarzynaBialasiewicz (Getty)
If you’ve had the pleasure of our Mandatory Summer Reading List, you may have noticed Michael Pollan’s new book How to Change Your Mind is one that’s currently blowing our minds. But that’s not the only thing blowing minds, as psychedelics have recently been administered in scientific trials to treat PTSD and serious forms of depression, and so far, it seems to work.
Pollan’s book speaks about how LSD has historically been used primarily as a recreational drug, which has given psychedelics, along with other “drugs” (weed), a bad reputation as a festival drug with no medicinal value.
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But scientific testing is being done using LSD in very precise amounts to treat serious depression, namely PTSD, and to help terminally ill people coop with their impending death. Big picture kind of stuff.
Photo: via rawstory.com
Just as cannabis sheds its negative social stigma, or at least is reworking it with medicinal value, thanks to CBD, so is there lots of potential for psychedelics in medicine. And while “micro-dosing” might be a trending topic because you once heard Josh Tillman (Father John Misty) does it, we’re not advocating people go out and buy LSD if they’re feeling blue. We’re talking science, people!
Although most people imagine the brain lighting up on acid, some of the studies find brain scans with low-level activity, similar to scans of brains working on a needs-be basis. That means the part of our brain focused on our narrative, our ego (what we think about ourselves and how we incessantly think about our lives) is dormant. Psychedelics quieting the ego could allow for dramatic transformation.
LSD isn’t making people (in these studies) lose their minds, it’s quieting them.
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While not enough is known about LSD’s full potential, scientists have administered it in very precise doses to not only rats but to people with serious mental illness. Whereas a frat party might dole out tabs with no discrimination as to height, weight, mental history or sensibilities to freaking out, science has the ability to dose intravenously and in very exact amounts to better control the outcome.
In this method, the drug can be used to relieve anxiety and calmly open doors of perception for the recipient. The best part is its potential to be used infrequently, sometimes as little as once, to make a lasting positive impact. But devil’s advocates will tell you there’s still much to learn about side effects before everyone is permanently tweaked. Rightfully so, Brian Wilson.
DMT, a drug found in the human body, is a popular new form of spiritual enlightenment, linked to ayahuasca, but in a more immediate and short form compared to the shaman ritual. These ancient ceremonies have resurfaced in popular culture in a way that allows people access to experienced guides who can administer the “tea” and help steer them through a productive path where they receive the attention (and problem hydration) they need. But again, not a solo weekend project.
This shift of enlightenment and openness to drugs, including non-psychoactive CBD, has people who never sought recreational drug use to find a usefulness in guided psychedelics for health benefits.
Now, we know what you’re thinking…
You damn liberal hippie! Quit hugging that tree and smoking dope and get a real job!
To that end, we thought you’d be proud to know that a number of right-winged conservatives have backed proposed scientific studies on LSD, but we won’t name names. But if we were to, we’d say celebrities from Jack Nicholson all the way to Steve Jobs have reported life-changing positive psychedelic experiences they were more than open to speaking about.
Not what we had in mind: Woman on LSD Crashes Car, Strips Naked And Runs Through Youth Softball Game
Ironically, it’s partially political climate, the ending world and our burning desire to unfold all of life’s mysteries in the form of a new health trend that has brought us to this. But two years from now, LSD could be a very useful option to a lot of suffering people, especially when depression is an all-time high in America, and even Donald Trump is smart enough to declare an opioid crisis.
For more, check out Pollan’s new book, and for some of his talks, we recommend his interview on Joe Rogan’s podcast.