Psychedelic Renaissance: LSD, Ecstasy and Magic Mushrooms Are Helping People Face Death, Cope with Trauma and Quit Booze and Smokes

Four decades after the counter-culture’s widespread recreational use of hallucinogens led to criminalization, there's new interest in their therapeutic potential.

“The room instantly lit up in a blinding glare of white, white light. I was seized by an ecstasy such as I had never known,” wrote AA's co-founder, Bill Wilson, of his first spiritual experience.He was dropping acid as part of an informal study supervised by a doctor in the ‘50s, when LSD was legal and the power of psychedelic-assisted therapy was heralded as potentially transformative.

So began a lifelong interest in altered states of consciousness that included extensive experiments with LSD. Wilson claimed that his initial experiences were crucial to his recovery and his belief in his mission to create a community of alcoholics helping one another. He was so enthusiastic that he contemplated advising other AA members to take acid, especially those incapable of feeling “a power greater than ourselves.” Still, he acknowledged the limits of its possible benefits: “I don't believe [LSD] has any miraculous property of transforming…sick people into healthy ones overnight,” he wrote to a fellow participant in the study. "[But] it can set up a shining goal on the positive side [and] create a large incentive [to recovery.]”

The AA fellowship disagreed. The idea of treating those who cannot control their substance use with another substance seemed, then as now, heretical. The link between spirituality and sobriety, however, remains a mainstay of modern recovery.

Today, some four decades after the counter-culture’s widespread recreational use of hallucinogens led to criminalization of the substances, there's a resurgence of interest in their therapeutic potential for mental illness and addiction. A dozen or more studies of LSD, psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms) and MDMA (ecstasy) are ongoing in the US, Britain, Israel and Switzerland; a handful of others have recently concluded. Most of the patients involved in these studies are in dire straits: vets with PTSD, the terminally ill who have a terror of death, people with treatment-resistant depression and alcoholics.

- Read the entire article at AlterNet.

Comments

its all a illusion we live

its all a illusion we live in. we are particles of energy in a giant cosmos

LSD is a wonder drug

LSD is truly a wonder drug but not for everyone. The right kind of mind or medical condition benefits massively from it's use. Supervision by a qualified user is essential in my view - and I mean user NOT a doctor who has never even tried it. So many of the great ideas and innovations in our modern world can be traced back to key people using LSD.
By the way the drug LSD (and other hallucinogens such psilocybin and mescaline) do not cause trauma it is society's expectations and the actions of non users that cause the problems hence the need for experienced supervision to help novice users through the unexpected.

Hallucinogens

As for me personally, I would love to get some true Mescaline, and / or old fashioned 'MDA'. That's not ecstasy, it is different and both are fun to use recreationally. Pot is cool, but the sleepiness is a drag...I have no recall of anyone doing anything insane or dangerous by using Mescaline, nor MDA. They ought to have their illegal status changed to a simple or no charge by the police system.

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