Imagine you, one of your friends, family members, or coworkers has severe anxiety, depression, addiction issues or post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). These mental illnesses cause you or the members of your society to struggle with their duties of being a compassionate reliable person in the work force or as a best friend. This is because having a mental illness is comparable to being physically crippled. Struggling with a broken leg comes with the hardships of not being able to physically go to work or having trouble getting food to feed your young kids. Just because you can’t see mental health problems doesn’t mean they aren’t suffering. It directly affects peoples attitudes and abilities to reach their fullest potential of being the best father, or manager, or friend they could be. Now imagine you or these members of society could reach their full potential by being able to reprogram their brains connections into different altered patterns that aren’t normally reached. Psychedelics are the solution to fixing mental problems and it is all possible through a new generation of using psychedelics as tools in psychotherapy.
Psychedelics were first discovered in the late 1950’s when scientists began researching into what purposes these chemicals had, but many were dismissed due to the inconsistent methodologies of the research. In 1970, governments decided to implement the Controlled Substance Act which banned the usage of psychedelics and further made research become even more difficult. This is because there hadn’t been much research proving the actual benefits of these tools if used correctly. Terrence McKenna, a well known ethnobotanist said “Psychedelics are illegal because they dissolve opinion structures and culturally laid down models of behavior and information processing.” These mysterious substances allow you to see reality for what it really is and this makes the systems of our dominator societies hard to accept this opening of consciousness. Although psychedelics open your mind to new connections, many people choose to filter out these possibilities because they are influenced by our culture. Hoffman, the author of How Culture Shapes the Climate Debate says “Our cognitive filters reflect our cultural identity. We tend to develop world-views that are consistent with the values held by others within the groups with which we self-identify.” This issue directly correlates to how a majority of the leaders, politicians, and authorities are against psychedelics creating a stigma around the issue for many others that have not done their research. Mainstream media socially constructed the dangers of a “bad trip” and that it is an addictive hippie drug that are abused at rave concerts, festivals, and parties. This is not the case though because with any improper use of a new tool or experience you can have a bad time without guidance and preparations.
With psychotherapy, there are specific precautions when monitored under professionals in a safe secured setting. Psychedelics are tools that are used to open up your heart and the mind to new possibilities and with anything in life, how something is used will affect the outcomes of the experience. There are so many tests and clinical trials that have been done on the effects of Psychedelics on the human brain and they are very positive uplifting results that come from it. For example, The National Institutes of Health published their research on advanced-stage cancer patients. Patients were given either psilocybin as the experimental group or niacin as the control group and they found that “Anxiety significantly decreased as measured by the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory at 1 and 3 months post-treatment in the psilocybin group compared to niacin. Mood improved for 2 weeks after treatment and reached statistical significance on the Beck Depression Inventory at the 6-month point with the same comparison.” They came to the conclusion that a psychedelic like psilocybin is a very useful tool to change the compulsive anxiety disorders that come with knowing that you might not make it out alive because of cancer. Psilocybin alters those connections in your brain that make you anxious about dying and puts you in a more grateful state of mind that makes you appreciate the natural way of life and that there’s more than just this physical plane of existence. The chemical structure of serotonin is very closely related to the chemical structure of Psilocybin, DMT, and MDMA which shows that these mind altering chemicals can react with the neurons that connect with serotonin receptors. “In fact, there have been numerous clinical trials in the past 30 years examining the therapeutic effects of these drugs (Dos Santos et al., 2016), with 3, 4methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) recently receiving the “Breakthrough Therapy” designation by the Food and Drug Administration for treating PTSD.” For example, If you’re a veteran who has gone through intense scarring events, MDMA can be used as a tool to change the way we perceive different things in our lives like our sense of understanding and grasping a better purpose of existing.
Allowing these psychedelics to be more openly accepted by everyone will not only allow people to transcend above their mental illnesses, but also allow people to use it as a tool to reach a higher state of enlightenment in spirituality. A majority of the people are so focused on material gains as opposed to focusing on their own well being and finding a deeper truth to life itself. If people were more aware of this other aspect of life that you can’t quite grasp or purchase we would have a more peaceful world and we would be accepting of everyones differences no matter what the circumstances. Society would flow in harmony with the rest of the ecosystems and ultimately benefit everything around it because we are all connected with plants, animals, oceans, and atmosphere. We are all one. Psychedelics like Psilocybin and DMT are all tools that help promote this concept of growth and love and without them we will never experience a life worth living.