Sunday, April 03, 2016

LSD could make you smarter, happier and healthier. Should we all try it?

Researchers are again exploring the therapeutic possibilities of psychedelics.

By Daniel Miller, April 1, WashPost

Daniel Miller is a lawyer and the founder of the Psychedelic Society of Brooklyn.

In 1970, Congress dropped psychedelics into the war on drugs. After a decade of Timothy Leary, “The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test” and news reports of gruesome murders, the federal government declared that the drugs had no medical use — and high potential for abuse. The chairman of New Jersey’s Narcotic Drug Study Commission called LSD “the greatest threat facing the country today . . . more dangerous than the Vietnam War.”

But over the past decade, some scientists have begun to challenge that conclusion. Far from being harmful, they found, hallucinogens can help sick people: They helped alcoholics drink less; terminal patients eased more gently into death. And it’s not just the infirm who are helped by the drugs. Psychedelics can make the healthy healthier, too.

On this subject, only a handful of peer-reviewed studies have been conducted; sample sizes are tiny. There’s still a great deal researchers don’t know. But early results suggest that, when used by people without a family history or risk of psychological problems, psychedelics can make us kinder, calmer and better at our jobs. They can help us solve problems more creatively and make us more open-minded and generous. Some experiments even suggest that a single dose can change our personalities forever.

Is it possible that a drug labeled as one of the most destructive and dangerous could make everyone’s lives better?

(More here.)

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