I’m not a fan of pharmaceuticals. I take my prescribed medication only because I get very very sick without it. For that reason, I’m grateful I have access to such compounds. No one enjoys spending an average of two weeks per month in the hospital, am I right?
What about drugs that have been prohibited and demonized by the government? Surely they must have merits of their own, otherwise there wouldn’t be a market for them.
Whoa there! Magic mushrooms as therapy? Yup, and LSD too. If there’s any drug out there that has almost zero risk of addiction while providing the most benefit, it’s hallucinogens like mushrooms (bad trips DO exist, I don’t claim that it’s always a good time). The ability to separate oneself from one’s ego gives the user the capability to transcend all of the bullshit associated with life, especially that which causes depression and anxiety. This has been proven particularly helpful for those who are terminally ill. What’s more, the effects can last for months after a single dose. The author Michael Pollan calls psychedelic drugs “the ultimate meal for the mind”. A separate study noted that people were able to “turn off” depression for up to a year after a single supervised trip. Functional MRIs showed less activity in the parts of the brain associated with depression and anxiety, and increased activity in parts of the brain associated with joy and happiness. You’ll have to Google that one, I’m too lazy to look it up. (try this link)
In my own experience, a change of perspective helps tremendously with my MDD and GAD. The substances researchers are messing with do just that in a more profound and instantaneous way.
I was on Prozac, Effexor, Wellbutrin, Lexapro, and Zoloft from the time I reached adolescence until I was 19. When I was dumped from my parent’s insurance, I did what any college kid might do – I self-medicated. I freed my mind, unburdened my soul, divorced my ego, or however you want to describe it. Was I a druggie? That depends on your definition. Possibly. Was I an addict? That also depends on your definition of addiction. I used them as tools when I needed to reset. My best guess is once a month (apart from bud, which was much more frequent and also worked far better with fewer side effects than anything Eli Lilly was capable of cranking out). It worked for me, and at $20 a pop, it was far more economical than therapy and SSRIs/SSNRIs, which is what I’m stuck with now.
I’m pleased that scientists are exploring these substances with an open mind and what I’ve been saying for years isn’t just because I’m a crazy tree-hugger; there’s actually some truth to it. At this point in my life, I think whatever works for a person should be considered and not discounted simply because the DEA has employees to pay.
Oh, and I learned everything I know about drugs from the lovely D.A.R.E officers who visited my Kindergarten and second grade classes. Thanks guys, you helped me positively identify my first blotter acid.