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Geeky Stats About Magic Mushrooms (motherjones.com)
138 points by sganesh on June 18, 2011 | hide | past | web | favorite | 69 comments



Hope not to sound like a extreme liberal, but a lot of the highly illegal hard drugs, aren't nearly as hazardous or addicting as they made out to be and can have positive effects - IF used right. That includes psilocybin, MDMA, THC, DMT, LSD and whatnot. Others are clearly toxic and very unhealthy, like crack or meth. It's all matter of being well informed about the effect and right use of the drug, as well as a having clean products. The one thing that makes them dangerous is the potential of miss use is very high.


After I went to Bonnaroo and saw people doing every drug imaginable, I read "Buzzed" [0], which is written by several Duke professors and covers just about every drug out there. It was really fascinating, and I was surprised to find that many drugs are not that harmful, or at the least not nearly as harmful as I assumed them to be.

[0] http://www.amazon.com/Buzzed-Straight-Abused-Alcohol-Ecstasy... (not an affiliate link)


I might remove MDMA from that list -- the head researcher at Johns Hopkins for this study was interviewed about a similar 2006 study he did; it mentions that studies at John Hopkins have shown the potential for brain damage from MDMA ("certain nerve cells", anyway). http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/Press_releases/2006/Griffiths...


Heh, it's a shame that that myth is still around. The study was actually retracted by the "scientist" himself after he discovered that his lab had administered methamphetamine instead of MDMA.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Retracted_article_on_toxicity_o...

However, MDMA should certainly not be taken more than a couple of times a year. It's not something you mess around with, we don't know enough about how it affects brain chemistry yet.


> However, MDMA should certainly not be taken more than a couple of times a year. It's not something you mess around with, we don't know enough about how it affects brain chemistry yet.

There are those who find those two sentences a bit curious, and those who do not.


It's interesting how so many people will balk at taking an illegal drug because they "don't want to risk brain damage", and yet will think nothing of driving or riding in a car and risking both brain damage and death nearly every day.

Mountain climbing, rock climbing, skydiving, scuba diving, and even just walking across the street all risk serious bodily injury, brain injury, and death. Yet most people won't freak out if you choose to engage in one of these activities.

But if you dare to swallow a pill every now and then, you're treated as a reckless, immoral madman.


Why is this so surprising?

It's because people understand what can go wrong and how it goes wrong in all of the activities you listed above. However I'll wager that many illegal drug users don't know what goes on at all and have no clue what can go wrong. Even when they do, I think it's pretty smart to acknowledge that brain chemistry is far more complicated than car crashes, and it's harder to figure out the unexpected / long term effects of one than the other.


Brain damage from any of the activities I listed above (including car crashes) could manifest itself in any number of ways. And it's impossible to tell ahead of time what the long-term effects of such brain damage will be.

I'm not really sure that knowledge of what can go wrong explains much about the different attitudes society at large has towards drug users vs people who engage in other risky activities (including simply riding in a car).

Most people know that if you ride in a car you could get in to a car accident and you could be maimed or killed or wind up a vegetable. How does knowing these potential effects explain the differing attitudes towards car drivers vs drug users?


That's a pretty weak argument. We know that there are certain situations in those sports that can cause brain damage, like getting hit on the head by a rock and lack of oxygen. We know them fairly well, and the majority of people avoid them successfully.

With rock climbing or driving or scuba diving, it's an "It might happen to you, but if you avoid these extreme situations it won't" situation whereas with taking drugs you can't really avoid pitfalls, other than taking care not to take too large a dose.

With drugs it's likelier to be "you get smaller amounts of damage if you take smaller doses" or plain "we don't know what the fuck this thing does".

I agree that it doesn't explain much about the attitudes. The default attitude should be ambivalent until we know more, not hostile.


"With rock climbing or driving or scuba diving, it's an "It might happen to you, but if you avoid these extreme situations it won't" situation"

Except that there are no such guarantees. It could still happen, and it does happen all the time. These are not risk-free activities, even when performed with all reasonable care. Of course, there are more and less extreme ways to engage in these activities, just as there are more and less extreme ways to use drugs.

You could, for instance, drive really recklessly, speed, or drive drunk. You're exposing yourself to more risk this way. Likewise, you could dive in more dangerous waters, and expose yourself to more risk. There are also known dangerous drug combinations, like mixing opiates and alcohol and going swimming. (In fact, mixing most any drug with alcohol is probably a bad idea, but there are some that are more dangerous than others.) And just as there are safer ways to drive or scuba dive, there are safer ways to use drugs.

Saying "we don't know what the fuck this thing does" is not really true for most drugs. Most drugs do have rather well defined effects. Of course, when you're dealing with black market drugs, the risk is greater that you won't get the drug you're expecting, or that it'll be cut with some other drug you weren't expecting, or that the dose will be different from what you expected, but there are ways to mitigate these risks. And not all illegal drugs need come from the black market. There are legal sources of illegal drugs, paradoxical though it may sound.

The other interesting thing is that not all drugs that are illegal in one place are illegal in all other places (or times, for that matter). And there are plenty of legal and yet quite dangerous drugs (like alcohol and nicotine, not to mention a plethora of prescription and even over-the-counter drugs). So the legality or illegality of a given drug need not have much to do with the its danger. In fact, the scheduling (ie. "illegalization") of some drugs has often driven people to use more dangerous legal drugs.


It should be noted that there was a scandal involving MDMA research at Johns Hopkins. A study claimed to prove that MDMA caused brain damage, but in fact Methamphetamine had accidentally been administered instead of MDMA. http://www.wired.com/techbiz/media/news/2003/09/60328

Of course, this doesn't disprove other legitimate studies. The interview you link took place well after that scandal.


I was unaware that the research had been discredited; thanks for letting me know.

That said, for those who are interested, here is the paper that the article is referring to:

Griffiths, R.R., Johnson, M.W., Richards, W.A., Richards, B.D., McCann, U., & Jesse, R. (in press). Psilocybin occasioned mystical-type experiences: Immediate and persisting dose-related effects. Psychopharmacology.

... and here is the previous study he did:

Griffiths, R.R., Richards, W.A., McCann, U., & Jesse, R. (2006). Psilocybin can occasion mystical experiences having substantial and sustained personal meaning and spiritual significance. Psychopharmacology, 187, 268-283.

...which was the study related to the aforementioned interview: http://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/Press_releases/2006/Griffiths...


MDMA is much more potentially dangerous than those other drugs, especially in an acute way. The "safety factor" (ratio between dangerous dose to useful dose) is huge for THC, LSD, mushrooms, DMT, K, etc., and much smaller for MDMA, Meth, K, opiates, coke.

There are a few (DOB?) which have safety factors around 2-4x, which is really unsafe.

erowid.org is probably a much better source of info on this topic than hacker news, though.


According to Wikipedia, morphine has a therapeutic index of 70:1, and even cocaine is 15:1.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Therapeutic_index


The "safety factor"... is huge for THC, LSD, mushrooms, DMT, K, etc., and much smaller for MDMA, Meth, K, opiates, coke.

---

I spy a repeat...


Well and the other problem with MDMA is that it's often meth or cocaine based, not actual "molly" or pure MDMA.


But be warned that usage of psychotropic substances may act as a catalyst to bring out any latent psychological issues. Also, there is the possibility of a bad trip.


Common nutmeg is more dangerous than most "hard" drugs...and we give it to children!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nutmeg#Psychoactivity_and_toxic...


This is just pure bullshit. While I'm all for drug decriminalization, I'm always stunned by the dumb half-truths its proponents come up with as justification.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myristicin

> It should also be added that when consuming raw nutmeg, only 5-15% of the mass consumed is an essential oil fraction, of which only roughly 4% is myristicin,[9] indicating the amount present overall in the nut is from 0.2-0.6%.

http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/ntp/htdocs/Chem_Background/ExSumPdf...

> Symptoms usually appear three to six hours after ingestion of 1-3 whole nutmegs or 5-15 gm of the grated spice.

Abnormally large quantities of a substance may be poisonous? Surprise! There is no WAY anywhere even close to that amount gets in anything we give to children. It takes my family several years to get through a single nutmeg. Myristicin is also part of anise, dill, carrot, fennel and black pepper.


You have a funny way of disproving me.

"This is just pure bullshit."

Followed by a list of information about the dangerous psychoactive compound in nutmeg.

5-15 grams (on the low end) is not a lot of food item.

A teaspoon = about 4grams.

A tablespoon = about 14 grams.

Here's 64.9 grams for less than $5. http://www.amazon.com/Simply-Organic-Nutmeg-CERTIFIED-ORGANI...

From http://ntp.niehs.nih.gov/INDEX57DE.HTM?objectid=E88175E0-BDB...

"Ingestion of five or more grams of nutmeg causes acute nutmeg poisoning, which includes giddiness, hallucinations, and feelings of depersonalization. Symptoms usually appear three to six hours after ingestion of 1-3 whole nutmegs or 5-15 gm of the grated spice. Recovery usually occurs within 24 hours. Nevertheless, duration of action may extend beyond several days and even include death. /Nutmeg/ [Green RC, Jr; JAMA 171 (10): 1342-4 (1959); Painter JC et al; Clin Toxicol 4 (1): 1-4 (1971)] PEER REVIEWED"

So basically, somebody trying to repeat the cinnamon challenge, but with nutmeg, and ate a heaping tablespoon of the stuff would introduce a lethal dosage of the substance into their body.

So your argument is, because you personally only tap a little on your eggnog once a year, it's suddenly not a lethally toxic psychoactive substance in doses not much above the range that people might use in cooking?

http://homecooking.about.com/library/archive/blspice3.htm (recipes that all use at least 1/4 teaspoon of nutmeg)


I know how much a gram is.

A gram is a unit of weight. A teaspoon is a unit of volume. A teaspoon of some things might be 4 grams, but not your average grated nutmeg.

Now even if I generously took your large overestimation as fact, and by my sheer lack of luck some person ate a whole pie by themselves, the amount of nutmeg is below even the lower end of that range (5 to 15 grams, by the way, not 0.05 to 0.15 grams).

Finally, you conveniently ignored the last part of my previous post. There are many household substances that you can take undue amounts of. This does not make them more dangerous than most hard drugs. How many nutmeg deaths have there been recorded? How many hard drug deaths have there been recorded? I think number of deaths is a good enough metric of danger. I'll let the jury decide this one.

If you care about making a proper argument, at least use acetaminophen. That's a substance that has actually taken a significant number of lives. And for the record, it wasn't me who downvoted you.


Actually, a gram is a unit of mass.


Pedantry. We can argue about that when the Martian and Moon colonists go on Nutmeg binges.

EDIT> ... but it won't matter since their scales will be calibrated. If you use a scale you're measuring weight, not mass.


sigh at no point are either of you refuting the danger of myristicin and elemicin in nutmeg household quantities of nutmeg. It's just a bunch of pedantic arguing over grams and volumes, and "oh yeah! I'll show you, here are more foods with these dangerous psychoactives in them!"

Probably some of the most bizarre arguments I've ever seen. If it wasn't for the downvotes I'd think you both were agreeing with me.


Wow, you really addressed all my counterarguments with that one. Doesn't really change your overestimation and doesn't really change the fact that there are no significant numbers of nutmeg deaths and many hard drug deaths.


sigh at no point are either of you refuting the danger of myristicin and elemicin in nutmeg household quantities of nutmeg. It's just a bunch of pedantic arguing over grams and volumes, and "oh yeah! I'll show you, here are more foods with these dangerous psychoactives in them!"

Probably some of the most bizarre arguments I've ever seen. If it wasn't for the downvotes I'd think you both were agreeing with me.

Specifically to your points, thought you haven't refuted the specific dangers of the two psychoactive components of nutmeg.

"(5 to 15 grams, by the way, not 0.05 to 0.15 grams)"

The smaller figure is the amount of myristicin required to induce death in a grown adult, using your own math.

Most pie recipes I've seen use about 1/4 to 1/2 of a teaspoon of nutmeg powder (I linked to some recipes since you didn't notice).

"There are many household substances that you can take undue amounts of. This does not make them more dangerous than most hard drugs. "

Sure, I could drink a gallon of bleach, or drink water until my blood thins out and I die (it happens) http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16614865/ns/us_news-life/t/woman...

Is that your hangup? That a tablespoon is more than most people would consume? Really? Wow...pedantic.

Did I not even link to a study of ER visits where the only cause was nutmeg consumption? Are you even clicking the links I provided?

Just because most people don't do a thing doesn't make it dangerous. Most people don't consume gasoline either.


meta:...and here come the downvotes for presenting factual information with no rebutal. I hate to say this is typical on HN, but it's definitely something that occurs in certain "hot-topic" discussions. A downvote here without rebutal is a bit like:"no! you're wrong!"

"based on what specifically?"

"you're just wrong!"

Common HN, we're above that kind of childishness...let's get specific.

Either nutmeg contains Myristicin, which is deadly at about .15 grams of the substance, which occurs in natural concentrations in nutmeg or it doesn't. (it does) We're not talking about car loads of the stuff.

A dosage of about a tablespoon of nutmeg contains a lethal amount of Myristicin, or it doesn't. (it does)

We appear to be in violent agreement about the percentages, dosages and other particulars, so what parts of my statement appears to be the problem?

For fun, I looked up some more:

Comprehensive Review in Toxicology for Emergency Clinicians, Bryson, P. D.

"The chemical agents which are thought to give nutmeg its psychoactive effects are myristicin and elemicin, which are amphetamine-like compounds similar to MDMA...The ingestion of as little as 1 to 2 tablespoonsful, which may contain 5 to 10g in each tablespoon, is capable or producing psychoactive effects described as hallucinations, euphoria, and other distortions of reality as well as many undesirable effects.

The symptoms begin 3 to 6 hours after ingestion and generally resolve in 24 hours. The first CNS effects are giddiness, tingling, dizziness, apprehension, anxiety, and a generalized feedling of excitement. Later, euphoria, visual hallucinations, distortions in time and space, reality detachment, sensations of limb loss, and fear of death may occur. This may progress to extreme drowsiness and lethargy that persist for a day or more."

And another from Emergency Medicine News "The study itself conducted a retrospective chart review of the California Poison Control System electronic database for cases of isolated nutmeg exposure during the years 1997 – 2008. The authors identified 119 single-substance exposures, collected descriptive data, and compared intentional recreational abuse (86 cases) with unintentional exposures (33 cases)."

On Elemicin, the other psychoactive component of nutmeg.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elemicin

"One study found it to comprise 2.4% of the fresh essential oil."

So nutmeg is probably toxic in slightly lower doses than I've been claiming, but it's hard to find specific toxicity studies that isolate both compounds.


There's a saying in drug development, that resonates in the context of this article: "the only difference between a drug and a poison... is the dose."

Psilocybin, marijuana, and LSD should be decriminalized and approved for medicinal use across the US. Control, quality, and safety would be much improved over the recreational and black market dealings we are left with today--thus, invalidating much of the "war on drugs" and taking a huge cost off the taxpayer and turning it into much needed revenue. Law enforcement would then be freed of significant resources to focus on the more insidious drugs (crack/heroin/meth).


The LD50 (lethal dose for 50% of the population) for psilocybin cubensis being consumed by a 150lbs person is 3015g (over 6 lbs!). A "high" dose is anything over an eighth of an ounce (~3.5 grams). That's quite a large difference between drug and poision!

Link: http://www.erowid.org/plants/mushrooms/mushrooms_chemistry.s...


You can purchase mushroom spores (in syringes) legally, get some simple grow medium, pack it in glass cans, sterilize that in oven, inject the medium with spores, and grow those mushrooms in a converted fish tank (they needs humidity). Takes about 2 weeks.

Spores do not contain psilocybin.

Here is one seller: http://www.thehawkseye.com/ that I remember.


Highly illegal once grown! Had a friend's pet dealer get life, but that was for a couple pounds; he sold them at festivals. [US]

*by pet, I mean animals


The sample seems a bit odd. Reading the comments it seems that a disproportionate percentage of the subjects were into meditation (a number of them report "increasing meditation"). I haven't read the study but it seems to me they'd have a hard time publishing their conclusions as they stand now.

I'm particularly skeptical of medical research. An ex-girlfriend was a student at Harvard Medical School and worked in three different labs on drug development. Two of the three studies all the labs published in a year contained data that was either pruned or simply misreported to exaggerate the effect of the drug. I know that's anecdotal evidence, but there's a lot of grant money floating around in medical research and all the incentives are skewed towards positive results, which often leads to bad science. I fear this may be yet another example (speculating, admittedly).


"Reading the comments it seems that a disproportionate percentage of the subjects were into meditation (a number of them report 'increasing meditation')."

I haven't read this study yet, but I know that Johns Hopkins is doing another study where one of the groups actually takes meditation lessons for six months before taking the drug. These studies are mostly meant to validate the methodology and to demonstrate that they can be used safely in a well chosen population when done under professional supervision. It's not really meant to accurately measure what percentage of the population at large would be able to safely achieve ego death and/or have a primary religious experience.

Also, I agree with you that medical studies are generally sketchy, but these aren't medical studies. These studies might eventually be used by a drug company in convincing the FDA to grant a new drug investigation permit, but probably not for at least another 5 - 10 years.


I noticed the same high correlation of "new-agey" practices among the participants. However, it's worth considering the sort of people who would be open to participating in such a study in the first place.

The ideal study, I believe, would consistent of a statistical cross-section of a particular culture/society. It's highly unlikely that the more socially conservative elements in said culture would participate in such a study. This may, in part, explain the somewhat shared nature of the remarks by the participants.


Is anyone else not eager to see these legalized? I'm very interested in psychedelics--and an occasional user--but I've seen what can happen when someone who shouldn't be taking them has a bad trip.

Sometimes, it's not even a matter of preparation. A friend and I decided that we wanted to experience a psychedelic. We spent the year prior to our experience reading trip reports and literature, listening to lectures, etc. and had seemingly done everything within reason to prepare. Yet when the moment came, my friend fought it with every ounce of his being and is still recovering from the anxiety this experience caused nearly two years ago.

The fact is, psychedelics are NOT for everybody. To get the positive effects this study reports requires a good deal of preparation, a proper set and setting, and a trusted sitter who can help right the ship if anxiety starts to creep in. Even then, there are those among us--like my friend--who are unable to let go of control and surrender themselves to the experience.

Certainly one can make the argument that legalization/regulation could provide greater controls over who swallows the pill and who doesn't, but I'm not sure that is true. On the other hand, it is unfortunate that something that can be so beneficial to an individual can at the same time be so destructive (referring to the legal consequences this time). But, the way it stands now, someone who is serious about pursuing this experience can grow the mushrooms themselves for relatively little cost and at relatively little risk (provided they don't sell to others).

The current situation (with perhaps some softer penalties against possession) of limited medical research and legally available spores seems to me satisfactory. Is it ideal? No, certainly not. But is it optimal, given the reality of politics, law, and our attitude towards "drugs"? Perhaps.


> Sometimes, it's not even a matter of preparation. A friend and I decided that we wanted to experience a psychedelic. We spent the year prior to our experience reading trip reports and literature, listening to lectures, etc. and had seemingly done everything within reason to prepare.

I'd say you overdid it.

> The fact is, psychedelics are NOT for everybody.

Neither is alcohol. But if you are over 18, this should not be for the government to decide.


>I'd say you overdid it.

That is certainly possible. I've often thought that was true for my friend (who would read worst case scenario trip reports so he could know what he was "dealing with"). The year of preparation wasn't intentional actually, we were just unable to get our hands on any and weren't in a position (living on campus) to be growing ourselves.

>if you are over 18, this should not be for the government to decide.

In an ideal world, I would agree with this. But I think the reality of the situation is that, unless it accompanied some broader systemic change, if psychedelics alone (or just mushrooms) were legalized and nothing else changed, they would be immediately abused and the media would cover sensational stories of people hurting themselves, driving under the influence, freaking out, etc. Take salvia as an example.

Again, I agree with you in principle. I just think pragmatically it's not that simple. Perhaps legalization would be better, perhaps not.


Surprised Erowid has not created a iPhone app, or an enterprising HN user, for informed, "realistic" drug education, as our own US system is completely flawed. I'd like to see something made, if only to prevent poor experiences and iterate the dangers of TRULY dangerous drugs. http://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=meth+use+rural+community...


About the selection protocol - it sounds like at least some of the participants in the study were in to yoga before the experiment. Those kinds of people usually already have a spiritual streak or will at least be more open to it.

It would be interesting to see this experiment repeated with more "mainstream" subjects or something like 30 Wall St bankers.


Apparently Herman Kahn spent his LSD trip finding the best way to bomb China. So there might be something to be said for the theory that it "intensifies" your existing personality/interests.


I was actually a participant in a follow up study that I read about on Hacker News about a year and a half ago. Thanks to whoever posted it I haven't been able to find the HN post since then.

Just to confirm what Alex3917 said, they did ask us to follow a meditation program before the first of either 2 or 3 sessions(I ended up with 3).

I don't know all of their selection criteria, but for the study I was in they were looking for people with existing "spiritual practices" and little or no previous psychedelic experiences.


I wonder why won't some starving poor tiny pacific island legalize [some] drugs. They could probably make good money from drug tourism.


There is a not starving (though severely bankrupt) very small peninsula country on the atlantic that has not legalized, though "decriminalized" ALL drugs to measured success. That country is Portugal, which officially decriminalized all drugs nationwide in 2001. It is a very interesting data point in the argument over drug legalizations. Arguably it is the closest anyone has come to large scale legalization of drugs (interestingly, their case is not limited to just marijuana). More information can be found in this Scientific American article and the Wikipedia article on the drug policies of Portugal: http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=portugal-dr... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drug_policy_of_Portugal


Very interesting. Is there some kind of [psychoactive] drug tourism there? Why isn't it as well known as Holland?


Because it's only legal to posses small quantities for personal use (about 10 days). Possession of bigger quantities has remained prohibited by Portuguese law, and criminal penalties are still applied to drug growers, dealers and traffickers. You cannot go into a coffeeshop and buy some weed as you do in netherlands so it doesn't make much sense to go there as a "drug" tourist.


It's good for portuguese, but not enough for business.

For business, you surely do want to make selling legal. And comfortable.

You have to actively kick the thing out of the door in order to bootstrap a psych tourism business.


They have, I went to the Gili Islands 2 years ago, no cars and they advertise legal mushroom shakes, also amazing island for diving (not in conjunction however!)

Example http://www.flickr.com/photos/sgoralnick/2625980738/


That picture looked really appealing until I found some context: http://wikitravel.org/en/Gili_Islands#Stay_safe


Well, it does say it's just the locals who get busted; executing tourists would be bad for business.


The shakes are advertised in most bars on the menu's and A boards outside, all very commonplace I found.


The "funny" thing is that the Gili Islands are Indonesian land, so drug smuggling carries a death sentence.

However, it's not a problem since there are no police on the island.


IMF and World Bank regulations maybe?


They have no money anyway short of begging and selling their country status. What could possibly go wrong?


You might want to ask a Panamanian that question.


you mean they should copy the holland model :)

(technically the netherlands only decriminalized marihuana; practically use and possession of user quantities go nearly always unpunished)


Yeah, except that they should allow psychoactive drugs too and allow selling (while disallowing taking those out of the country).


Magic mushrooms were actually allowed and sold openly until just a couple of years ago.

http://www.dutchamsterdam.nl/542-hallucinogenic-magic-mushro...


They were in most of Europe, certainly here in the UK not that long ago.


Seems like there has been renewed interest in psychedelics in the geek community. I'd recommend that everyone read Markoff's "What the Dormouse Said" for the history of geeks and drugs.


The book is vaguely interesting, but truth in advertising is that it's pretty dry and only ten or twenty pages out of the entire book are about drugs.


A couple of links containing stuff every psychonaut should know:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Set_and_setting

http://deoxy.org/poru.htm

http://deoxy.org/pdfa/kidz.htm


If psilocybin was unknown and a pharmaceutical company discovered it along with the "appropriate" dose and published this study, their stock would be worth approximately the entire western world's GDP tomorrow

Except... it wouldn't because these people only required 4 doses, each a month apart, and then had better results 14 months later than every "take daily for life" psych drug on the market today


It's not that easy :) The "take daily for life" pills work always; you can have the crappiest day of life and take a pill and you're happy. That's why they're addictive, even stuff like cigarettes or alcohol -- always work, always calm you down, bad trip impossible.

Psychedelics require preparation, and active cooperation on the patients side. If you think you can be depressed and suicidal and eat a mushroom and have it all gone you are in for a world of bad trip, that will have consequences after the bad trip: insanity, panic attacks, anxiety, and symptoms of PTSD. Basically, psychedelics aren't an immediate fix, they require preparation before and taking actions after the trip.

Psychonautics requires learning; experienced and knowledgeable people can guide their mind to benefit greatly from a bad trip, but most people are not be able to handle it, and delve even deeper into depression or whatever. Some killed themselves afterwards or during. Some have peed their pants while crying and shaking throughout the trip but came out better. Some had absolutely wonderful experiences with psychedelics.

From personal experience, your set and setting will determine whether you discover the wonders of the universe or hallucinate a penis staring at your face, thinking you are being raped for 8 hours. I am not joking.

People like immediate fixes, hence why psychedelic therapy doesn't get much attention.


> "take daily for life" pills work always

Sadly, the immediate fixes are not as sure fire as they are made to sound. Most people I've known on medications for depression and anxiety are juggling prescriptions and dosages to retain the benefits of the drugs. While SSRIs may not give you a "bad trip", they can have paradoxical effects as well as a host of terrible side effects, and withdrawal can be long and difficult. Benzodiazepenes are still widely prescribed and tolerance and addiction build rapidly in most people. For many people these work great but for many they do not, or never completely.


They would presumably up the cost to compensate and you would do the equivalent of taking out a mortgage to partake.


It still would. It's just that other pharma companies would be in the closet.


The (positive) mushroom experience is like being in love with everything.


Agreed. I only tried them once, in Amsterdam, and the experience was so great that I have never done them a second time. It could never measure up.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jungian_archetypes are a very common thread. Connectivity, etc. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parallel_processing in actual thoughts.




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