Long ago we didn’t really have a drug problem (apart from alcohol and tobacco). You could buy cocaine and cannabis from the chemist. Not many did (apart from Queen Victoria). The few heroin addicts were looked down on and were prescribed their fix from the doctor – that was cheap, clean and manageable.
A small minority of artists, writers and bohemians experimented. As the number of this ‘alternative’ culture began to grow in the 50s and 60s the establishment began to panic. Driven by the US puritanical scaremongering there was a war on drugs coupled with a crazy propaganda campaign that was widely seen as farcical. Anything that caused pleasure was treated with suspicion – sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll.
Far from solving ‘the problem’ this draconian campaign succeeded in criminalising young people, creating a divide and rebellion, fuelling an underground movement and putting huge amounts of money and power into the hands of unscrupulous criminals and pushers.
Many more people began using drugs. Harder drugs became more prevalent. Prisons became clogged with users. Gangs flourished.
It was a mess.
The war on drugs promoted drugs and failed miserably.
Instead of treating drugs scientifically and objectively as a health issue the propaganda created derision and the criminalisation alienated the young.
One of the other effects of this was the effect on research.
Drugs were all considered BAD!! Research came to a halt. Whereby in the 1960s there was much research starting up about the positive effects of psychedelic drugs such as cannabis, LSD and magic mushrooms this came to an abrupt halt. The government did not want to admit that there might be any positive effects of drugs.
Only recently, with the final admission (after 50 disastrous years) that the war on drugs has massively failed, and the relaxing of the draconian policies has real research started up!
Maybe we are moving to a more sensible policy?
This is an article supplied by John Peachey concerning possible positive effects of magic mushrooms:
Magic mushrooms? For depression and anxiety?
Yep— it’s a thing. And a sign that times are really changing!
Though they’ve been an illegal substance for multiple decades, psilocybin mushrooms— the scientific name for these mood- and consciousness-altering fungi— have been the intense focus of research for quite some time.
And it’s all in their name.
Psilocybin is what the compound in these mushrooms responsible for its “psychedelic” effects is called.
Far from needing to go on any sort of “mushroom trip,” scientists have instead been studying the effects psilocybin has on the brain of people who take it only in tiny, tiny doses (sometimes called “microdosing”).
Without having to become inebriated, high, or go through a psychotropic experience, the results of these studies show that small doses do astounding things.
In one evaluation of almost 100 people, there was a reported noticeable change in mood…
…including relieved depression, stress, and anxiety!
That said, the research and science on using psilocybin like this is still fairly fresh.
The mushroom is also still illegal in many countries, and this is certainly not a call of action to take it and start experimenting on your own.
Nevertheless, psilocybin continues to show very strong promise in the realm of depression…
…and especially for treatment-resistant depression that does not respond to drugs, therapy, or other measures.
Not only does this offer some promise for those hopelessly fighting against major depressive disorder and other depression-related illnesses…
…the very latest research also shows psilocybin could be as powerful as pharmaceutical antidepressants and have far fewer to no side effects.
Even in high doses (like in this study talked about in the Guardian), psilocybin was found to be just as, if not more, effective than the common pharmaceutical antidepressant Lexapro, and especially in combination with guided therapy!
This is an incredible breakthrough in the mental health world.
But how is this possible with something that for so long has been considered a ‘dangerous’ street drug?
Among some who have studied and experimented with it, there are claims that the “psychedelic” aspect (helped along with guided therapy) can give people meaningful insight into their depression and their lives.
But on a more neurochemical level (especially when taken in small doses), it’s more notable that psilocybin has a literal and physical effect on serotonin receptors in our brains…
…which are responsible for feelings of well-being, and are also the target of pharmaceutical antidepressants, too.
There is yet one more realm in which psilocybin may have other depression treatments beat.
Research also shows that the mushroom can literallyhelp restructure the brain, fostering completely new and healthy neural pathways.
Effects like these can help people overcome painful memories and trauma associated with depression or anxiety, too.
Not to mention: psilocybin is completely and naturally derived, rather than created in a lab!
Keep in mind though that psilocybin is still nowhere near legal in many places.
Despite this, many people in the mental health, natural health, and psychology communities are keeping their ears to the ground…
…it may be only a matter of time until you could be getting a prescription.
To a healing future,
Director, The Need To GROW / Earth Conscious Life
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