The Health Benefits of Psychedelic Drugs
Psychedelics are drugs like LSD (acid), psilocybin mushrooms (magic mushrooms) and N, N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT). These are the three most popular of the drugs but there are many more that may be mentioned and described throughout this paper. During the 1960’s there was a boom in the use of these non addictive drugs because people wanted to explore their minds. These mind altering drugs kill the user’s ego during use and leave the mind to have some of your rawest and deepest thoughts you can have, often leaving the user with an altered, more positive outlook on life.
Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD or Acid) was created by swiss scientist Albert Hofmann in 1938 but didn’t grow in popularity until the 1960’s. Hoffman lived to be 102. Many believe that he lived to be so old because of the LSD but there is no scientific evidence behind this. The drug was created with intentions of being used for mind control but it didn’t do that, it became a symbol of the counterculture in the 1960’s. When someone takes this they have a 6 to 12 hour trip that makes colors standout, visuals of shapes, objects will move around and the shape of them will alter in your mind and you lose your sense of time. During the peak of your trips you will have some of the deepest thoughts you’ve ever had. Some describe it as digging into parts of your mind you didn’t know were there. The best thing to do at this time is close your eyes, listen to something like pink floyd or one of your favorite albums and just think. Despite acid being a non addictive drug and being too intense for the average human to endure for multiple days in a row, it was made illegal in 1971 under the UN Convention on Psychotropic Substances of 1971. Throughout the 60’s and 70’s there was lots of LSD propaganda going around about how you’ll go crazy if you take it or that you’ll have terrifying acid flashbacks for the rest of your life. Some people even claim that the LSD is absorbed into your spinal cord and if you crack your back on acid the drip will never end.
N, N-Dimethyltryptamine, or more commonly known as DMT, is the most intense psychedelic experience you can have. It only lasts around 5 to 15 minutes but can feel like hours or even days for the user because you lose all sense of time. Unlike Acid and Magic Mushrooms, after smoking DMT you are not conscious during your trip. For 15 minutes you are checked out of earth and seeing visuals of which people describe as being in a different dimension and seeing geometric shapes. Unlike LSD, DMT is naturally occurring and has been around for thousands of years. It is produced in the Pineal Gland, lungs and liver of rats and people believe it’s the same for humans. People also think that it helped influence Ancient Egypt and even that the story of Moses and the burning bush was about DMT. The bible mentions the acacia tree and the peganum harmala bush multiple times and both of those plants are native to the area and highly rich in DMT. Moses saying the that the bush is “on fire but not consumed” (Exodus 3:2-4 Old Testament) could show that he was tripping on DMT because the high was so intense that he couldn’t see the bush getting consumed by the fire, and at the time whenever something unexplainable happened it was blamed on a higher power because they had no knowledge of science. DMT is also known for giving people ego death, the feeling of dying in your trip and coming back to life giving people a completely different outlook after feeling like they escaped death without being in any actual danger. Ego death can be induced by any psychedelic but is easiest with DMT due to the intensity of the drug.
Mushrooms are the most common psychedelic out there because they are grown naturally all over the world and have been used for hundreds of years. The effects of mushrooms are more similar to acid than DMT. They produce a more natural, mellow trip. The trip lasts around 4-6 hours. People believe that mushrooms and marijuana are sacred herbs that help you, in the words of Elizabeth Heartny, “attain superior spiritual states. Others take magic mushrooms to experience a sense of euphoria, connection, and a distorted sense of time,” she said in “Magic Mushrooms, Everything You’ve Been Afraid to Ask.”
Hartney, Elizabeth. “Magic Mushrooms: Everything You’ve Been Afraid to Ask.” Verywell Mind, Verywell Mind, 10 Apr. 2020, http://www.verywellmind.com/what-are-magic-mushrooms-22085.
START READING THESE SOURCES
Your “Verywell Mind” article provided this list of “high-quality sources” that gives you a headstart on your research, KillerBean. If they’re useful to you, they should become part of your Annotated Bibliography.
Before you start writing anything new, RETURN TO THIS DEFINITION ARGUMENT AND CONVERT YOUR REFERENCES TO THE STYLE we worked on together for Hartney, Elizabeth.
Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
Krebs TS, Johansen PØ. Over 30 million psychedelic users in the United States. F1000Res. 2013;2:98. doi:10.12688/f1000research.2-98.v1
de Mattos-Shipley KM, Ford KL, Alberti F, Banks AM, Bailey AM, Foster GD. The good, the bad and the tasty: The many roles of mushrooms. Stud Mycol. 2016;85:125-157. doi:10.1016/j.simyco.2016.11.002
Daniel J, Haberman M. Clinical potential of psilocybin as a treatment for mental health conditions. Ment Health Clin. 2018;7(1):24-28. doi:10.9740/mhc.2017.01.024
Barrett FS, Bradstreet MP, Leoutsakos JS, Johnson MW, Griffiths RR. The Challenging Experience Questionnaire: Characterization of challenging experiences with psilocybin mushrooms. J Psychopharmacol. 2016;30(12):1279-1295. doi:10.1177/0269881116678781
Jo WS, Hossain MA, Park SC. Toxicological profiles of poisonous, edible, and medicinal mushrooms. Mycobiology. 2014;42(3):215-220. doi:10.5941/MYCO.2014.42.3.215
Renfroe CL, Messinger TA. Street Drug Analysis: An Eleven Year Perspective on Illicit Drug Alteration. Seminars in Adolescent Medicine. 1985;1(4):247-257.
Lee MR, Dukan E, Milne I. Amanita muscaria (fly agaric): from a shamanistic hallucinogen to the search for acetylcholine. J R Coll Physicians Edinb. 2018;48(1):85-91. doi:10.4997/JRCPE.2018.119
Martin R, Schürenkamp J, Gasse A, Pfeiffer H, Köhler H. Analysis of psilocin, bufotenine and LSD in hair. J Anal Toxicol. 2015;39(2):126-9. doi:10.1093/jat/bku141
Drug Policy Alliance. Psilocybin Mushrooms Fact Sheet. http://www.drugpolicy.org/sites/default/files/Psilocybin_Mushrooms_Fact_Sheet.pdf
Johnson, M., Griffiths, R., et al. The abuse potential of medical psilocybin according to the 8 factors of the controlled substances act. Neuropharmacology. 2018. doi:10.1016/j.neuropharm.2018.05.012.
National Institute on Drug Abuse. “How Do Hallucinogens (LSD, Psilocybin, Peyote, DMT, and Ayahuasca) Affect the Brain and Body?”
This is entertaining, KillerBean, but not particularly useful to your thesis, which, if I understand it, is that psychedelic drugs provide health benefits. In just 3000 words, you’ll have a hard time proving that alone, so anecdotes about Moses and the burning bush, while intriguing, don’t contribute much.
You’ve accidentally collected a few sources provided by the article you cited in your last paragraph. Your best course of action would be to consult those sources for what they can help you prove about Health Benefits. It’s worth proving, not trivial, and often studied, so do your best to make a meaningful contribution to the academic conversation.
You might want to start next with a Draft of your Causal Argument. It’s the best suited to the Health Benefits thesis. (Cause) Take drug. (Effect) Receive benefit.
I’ve mentioned Michael Pollan’s book to you.
You should consult his list of sources too even if you don’t find the time to read his book. He has taken seriously the task of investigating the benefits of LSD.
Any questions? You may ask for more Feedback following any revisions to your own draft.