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True Hallucinations: This is Your Brain on Shrooms

From the people of ASAP Science, a cartoony description of the neurochemical effect psylocybin has on the human brain. Obviously this is explained from a materialistic POV, but let’s not forget we’re still on the stage of building bridges between Science and Spirituality –and part of that process is interesting more people about the potential benefits of psychedelics.

In other news, a new scientific study found no higher risk of psychosis caused by the consumption of LSD:

In the first study, clinical psychologists Pål-Ørjan Johansen and Teri Suzanne Krebs, both at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, scoured data from the US National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), an annual random sample of the general population, and analysed answers from more than 135,000 people who took part in surveys from 2008 to 2011.

Of those, 14% described themselves as having used at any point in their lives any of the three ‘classic’ psychedelics: LSD, psilocybin (the active ingredient in so-called magic mushrooms) and mescaline (found in the peyote and San Pedro cacti). The researchers found that individuals in this group were not at increased risk of developing 11 indicators of mental-health problems such as schizophrenia, psychosis, depression, anxiety disorders and suicide attempts. Their paper appears in the March issue of the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

So I guess now Syd Barrett will no longer be exploited as a cautionary tale –by people who didn’t like his music in the first place?

[H/T Disinfo]

  1. “Study” says no harm in psychedlics – so party on!
    Seriously? A 100% volunteer/historical/anecdotal study, completely lacking in clinical controls, or even the ability to observe? Just report your own experiences with psychedelics and the results? As science it’s laughable. It’s just like trying to say that because 50 or 60 or 70% of people who have near-death events do not experience any post-event consciousness that it proves there is no life after death. It’s simply meaningless. I would have been surprised that Scientific American printed news of this study, but several years ago that publication sold its reputation for reliability and cautious understatement when it abandoned its traditional reserve and chose instead to become a politically and culturally partisan advocate instead of a neutral observer.

    Secondly, Syd Barrett is hardly the figure I’d choose as the poster boy of those unfairly and falsely painted as acid casualties. The man gobbled the stuff like candy, constantly, several times daily for weeks, even months on end, just continuously. There’s simply no way anyone will ever be able to say acid didn’t cause his spectacular mental annihilation.

    We’re a long, long way from saying you can’t fry your brain on acid, and this “study” is a very slender reed indeed to use as a crutch in that question.

    1. Set & Setting
      First, both studies –they were were actually 2, although I failed to mention that– were obviously forced to rely on data analysis of National surveys –and how reliable those are is not for me to say, but evidently some scientists do think they can offer some valuable info– due to the current draconian laws concerning these substances. Anyone who has bothered to follow the work of people like Rick Doblin and others, know that successfully going through all the red tape imposed by the DEA when submitting a study related to psychedelics is quite an arduous labor.

      Now re. Barrett, the old admonition of ‘set and setting’ still applies. These substances act as catalysts that boost what you’re already bringing to the table; carelessness when dealing with hallucinogens can have a heavy price to pay, and we here at TDG have never endorsed that.

      I don’t know much about Barrett to say with any authority if he already had a psychosis-prone personality or not, in which case the LSD only increased or accelerated a mental deterioration that it was already present. I’ve heard some people say that such individuals should stay away from psychedelics, since they already have such a tenuous grasp on reality.

      “In my opinion, his nervous breakdown would have happened anyway. It was a deep-rooted thing. But I’ll say the psychedelic experience might well have acted as a catalyst. Still, I just don’t think he could deal with the vision of success and all the things that went with it.” ~David Gilmour, speaking about Barrett’s mental breakdown

      I guess the point of such studies is to prove that LSD and other psychedelics are as risky as other activities, like extreme sports or marathon running –but not inherently risky.

      People die of heart attacks all the time on the NY marathon, but so far I haven’t seen any proposal to ban it.

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