The usage of psychedelic drugs has a very long and extensive history. It is estimated that psychedelic mushrooms have been eaten for as long as one million years in certain parts of Africa, long before the invention of writing (1. ) There have been countless numbers of findings of mushrooms drawn on cave walls and even temples devoted to “mushroom gods” (1. ) They have been used by shamans, kings, priests, warriors, ordinary people- you name it. In more recent years, the usage of LSD has come into play. LSD, like mushrooms, is highly psychedelic and can cause huge changes in one’s personality and outlook on life (2).
Although people abuse psychedelics for recreational purposes, they have true medicinal value and potential. First off, it is very important to understand that most psychedelics, when used correctly, are in no way dangerous to your physical body (3). You could take mushrooms, LSD, or DMT everyday for the rest of your life and you would have no physical damage done. However, taking drugs everyday is a terrible idea and will inevitably be very conflicting with your day-to-day tasks. That is why moderation is incredibly important and psychedelics should only be taken when you have a purpose to take them.
When LSD was still legal in the 1950’s and 1960’s, it was used to enhance psychotherapy (2. ) Many psychiatrists that used it found it to be extremely effective. In one study 56% of psychiatrists found LSD to be effective and had continued to use it in their profession (2). LSD had especially high success rates in the treatment of alcohol. In multiple studies, LSD had over a 50% success rate of treating alcoholism, nearly five times greater than that of Alcoholics Anonymous (2). Most importantly, “the root of the therapeutic value of the LSD experience is its potential for producing self-acceptance and self-surrender” (2. This is very important, because LSD forces the user to face their own issues and to evaluate their psyche.
The potential benefits far outweigh the associated risks that come with hallucinogens. In one study, two thirds of 36 participants found that psilocybin was the single most meaningful experience in their lives (5). Also, 79% “reported moderately or greatly increased well-being or life satisfaction two months after taking the drug” (5. ) Numbers don’t lie and that is a huge success rate. Another benefit that comes along with hallucinogens is that they are generally inexpensive when compared with other prescribed drugs.
Certain psychedelics today could be strongly regulated by the government. By doing so it would not only cut down on recreational use, it would also make people use them in smarter ways. If regulated, then certain drugs could be prescribed to patients much like someone with anxiety gets prescribed Xanax or someone with ADHD addderall. It could also be taken a step further and could only be given to the patient at the hospital so that they could be under close supervision. Psychedelics have been making a comeback over the last several years. Scientists are studying them more and more for their therapeutic applications.
LSD, mushrooms, DMT, MDMA, and ketamine are all being looked at to treat disorders such as chronic depression, stress, and addiction (4. ) These have so much potential and many have already been found to be very effective. One of the few problems that comes along with hallucinogens is that people can develop extreme fear during sessions. However, in a controlled environment (I. e. a psychiatrists room) these emotions can be easily managed (5. )
One test concluded that fears “were readily managed with reassurance and none of the feelings lasted beyond the drug sessions” (5. A little bit of positive speaking can really help a person along through a trip and make sure they have a spiritual experience. Finally, after speaking with many people who have done psychedelics, nearly all have reported positive outcomes from it. Their lives have been permanently changed for the better, because it allowed them to sort through their problems and come to logical conclusions that they might not have had otherwise. It is always good to look at things from a new perspective and using psychedelics is a very good way to do so.