Cautious new body of rigorous scientific research on the use of psilocybin mushrooms shows great potential for helping people cope with depression, addiction and “end of life” issues.
In the video above that accompanies Michael Pollan’s report, one cancer patient discusses his experience in a recent treatment study along with a perspective from some of the researchers.
Since it’s 100% certain we are all going to one-day die, extending the quality of life near the end would be of tremendous societal benefit. And, that’s one of the exciting possibilities that the few scientists doing these leading-edge psychedelic studies are attempting to accomplish.
In this New Yorker article, Michael Pollan takes us down psychedelic lane to the 50’s and 60’s scientific research of that era where loosely controlled experiments using powerful drugs like LSD were used on a variety of subjects. Sadly, those experiments did not suddenly end because their results were not fruitful, they shut down in 1973 for largely political reasons. Then President Richard Nixon’s proclaimed “war on drugs” classified LSD and other hallucinogens as schedule-1 drugs, and thus not able to be used in federally funded scientific research projects. As Pollan points out, many of the findings of the time offered tremendous promise for treating a wide range of human maladies, including depression, alcoholism and improving quality of life for people with terminal illnesses.
Pollan delves into the present history of psychedelic research studies, going back to the 1990’s and how a new generation of scientific experts became interested again in the medical use of psilocybin mushrooms and their exciting preliminary results. As Pollan explains, psilocybin mushrooms are now the preferred drug of choice among researchers, LSD, while also potentially promising is harder to manage and carries a political stigma.
The entire history is a fascinating read. Watch the video and read the full report: The Trip Treatment
One piece of trivia indirectly from the report: It was the novelist, Aldous Huxley who first conceived of administering an hallucinogen (LSD) to the dying. He himself had it administered on the day he died, November 22, 1963. Obviously unrelated, but the same momentous day, President John Kennedy was assassinated.