Psychedelics have been popular in counter-culture since the 1960s, and many preindustrial cultures have used psychedelic therapy for thousands of years. Today, they are becoming more popular in modern therapy programs. Many experts believe they can be a powerful tool in helping terminal cancer patients, victims overcoming PTSD, addicts in recovery, and even soldiers returning from war.
Keep reading to explore the psychedelic side of therapy and the possible advantages it may have over traditional therapeutic approaches.
- History of Psychedelics
- The Benefits of Psychedelic Therapy and Possible Side Effects of Psychedelic Drugs
- Integrated Medicine and Psychedelic Therapy in 2021
- The Future of Psychedelic Therapy is Bright
History of Psychedelics
Humans have been using psychedelics in rituals for religious, social, and medical reasons since before we learned how to read and write. Many pre-modern cultures used these drugs and considered them not just useful, but sacred.
It’s not just people, either. If you have a cat, you probably have seen how they behave after chewing on catnip. Many species of animals use psychedelics and drugs, and there is a large body of research on the topic.
The discovery of LSD in the 1940s led to over 1,000 papers being published to study its effects. Before good clinical uses could be developed, the recreational use of LSD and other drugs led to their use being banned. The prohibition of psychedelics slowed down research on their healing powers. Today, scientists are reexamining these drugs and finding enormous potential for them in therapeutic practices.
Using scientific tools, experts have been able to deconstruct these drugs and study their effects on the human mind. Further investigation is necessary, but there is hope that medical professionals will be able to maximize their healing and constructive potential for humanity.
Until we fully understand these potent drugs and what they can do, we must exercise caution because recreational and unsupervised use can lead to bad outcomes. Magic mushrooms and LSD are relatively safe, resulting in fewer trips to the emergency room than alcohol. But other psychedelics like MDMA, MDA, PCP, and other designer drugs can be quite dangerous, even lethal.
The effects of psychedelics on the human mind are profound and life altering, so it is important to stay safe and be careful. Only use psychedelic therapy when you are in full compliance with the law and under a doctor’s care. This is the safest and most effective way to unlock the full potential of psychedelic drugs.
The Benefits of Psychedelic Therapy and Possible Side Effects of Psychedelic Drugs
In recent years, many potential advantages of psychedelic therapy have been explored. Patients who take mushrooms to stop smoking report an 80% success rate after six months. Other researchers have found MDMA useful in treating soldiers reintegrate into society after coming home from war. It may even be useful in helping patients recover from PTSD and other forms of trauma.
There is still a lot of fear and suspicion surrounding psychedelics, especially the varieties that are used in recreational settings like raves and underground parties. People hear horror stories about “bad trips” and side effects that continue for decades to come.
The most common negative side effects of psychedelics are bad trips and flashbacks. A bad trip happens when the patient experiences disorientation, fear, or other negative emotions while under the influence. There is no physical damage or lasting negative effects. As soon as the experience is over, the negative feelings go away. Flashbacks are extremely rare, and they usually only happen to patients who are heavy users of psychedelic drugs. These flashbacks are officially termed Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD). These flashbacks are best described as mild psychedelic effects that occur days, weeks, or even years after taking these drugs. Of those who experienced negative side effects, 84% still reported long-term positive benefits and are still glad they participated. These side effects are considered mild when compared to the side effects of other therapeutic drugs.
Psychedelics may be most effective when prescribed by doctors who take an integrated approach. When you combine several different therapies at the same time, the total effect may be greater than that of the individual parts.
Integrated Medicine and Psychedelic Therapy in 2021
There has never been a better time to get help for any psychological problems you may have. New approaches are being explored, including several approaches that minimize the use of drugs. Integrated medicine combines multiple therapies to treat a condition from different directions at the same time.
Pain management is often a complicating factor in mental health therapy. Drugs are a common treatment, but pain medication often gets in the way of mental health. Lightstim for pain and pet therapy are two therapies that decrease pain without the use of drugs. Massage therapy for athletes is a well-understood pain management technique that is becoming popular for non-athletes, as well.
Nutrition and mental health have a powerful impact on each other. When you get your diet under control, both your physical and mental health will benefit. Only you can effectively manage your own diet, so it is important for you to take a proactive approach.
These therapies can all be used with an effective approach to integrated medicine.
It is also getting easier to talk about mental health concerns. The stigma that used to be associated with mental health issues is going away. Popular public figures like Ludacris are helping to normalize mental health issues. By hearing the experiences of others, it is easier for people to talk more freely about their emotional and mental struggles. Sometimes just being able to talk openly about problems can have a significant positive impact.
Patients who approach therapy from several directions at once are more likely to experience positive outcomes. They are less likely to need drugs, and when they do get a prescription, they request lower doses.
Research is ongoing into how psychedelics can be used in combination with new and traditional psychological therapies.
The Future of Psychedelic Therapy is Bright
More hospitals and universities are approving therapeutic trials for psychedelic drugs. Some state and city governments have decriminalized the use of psychedelics, making it easier for scientists to do research on psychedelic therapy. The chances of legal, medically supervised treatments are greater than ever. You can look forward to safe and effective psychedelic therapies—if not in 2021, then in the near future.
It is more important than ever that you take an active role in managing your health. Your doctor and the medical establishment can be powerful allies, but you are ultimately responsible for your health. What you eat, how much you exercise, and how well you sleep are entirely up to you. Your mental health is largely in your hands, too. Make the most of the time you have by taking the best care of yourself possible. Connect with family and friends. Find healthy ways to manage your stress. Do your best to be a good person. You are worthy of good treatment, and that treatment has to begin with you. The potential you have inside is limited only by your imagination and energy.
What can you do to improve your life today? Make a commitment to yourself to change something in your life for the better. You aren’t the only one who will benefit.