How Psychedelics Are Making Their Way Into the Mainstream

    America is evolving rapidly in regard to psychedelic drugs. There was a time when people deemed them satanic. Today, many Americans are taking them with their morning coffee. Needless to say, something interesting is bridging this change.

    What Are Psychedelic Drugs?

    Psychedelic drugs are a group of hallucinogenic drugs that induce changes in perception, mood, and cognitive processes. LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide), psilocybin, mescaline, and DMT (Diemethyltryptamine) are the most well-known psychedelics. These drugs target the serotonergic system in your brain. Rushes of serotonin lead to feelings of positivity and happiness. In addition to euphoria, they may cause increased heart rate, lack of time perception, and hallucinations. Nonetheless, research shows that psychedelic drugs are not only non-addictive, but have tremendous mind-opening psychological effects. 

    Psychedelic Drugs Can Treat Mental Health

    The positive effects of psychedelic drugs have been demonstrated in treating mental illnesses such as PTSD, depression, and anxiety through therapeutic administration. One study by Dr. Stephen Ross at NYU Langone shows the incredible effects of psilocybin on alleviating distress symptoms in terminally ill cancer patients.  Other research notes the astounding ability of psychedelic drugs to lessen depressive and anxious symptoms when administered in conjunction with psychotherapy. The magic of psychedelic compounds is undeniable, and a growing body of research continues to emphasize their exciting treatment potential.

    Microdosing Psychedelics at Work

    Microdosing is a term used to describe using drugs in small amounts so that unwanted side effects are avoided, while psychological effects are preserved. Many have begun microdosing psychedelic drugs in work environments to increase performance. Scientists have found that taking such small amounts of drugs like LSD and psilocybin increases productivity and improves problem-solving skills. Even more, small amounts of the drugs can boost your creativity. You can connect ideas in different more intuitive ways, traversing the boundaries of your imagination. Perhaps most important…a tiny amount could make you feel happier on the job. What more could you ask for when working a 9-5?

    The Controversy Behind Psychedelic Drugs

    It is no secret that the benefits of psychedelic drug use are noteworthy, as long as they’re used with caution. After facing a long period of societal backlash, this group of drugs is finally getting its proper recognition, that is, when they are used safely and responsibly. 

    The primary reason that psychedelics have received so much backlash has to do with its hallucinogenic properties. It is not uncommon to have a ‘bad trip’ when taking a high dosage of the drug in an unsafe context. Even more, mental health issues in addition to a stressful environment could cause an adverse reaction to the drug’s effects. Bad trips and negative reactions to these drugs come from irresponsible recreational use. 

    On the other hand, microdosing psychedelic drugs is a means of avoiding such problematic reactions, as low dosages do not produce hallucinations. Furthermore, administering high doses of psychedelic drugs in a safe, therapeutic setting prevents bad trips from eclipsing the efficacious properties of the mind-opening experience.

    Psychedelic Drugs Are Taking The Stage

    The impossible is happening as psychedelic drugs are rapidly joining mainstream culture. In November of 2020, magic mushrooms were legalized in Oregon for therapeutic use, and decriminalized in other parts of the US. There have been large strides in scientific research regarding these drugs, and the research continues to flourish. People have slowly begun easing reservations they previously held about drugs as the media raves of their potential. These powerful tools are finally being normalized. And who knows…maybe sometime in the near future you’ll find yourself having a ‘magic mushroom’ with your breakfast, too. Never say never!

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    • Laura is a passionate writer, and especially enjoys writing about the latest in science and mental health. She is on track to becoming a certified yoga instructor, currently leading meditation classes at a local nursing home. In addition to writing for New Theory Magazine, Laura works in an elementary school with autistic students as an ABA Aide. She hopes to one day pursue a PhD in clinical psychology so she may work towards bridging the gap between yoga therapy and psychological treatment.

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