A blog post about the benefits psychedelic drugs have on mental health? Sounds ironic, right?
Quite the opposite actually. Since the War on Drugs was declared in the early 70s, all academic research on illegal substances, such as psychedelics was halted. Prejudice and fear surrounding drug use led to an abandonment of research, burying the topic with stigma surrounding drug use. However, in the past decade neurologists and psychologists began resuming this research, with findings that challenge our preconceived notions about the negative effects of psychedelics.
Did you know that you can hear more about this in a lecture in London?
Dr. David Luke is not just a professor with a PhD in psychology. He is a man fascinated by the altered states of reality experienced through the use of psychedelic drugs. By putting aside the stigma, Dr. Luke is able to focus on the science – the facts. Psilocybin, the active ingredient found in “magic mushrooms”, allows for increased communications between different regions of the brain. The chemical reaction can increase happiness for a meaningful experience leading to long term positive effects on mental illnesses such as depression. In just a single session, the Imperial College London found that patients had long-term positive impact on mood, 42% of patients qualifying for complete remission 3 months later.
Mental health problems, including depression, receive their own baggage, attached with a social stigma making illnesses even more difficult to recover from. For a long time, society stereotyped people with mental illnesses as crazy, violent and even dangerous, unable to live normal lives. Most of us know objectively that these stereotypes are far from true. 450 million people world-wide suffer from mental health issues, the post prominent of which is depression, effecting one in 12 of the whole population. But despite knowing the truth, the stigma still exists, preventing mental health from getting the attention it deserves.
By continuing to put mental health issues in the corner, illnesses effecting the world will only become more prominent. Mental health problems are already one of the main causes of disease burden worldwide. The World Health Organization predicts that by 2030 depression will be the leading cause of disease burden globally.
Maybe it’s time to open up our minds to psychedelic treatments to mental health problems. By changing your own perspective you are helping to get rid of the stigma and bring awareness to those struggling with mental illness.