Are psychedelic drugs actually good for you? | The Tylt
The federal government banned psychedelic drugs such as LSD in the late 1960s, declaring they had no medical use and high potential for abuse (one official called LSD “the greatest threat facing the country today”). But these drugs were once considered promising treatments for a broad range of psychological and psychiatric conditions, and some health experts cite evidence that they can treat depression, anxiety, and addiction. What do you think? 🍄
Are psychedelic drugs actually good for you?
Psychedelic substances have been used for thousands of years for religious and therapeutic purposes. After the active ingredients in mushrooms were given to terminal cancer patients in a recent study, 80 percent had immediate reductions in anxiety and depression (which persisted for six months or longer). Another study showed mushrooms actually regenerate brain cells. Maybe we shouldn't let paranoia and prejudice get in the way of helping seriously ill people.
Controlled trials are offering patients with serious health issues real hope, and many medical professionals want to be able to prescribe psychedelics to treat illness.
But there are risks with taking hallucinogens—serious ones. Frequent users may experience episodes of psychosis, with severely altered perceptions years after they’ve stopped taking the drug. Another common effect of long-term LSD use is recurring “flashbacks.” There's even a name for the condition of having LSD flashbacks: “hallucinogen persisting perception disorder” (HPPD).
Apple, "The Doors of Perception," most of the really good Beatles records—there's mountains of evidence that psychedelics have beneficial effects.
But drugs are still drugs, and many say psychedelics, like alcohol and nicotine, can be extremely dangerous and should be monitored. In the studies cited above, the drugs were administered by a doctor in a controlled setting. That's very different from the way many people consume mushrooms or LSD.Just this description alone shows how risky unmonitored use of these substances can be:
Psychedelic drug effects cut off communications between the brain and the body, leaving the mind to expand in awareness and create its own reality. While these drug types do work in different ways, psychedelics disrupt the brain’s chemical pathways, which can be harmful when used on a frequent basis.