Psychedelics - A report.
Welcome to the Numan take, our new fortnightly look at topics that touch on the health, happiness, fears, concerns, and potential of men.
Banish the thoughts of acid trips in sunflower fields and old men chasing their hippie youths at festivals. Psychedelics are entering the world of modern medicine.
As far back as the early 20th century, there was interest in the combination of psychedelics and psychiatry as a method of treatment for mental disorders. Osmand and Hoffer claimed to treat over 2000 alcoholic patients using LSD, reporting that 40% to 45% did not return to drinking after one year. But as the recreational use of psychedelics rose in the 50s and 60s, government policies meant that clinical research into the area was hindered. More recently, scientists have investigated the effects of psychedelics - including LSD and psilocybin (the active ingredient found in magic mushrooms) – on mental disorders such as depression, substance abuse, addiction, and PTSD. The combination of mind-altering drugs and therapy is intended to act as a ‘reset button’ for people who've been trapped in a maze of depression or addiction for years and don’t have the ability to alter their thought patterns alone.
“a direct action on the brain... providing a window of opportunity for therapy”
What actually happens during a trip is parts of your brain that never normally connect are now “talking” to each other – probably for the first time ever. This unearths new pathways in our minds and unearths advanced ideas. It’s no secret that some of the greatest music and scientific discoveries ever made were during a spell in which the subject was under the influence. Psychedelics are being hailed as a breakthrough for people who haven’t responded to the usual methods of treatment. Dr James Rucker, of King’s College London, described the use of psychedelics as “a direct action on the brain, putting it into a more flexible state and providing a window of opportunity for therapy”. With the novel treatment showing promising results for severe depression and addiction, it’s also being trialled as a treatment for end-of-life care. Obviously, the environment in which you take them in, and your willingness to participate, both have a significant impact on the outcome of your experience.
Many people rate taking psychedelics as one of the most challenging psychological experiences of their lives. Your entire trip will be shaped by a host of factors including where you are, who you’re with, and what your expectations are. Taking psychedelics outside of a controlled, medically supervised setting puts you at greater risk of incurring undesirable or harmful effects. But bearing these warnings in mind, there’s enough to make us wonder whether these drugs will make the leap from recreational experimentation to scientific breakthrough. One day, could we see a world where psychedelic drugs change lives for the better ? Or is this just another rabbit hole?
by Numan.com 33 Farringdon Road, London, EC1M 8JF
John Bellamy Comments:
I have taken Acid / LSD many times. Not for a very long time and was probably over 20 years ago, but it was a weekly thing for me over many years and - to be honest - I found each and every time to be life changing. The first time I was offered LSD I asked a friend in advance who told me that if I was somewhere safe - then go ahead and realise there is nothing you can do once you have taken the tab but sit and let it take its course, and that is exactly right.
I tried a whole tab the first time and it was out of this world.
The avenues in consciousness it opens are amazing and the pathways to a higher knowledge, a Higher Self or as in many of my experiences, a God like energy answered many of my most intricate spiritual questions and the answers would come flooding though.
I would always keep notebook and pens handy as so much ' came through' I would have
to write it down or forget it all - and my handwriting was like a spider on the page ... but what I wrote, the next day when I re read, was often always life changing and it was LSD that helped me on my forward journey - LSDD that suggested I start the Gay Spiritual Group 25 years ago that had over 500 members and it was during an LSD / Acid trip that the idea to sell up and open a venue like Hamilton Hall first came through - and it was like a sign post from another dimension - a Godly sign post - that showed me the way forward at a time in my life - mid 40's - when I knew change was in the air but I knew not what.
Before an evening on acid I would formulate what I needed answering - on a deep spiritual and life lesson kinda question - and by the end of the evening all my questions would have been answered and scribbled down for further analysis - and some of my deepest and most emotional spiritual occurrences were while on LSD and this was not imaginative, this was an altered state of consciousness and where I was in commune with a much higher energy - a Guardian - an Angel - A God like figure - and I absolutely do not give a fuck what you think about drugs until you try for yourself and KNOW what you are talking about.
I do not suffer from depression at all. Once in 67 years, decades ago, when a friend died - and it lasted around 7 months before I got myself together and through meditation and self reflection, I got over it and have never had depression since, and that was over 40 years ago. BUT: As a Bereavement Therapist I needed to understand more about depression and so read and studied and found this book to be - actually - above and beyond all the clever stuff some doctors and therapists have to say - and when speaking through personal experience taught me so much more than all these professors who claim to know it all when the truth is, they know fuck all but like to sound clever and educated and important when the truth is that they are all too often blind to the realities of how deeply depression can drag you and many - many doctors, simply haven't a clue and while anti depressants can work, they can also turn some suicidal and angry - and many have died on medication supposedly designed to help, not kill.