Man and Psychedelics Part I

The first in our series about man’s fascination with psychedelics. Is there a potential for drugs like these to be used for treatment?

In the previous article about mushrooms we took a look at the ritual use of hallucinogens from ancient cultures to the hippy movement of the 1960’s and 70’s.  During the “civil rights era,”  in places like Haight Ashbury, California, many men and women casually took mushrooms.  To some, this drug might have seemed to be  nothing more than a fun three to five hour trip with friends .  Popular California locations were usually somewhere in nature… like on the beach, somewhere out in the Anza Borrego Desert, near east San Diego County, or maybe in the Big Sur National Forest.

“It was all about getting high, seeing colors and expanding your perception of reality…and all the while getting a little closer to a sense or understanding of God than before you ever tried them (mushrooms),” said grandmother and retired nurse Julia Scanlon, in a recent interview at the Wyndham Assisted Living Community in Arroyo Grande, California.

“It’s like everyone was a family, and we were always permanently camping it seemed, swimming in rivers, cooking and eating together, there was a real sense of community.”

Mushrooms are considered by some to be merely

  • trippy
  • disgusting
  • scary
  • hallucinogenic
  • stomach pain inducing
  • visual euphoria enhancing mind melting medecine

But lately, psilocybin mushrooms are now starting to look more and more appetizing to the medical community as their therapeutic values come to light. Scientists at the John Hopkins School of Medicine have been taking a serious look at the effects of psilocybin (the chemical found in many psychedelic mushrooms). Psilocybin gives the user a sense of euphoria that is

  • dream-like
  • hallucinogenic
  • mystical

and lasts roughly 3 to 5 hours (depending on the potency of the mushrooms). Mushrooms can be eaten or drank by brewing them like you would a simple tea. Recommended dosage for a first timer on mushrooms would be two to three caps and two stems, wait an hour, then proceed with more caps and stems if needed…only a tiny bit more at a time. Researchers at Johns Hopkins say they have found the perfect dosage to produce ground breaking emotional, mystical and spiritual experiences that “offer long-lasting life-changing benefits” with little to no negative reactions.

An article in the New York Times recently spoke of a doctor who had been suffering from depression, who decided to take part in the Johns Hopkins experiment on psilocybin mushrooms. “After taking the hallucinogen, Dr. Martin put on an eye mask and headphones, and lay on the couch listening to classical music as he contemplated the universe. All of a sudden everything familiar started evaporating.” It is this feeling of the familiar evaporating, breaking down the walls of patterns in the mind or subconscious that Dr. Martin credits with helping him overcome his own depression, “profoundly transforming his relationship with his daughter and friends.” He put it up there with one of the most profound event of his life.

Stay tuned for part three where we interview more people who have benefited from this radical type of psilocybin therapy.