As I mentioned in a previous post, I became addicted to opiates in the mid 2000's and lived as a zombified-but-somehow-functional heroin addict for about 4 years.
There is no doubt, in my personal case, that acid and mushrooms (that I often hand-picked in cow pastures after rainstorms here in central Florida) gateway-ed me into harder, destructive "escapes", and for that reason, I cannot fully endorse this sort of thing.
I've had amazing trips where I literally felt as one with the group of friends I was chilling with and created deep, transcendent bonds, and I've had a select few shit ones where I felt totally alienated from every living soul (but not nature, interestingly) on earth.
They did expand my consciousness, but looking back, I see now that it introduced into my psyche a fairly deep distrust of authority and convention which, under sober scrutiny, perhaps did little to help me always successfully nagivate my life.
Treating the very sick and/or terminally ill with psychedelics makes great sense to me; anything to ease those pains, but my own experience makes me want to throw at least a dart of caution into the mix when it comes to making a blanket statement about the benefits of LSD and such.
The point is that it's a tool, like a car or a chainsaw. It should be used responsibly, with supervision, safely, around people who know how to help you, etc. Without regulation/licensing, when it's driven underground, it goes to the black market and that's where things get terrible.
Psychedelics are not "good" or "bad". They simply modify one's brain chemistry in novel ways that have the potential to be useful. Whether the experiences one has under their influence are useful or not depends entirely on the individual, where they are in their life, and to a moderate degree, chance.
The same goes for gateway theory. Personal experience tells me that the concept of drug use leading to more drug use is valid with some people and not with others. Much like tripping, it is largely dependent on the individual and their life situation at the time. It is not at all black and white (is it ever?).
As usual, balance is key.
Heck, the commander of Germany's Air Force was a lifelong addict. Not that he's a good role model, but that should dispel the idea that opiates kill the ability to run a "successful" life (for some values of successful), in the same way that FB using PHP should dispel idea that you can't write a world class service in PHP.
Keep your eyes open in meetings with "successful" white collar people. If you look carefully, you should not have a hard time finding plenty with pinned pupils.
For example, do amphetamine and cocaine addicts get more work done in the long run? Are heavy psychedelic users more creative than average (examples like Francis Crick's discovery while on LSD seems to point that way, but the sample size is small)?
With that much selection bias you'll probably find exactly what you're looking for.
I can tell you from a lifetime of experience with addicts I've known that the answer to this is absolutely "Hell NO".
Please do not try this at home, and take my word for it.
He took speed everyday, and said it gave him great ideas. On a bet, he stopped taking them for a month, and said that month was a waste of time.
I suspect most successful speed users aren't going to talk about it like he did.
Prescribed attention deficit disorder medication non-withstanding, coke and meth addicts are just ticking time bombs.
I know a bunch of speed (meth) users who truly believe that are being super productive, but in the end all they have to show for it is scrubbed concrete, an empty bank account, and psychosis.
These are just my personal experiences as a 48yo who has been deeply involved with recreational drugs since age 13.
I tried shrooms roughly 10-15x in my life, gradually found a way to get most out of the experience (instead of 5-6 hours of mediocre intensity having 2-3 hours of pure joy). Never tried anything harder/different than this & pot, so there goes gateway thingie.
I don't even know how to describe what I've been trough, but always purely positive extremely intensive experience. FOr me it's not social drug like pot. In fact, when trying to walk around in broad daylight, meeting people etc. the struggle to look normal was literally killing whole trip, since reality was much stronger info feed to my brain.
Since it's digested, after laying down in bed and closing eyes, I would describe the event as gradually losing all senses and connection with body. My self dissolving into something like a mist, breaking into atoms and just hovering. I am an atheist, but it was always very spiritual experience (to me it explains a bit why there are so many religions - we have it built in somehow). Coming back from trip was not instant, always like going down some massive mountain, step by step, discovering your senses and body again (you don't realize that you are "seeing" without anyhow utilizing your eyes, until you start getting them back. Same for rediscovery of hands for example).
Would I advise these to anybody? Nope. As article said, if one has some deep issues, this can unearth them. But so can excessive alcohol and other stuff (one of my ex' father had schyzophrenia attack triggered by excessive drinking, stayed with him whole life after that accident). Is this an issue of psychedelics? No, just us. They are just powerful tool, nothing more.
That being said, didn't have ones for couple of years, mostly because they are not easily accessible (collecting wild mushrooms can bring nasty poisoning if you mix them up for others, and I don't feel up for Tor orders :)). They are definitely not addictive, in fact after each experience being so hugely intense, I didn't feel the curiosity for quite some time. Also, trip being super intense, after it I always get terrible headache from my brain being literally owerworked.
I say everybody who is mentally OK (strong condition here) should try them once. I think mankind overall would look better, and be happier :)
It's a bit of a problem here that you cannot really know whether people are actually mentally okay, even if they seem so.
I would guess that, at the forefront of a field like mathematics where you need to hold a virtually superhuman amount of the field in your mind at once, and explore it for possible cross-connections in a very thorough and rigorous way, being neurotypical would feel like having ADHD, and being on speed would feel like being "functional."
That's going to be your first problem.
A drug may be a gateway, but you are the one walking through it. If you are using drugs irresponsibly it is your fault, not the drugs'.
I've come to learn, after intense inpatient treatment, that my "irresponsible" drug use almost surely developed from deep emotional scars inflicted on me in my very, very early childhood.
Over the past two years, since I've cleaned up, I've studied the neuroscience of addiction quite deeply, and there are some rather enlightening studies that pretty much prove, beyond most doubt, that addiction is a brain disorder and not a "will power" (whatever that really is) issue.
In other words, people with a certain type of "neural initialization", created in very early childhood, will almost certainly become addicts of some sort, while others without those disorders, won't (or are far less likely).
All I was really trying to say was this; giving mood-altering drugs to everyone might create problems and should continued to be studied carefully.
(Not that it applies here. Everything I've read and seen indicates the world would be far better off if access to opiates and psychedelics was legal, easy, and well understood/educated.)
Also, while I don't consider psychedelics "evil" at all, they do make a person more suggestible. If you're surrounded by a rotten culture and bombed-out people, you're going to suck in a lot of negative energy.
The recreational drug use lifestyle is, for most people, pretty awful. Again, I think that the chemicals themselves (if we're talking about psilocybin and LSD) are probably a minor factor. But to get in access, you have to deal with despicable people (such as dealers) and make a bunch of shitty friends who are in access, and there's definitely a lot of the crappy, cliquey behavior associated with American high schools. Oh, and since you're dealing with an scumbag black market, you're not always getting the chemicals that you think you are. And even if you're only interested in exploratory, "spiritual" drug use, you're still surrounded by crass, hedonistic, bombed-out people who also use cocaine (which is an asshole/empty-hedonist drug if there ever was one) and opiates (which can wreck your health and turn you into a lethargic zombie). Most of these people also have undiagnosed mental illnesses (not minor yuppie shit, but severe, unmedicated bipolar and schizophrenia that they are actively making worse) that they are too lazy to take care of .
 Please don't think I'm a Republican for calling these people "lazy". I'm talking about upper-middle- and upper-class hipsters living on parental funds who've had everything handed to them.
This is, I'd argue, a case where the illegality of these drugs makes them a lot worse in their totality (and that's one reason why I'm really glad to see these compounds being studied for potential beneficial effects, even if I'll probably never again use them). Because LSD is illegal and stigmatized, you have to deal with the dregs of humanity to get it. Now, while LSD and psilocybin may not be long-term harmful under ideal conditions (the jury is still out about that, but evidence suggest that they can do a great deal of good) they are pretty awful when used in the wrong setting... and they are almost never available in the right setting. People who run marathons and write novels and program open-source libraries rarely use LSD, not because they're "above it" (I also know some absolutely wonderful people who've used LSD) but because they're just generally not in access.
Furthermore, these drugs seem to scale poorly. The more often you use them, the less benefit they seem to deliver. I think that it's probably healthy for a normal person to have a psychedelic experience on occasion. It can set a person on a different course, and we all need that on occasion. Dropping acid every weekend is probably not a good idea. When drugs become one's life, or one's lens through which everything good or bad is viewed (note: someone who relates all intense experiences to drugs probably should fucking stop using them)... it gets very unhealthy. At this point, the person has frank psychological problems, has probably lost jobs and friends and relationships, and is exactly the sort of person who will be drawn into the use of drugs that are physically harmful (like coke and heroin).
I hope this helps to explain the pattern. Of course, there's a lot tied into it, and a lot of it's cultural. But some people undergo a subtle shift from self-improvement and learning to "experience chasing", and the chasing turns into escapism, and LSD and psilocybin are rather poor drugs for escape (they intensify life, rather than drowning it out) while alcohol, heroin, and cocaine are good for that. I know many who were irresponsible "psychonauts" in their 20s and turned into boozing alcoholics in their 40s.
All that said, this is just one slice of experience and observation (and a negative one). There are plenty of people I know who use these drugs on occasion and haven't gone wrong or boiled their brains. It's not for me, but I think it's necessarily bad. Legalizing and de-stigmatizing psychedelics would do a great deal of good, in my opinion, for everyone by removing them from toxic cultures.
There are still reasons one might end up associating with the drug culture; if one wants to share and discuss their experiences, the easiest way to find psychonaut friends is through the local drug trade.
The other major benefit of online drug trade is that many middlemen are cut out of the equation. With less underground transportation and distribution, there is less violence. Many vendors produce the drugs they sell themselves. A highly reputed psilocybin vendor, TripsWithScience (believably claims to) grow psychedlic mushrooms in his home, using spores he originally collected himself, then extracts psilocybin, packages it up and mails it to the recipient.
No middlemen means no violence. I don't believe I'll live to see the categorical legalization of drugs, but for now I'm happy with this.
I don't feel this way about shrooms, or about shroom dealers, because mushrooms are so comparatively common. There is less ipso facto sketchiness about the kind of person who's selling shrooms. (Although there is certainly some sketchiness there; don't get me wrong.)
Someone once told me, regarding psychedelics: Once you've gotten "the message", it's time to hang up the phone. I think it's good advice.
Therefore, I must downvote you for the straw man.
I have one of those too, and I can see where my life could have been easier had I not stubbornly clung to my own principles and instead accepted authority; but drugs had nothing to do with that in my case. I'm not sure that I understand how drugs could have done it in yours.
These drugs seem to be karmic accelerators, and they seem to intensify time by factors of 100 to 1000+, which means you can get months or years worth of experience in a few hours. If you're on a path "upward" (ignore the subjectivity of spirituality and growth for now) the drugs will push you along, you'll learn a lot, and have a beautiful experience. If you're headed for, or at risk of, crisis or a disaster, they can bring it forward with a lot of force... and it might be better, for many people, to have more time to deal with such a thing.
Monitored use with a skilled therapist is probably fine for most people (and I wouldn't be surprised if psychedelics were much more safe than what's currently being used for high-grade mental illnesses, because many of those drugs-- legal and regularly deployed in mental institutions-- are nasty) but the recreational/hedonistic use pattern you see in our society (which, for the most part, is materialistic, thrill-obsessed, short-tempered and crass... and using LSD or psilocybin doesn't change that aspect of a person unless he has the right intentions) seems to have minimal expectancy and a lot of variance.
When the history of second-wave psychedelic research is written, Bob Jesse will be remembered as one of two scientific outsiders who worked for years, mostly behind the scenes, to get it off the ground.
Sort of presumptive.
And as for why most people here would be convinced, he has an engineering and science background, and his talks are largely aimed at engineers and scientists.
FWIW he's not trying to get you to 'believe' in religion, whatever that means. Rather, his points are more along the lines of that scientists should learn more about the academic study of religion and the commonalities between religion and science, rather than allowing the discourse on religion to be set by extremists.
Attitude that keeps everything stagnant and backwards.
Sacrifice and repentance? Yes. Suffering? No.
In any case, at least in the modern Church, the concept of purgatory isn't an endorsement of the benefits of suffering.
Case in point: your false beliefs that fly in the face of all the evidence (much of it from their own doctrine, statements and actions) that the Catholic Church believes and preaches that sin is atoned for with suffering. Haven't you ever heard of that guy named "Jesus"? Isn't there a commandment that says you're not supposed to lie?
Penn and Teller and Christopher Hitchens certainly make a strong case that the Catholic Church and Mother Teresa and Bill Donohue are obsessed with suffering and totally full of Bullshit. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o6voAW_Go5Y https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UR-0Kdff4M
For myself, to believe something I question it first. We should extend the same courtesy to others - they surely question things first.
Penn and Teller - "Bullshit - Holier than Thou"
She was sometimes accused by Hindus in her adopted country of trying to convert the poor to Catholicism by "stealth". Christopher Hitchens described Mother Teresa's organization as a cult which promoted suffering and did not help those in need. He said that Mother Teresa's own words on poverty proved that her intention was not to help people, quoting her words at a 1981 press conference in which she was asked: "Do you teach the poor to endure their lot?" She replied: "I think it is very beautiful for the poor to accept their lot, to share it with the passion of Christ. I think the world is being much helped by the suffering of the poor people.":11
Soto Zen view:
" We say, result is—will result immediately, not later punishment. To do something is already punishment. That you do something is already punishment. Not later." (edit: I may be taking this out of context....)
He describes a culture that began with a base of perception and the experience of the now and due to the foolhardy nature of humans always trying to describe what is a unique and individual experience, if even describable at all, led to a disconnect and subsequent acadamization and institutionlization that seems to me to be what all religions suffer from.
The "Story of Tea" is a tale told in some of his sessions that is quite relevant.
The phenomenon seems also to be related to what legislative bodies suffer from as well though not entirely so.
Karma is also not the same as "fate" or "destiny". Karmic results are not a "judgement" imposed by a God or other all-powerful being, but rather the results of a natural process. Certain experiences in life are the results of previous actions, but our responses to those experiences are not predetermined, although they bear their own fruit in the future. Unjust behaviour may lead to unfavorable circumstances which make it easier to commit more unjust behavior, but nevertheless the freedom not to commit unjust behavior remains.
Within the Pali suttas: In the Anguttara Nikaya, it is stated that karmic results are experienced either in this life (P. diṭṭadhammika) or in a future lives (P. samparāyika). The former may involve a readily observable connection between action and karmic consequence, such as when a thief is captured and tortured by the authorities...
I'm not seeing anything to convince me I was wrong in thinking of karma as an impartial system of justice, both good and bad.
If you say people experience karmic responses for all of their actions that's roughly true within Buddhist doctrine depending on how you define these things. Many believe it's a purely internal process so there's no guarantee something bad will happen to you in the sense of losing your job or stubbing your toe.
If you say that when a bad thing happens to a person it's because they did something bad to deserve it then that's not what the Buddha taught. The world's a big place and your past morality isn't the only thing that determines your present situation. http://buddhism.about.com/od/basicbuddhistteachings/tp/The-F...
This strikes me as sort of funny. For someone completely unfamiliar with this stuff I would imagine encountering it to be pretty trippy on its own.
Apparently it had a sign warning people to stay away from that room if they had a history of mental illness.
They are doing a great deal to push this research forward and have been for decades.
>The first wave of research into psychedelics was doomed by an excessive exuberance about their potential. For people working with these remarkable molecules, it was difficult not to conclude that they were suddenly in possession of news with the power to change the world—a psychedelic gospel[...]It didn’t take long for once respectable scientists such as Leary to grow impatient with the rigmarole of objective science. He came to see science as just another societal “game,” a conventional box it was time to blow up—along with all the others.
Special emphasis on the last sentence.
Obviously, this was mistaken. Many people did take acid, have direct experiences of divine revelation, and go on to live happier, more fulfilled lives because of it. But many also took it primarily as a deliriant; they took it for fun, saw some neat visual hallucinations, maybe offended some people, maybe got wrapped up in a paranoid delusion. Or, even if they did "wake up," their excited babbling could appear very disturbing to observers, who often had no frame of reference for what the drug-user was going through. I'm sure it scared the hell out of a lot of them.
Clearly, psychedelics aren't a panacea for society's problems. But what we're seeing now is a return to the more reserved approach of administrating these drugs in a controlled setting, and primarily for the purpose of psychotherapy. I think psychedelics have a bright future as long as we avoid trying to "change the world" and focus on just helping one person at a time. I don't fault Leary for his optimism, but ultimately I wonder if he did more harm than good.
Clapas is on topic and contributing to the discussion. That means no downvoting.
and here i thought this site championed disruption.
From previous thread: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=8940650
Solutions obtained in the experiment include:
- a new approach to the design of a vibratory microtome
- a commercial building design, accepted by the client
- space probe experiments devised to measure solar properties
- design of a linear electron accelerator beam-steering device
- engineering improvement to a magnetic tape recorder
- a chair design, modeled and accepted by the manufacturer
- a letterhead design, approved by the customer
- a mathematical theorem regarding NOR gate circuits
- completion of a furniture-line design
- a new conceptual model of a photon, which was found useful
- design of a private dwelling, approved by the client
- insights regarding how to use interferometry in medical diagnosis application sensing heat distribution in the human body
The idea that SSRIs even boost serotonin levels is probably wrong. The mechanisms of action are more complicated than that. But the serotonin narrative is well established and in use by a multi-billion dollar industry.
Their simple narrative wouldn't have been torn apart by LSD research anymore than the industries other offerings.
Maybe the NewYorker could have waited for that to happen.
I wouldn't be so optimistic, we still can't even "prove" to some that vaccination is beneficial. Even if research found a valid application for hallucinogens, I doubt they will be legal or widely available in anytime soon except, maybe, as carefully dosed therapy drug in extreme cases (pretty much like opiates).
To get societal (and legal) change, you don't need to convince 100% of the crazies. Convincing most of the sane people is enough.
(I'm not saying only crazies are against psychedelics, just that the vaccination comparison isn't useful.)
Intention (set and setting) plays a major role. These drugs aren't "evil" and don't seem to corrupt good people, but when bad people use these drugs, they become more bad. (Source: lots of personal observation. I lived in Williamsburg for a few years.) I've seen plenty of people turn for the worse after using MDMA, LSD, psilocybin. All that said, I don't think it's just the drugs; it's also the environment, and probably the combination of the environment and the drugs in truth. Being around unhealthy people, often with bad intentions, makes for poor health.
A skilled therapist may be able to use the suggestibility of a willing person in a psychedelic state to purge him of harmful ideas... but that starts getting into a territory that some people find uncomfortable (sounds like "brainwashing").
I'm not saying that these drugs shouldn't be studied. There's no good reason for us to be 40 years behind in our understanding of these compounds and their effects on the mind. I think that they can clearly do a lot of good; but they aren't panaceas and, while I wish they could cure us of "the problem of evil", I'm not quite that optimistic.
But that is my personal choice. I would say it's probably a very positive thing on the other hand for people like Patrick who never consumed these substances. DMT might be the best one for someone who is dying, as it is hypothesized that pineal gland floods an endogenous version of this chemical into your bloodstream upon death. Consuming it prior to death could potentially work as a "practice run" to help cope with the real thing as sad as it sounds.
>I'd want every minute of pain, suffering, and emotional baggage to be taken on with a sober mind.
Seeing the broad trend with end-of-life care is to numb this pain, it seems like you're coming from a place of muchisimo-ness. I've been in medical-grade pain before and there is nothing more in the world you care about than ending the pain.
What does it matter if your editorial is less strict about filtering reality in? Again, as the article asks:
>Psychedelics open the valve wide, removing the filter that hides much of reality, as well as dimensions of our own minds, from ordinary consciousness.
Is that really that much of cowardice?
I sat on the back deck of a cousin's cabin, fairly removed from the modern world, and a massive electrical storm was slowly gathering through the evening. For most folks I've spoken with DMT trips last 10 to 15 minutes, but for me they last hours. I'm still unsure as to whether this was due to a stronger variety of crystal we were growing, or because I was giving myself to it that much more.
Suffice to say, on that night the world around me became pulsating molecules, everything connected like neon blueprints going 3-D and contorting and revolving around themselves, extending into and beyond everything. The raindrops were merely pulses, the colors like waves flowing softly around me. It grew to be a violent storm, but the passivity I felt, especially from the benevolence of the bright Felix-the-Cat-like elves whose eyes would at times appear in the arrangements of atoms about me...I knew that no matter what happened around me, I had a strong center, strong enough to enable my survival of virtually anything. I was the only stillness in the universe.
It sounds silly, I'm sure, but I have known fear by no means and in no circumstances since that night, almost two years ago. Religion strengthens the soul for some. DMT reinforced my spine, and my faith in myself.
I heard an intelligent music reviewer say once how the greatest music is difficult to quickly describe in words. That's DMT in a nutshell.
All said, I hope you do "break through" someday. It is nothing but beautiful and inspiring, mindfuck or no mindfuck.
This is a story, an anecdote, and while my view on LSD is positive as a result, definitely shouldn't be read as an endorsement of my actions.
I'm the perfect example of somebody who shouldn't go near psychedelics. I've suffered depression most of my life, and was recently diagnosed as bipolar, though I've only had two real manic episodes. But.. I'm also someone who does stupid things, possibly because of not just despite those things. I've abused coke, benzodiazepines, mdma, alcohol and weed. But never to an extent people around me might notice a problem.
A little while ago, I fell in love with my best friend. It was really fucking hard to deal with (after a few months of hoping it would go away I told her, talked it through and we set about trying to get rid of the awkwardness of staying friends), harder than any other life/love problems I've had. For 6 months I was depressed, had no appetite.. I was forcing myself to eat one meal a day because despite never getting hungry I knew I needed to. Friends told me the appetite was related to my feelings, but I stubbornly dismissed that as pop science - meanwhile I was kind of happy about the appetite, as I was losing inches from my waist.
Then I took LSD for the first time. It was nothing like I'd expected it to be (in my imagination it would be like entering a new world, not just altering the way your mind works in the current world), but it was lovely. A few hours into that trip, I started thinking about my friend. I realised that while I still felt the same way about her.. it didn't hurt any more. It was like this clarity just appeared over the situation that there's nothing I can do about it, so I shouldn't let it hurt me. While under the influence I realised it would probably be back to normal when I woke up the next day, but then it wasn't. I woke up feeling the same way I had while tripping, went into the office, and by lunchtime I was feeling hungry for literally the first time in half a year.
Now I'm in a slightly different place. I'm no longer abusing <something> on a daily basis (the last thing to go was daily weed smoking). I've no interest in benzos or MDMA. I still love coke, but hardly ever do it (twice in the last 18 months, both times someone else's suggestion, both times I didn't want more the next day). And psychedelics... I haven't done them much lately, but have an order on-route from dark net markets of LSD and DMT, largely motivated by wanting some more internal soul searching.
I was hugely grateful to the LSD for that effect it had on me. I've used it quite a few times since then, though it's never made such an impact since. But lately I've been starting to feel down about her again. I don't know if it can help me again.
Long story short... I'm not saying any of my actions were/are sensible or the results deserved. Nor that LSD would help everyone who was in my situation. But as a single anecdote (and hopefully interesting story), it opened my eyes to believing in the sort of trials being described by this article. My pre-existing mental conditions mean I'm probably unlikely to get approved for anything like this, even when it reaches wider access, but if I could, I'd jump at the chance to go through psychedelic therapy with expert scientists guiding me rather than doing it on my own.
(Incidentally: who knows, maybe my next tab will turn me into a schizophrenic: but in the ~15 trips I've had on acid, I'm yet to have a single "bad trip". Same goes for the few times I've tried DMT.)
Seriously. Look at his posting history.
You might have made it that far in the time it took you to count page downs.
Also, read the next sentence "The data are still being analyzed and have not yet been submitted to a journal for peer review, but the researchers expect to publish later this year".
And a little bit later "But it’s important to remember that the sample sizes are small.”
So, it's not even a conclusive result yet.
I am certain that your friend also drank beer, played video games and watched television. None of those factors are directly linked to his suicide. The existence of those drugs aren't related either.
Struggling with addiction is very hard, but do not confuse it with the substances themselves. In a medical or scientific settings, doses and addiction are managed.
That being said, my sympathy for your friend.
I'm sorry about your friend and can easily understand your feeling. But could you please not turn these threads into off-topic arguments about the topic being on HN? This article is substantive and of interest to the community. Upvoting it doesn't imply endorsement, just curiosity.
You say it doesn't imply endorsement, but I think threads like this lower the barrier and increase probability of drug consumption. Multiplied by large audience, this gives some new drugs users.
Mentioning an object plants seeds in people minds. Mention oranges, you will have increased oranges consumption, mention Facebook React - more React users, mention coca-cola - increased cola consumption.
Also, humans are very social. Seeing group enthusiasm in the subject, individuals can lean to it. There are many experiments about this, one example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asch_conformity_experiments.
And I've known hundreds of people who have taken one of the most powerful psychedelics on the planet between 3-5 and hundreds of times each. Of them, there's been exactly one case of an adverse reaction that I've seen, on the part of a woman who had a pre-existing, but occult mental health issue.
My anecdata can beat up your anecdata.
Of course, none of that means it doesn't happen, but it happens radically less often than you seem to want people to believe.
Ok, I've edited that word out of my comment.
You may be right that there is a problem with social proof deluding people into thinking psychedelics are more harmless than they are. But that can't be the only factor here. If it were, we'd have to bury all stories about serious psychedelics research. That isn't going to happen.
Therefore, please stop re-litigating the presence of these stories on Hacker News. You're creating a gigantic off-topic diversion. If you want to comment on the topic, that's fine, but please make an effort to ensure that your comments aren't flamebait.
But also have many friends and family who were killed by drugs - the #1 cause of death amongst my peers. More than war, car crashes, cancer combined. Mark, John, Sue, Bryan, Dan, Jeff RIP. Also many more that are alive but seriously damaged.
Drug addiction creates second-hand victims, the parents/children/siblings/family. Unbelievably painful.
The town I grew up in was torn apart by drugs and gangs. Watch 'The Wire' - art imitating life.
The costs of drugs are truly staggering.
Seems I'm the lone person who agrees with @avodonosov. The mods have told us that anti-drug views are not welcome on HN. At this point many of you are reaching for the downvote button. :-)
Sorry but - yes it is possible - drugs can have a downside!
Delusions of persecution aren't conducive to the kind of discourse we're trying to maintain here.
EDIT: It's also fallacious to lump all "drugs" together under the same banner. I'm very skeptical that psychedelics factor significantly into drug-related gang violence and trafficking. I also very much doubt that there are very many LSD or psilocybin "addicts" around.
This article was about legitimate scientific exploration of a repeatedly claimed benefit of psychedelics. It has nothing whatsoever to do with gangs, violence, trafficking, or addiction. As such, those issues are tangential at best, and probably also diversionary and specious.
My cousin - big LSD user - messed up his brain function. After that: drooling/voices/psychosis. Years of hell for his parents. Hell is an understatement.
He died at a rehab / halfway house - killed by a fellow resident - stabbed in the heart with a butcher knife.
My childhood friend - took LSD/psychedelics in Japan & never came out of it. Bumbling around in the streets naked, didn't know his name etc. His parents had to go bring him home. 20 years later he lives with them still, can't hold a job, can't handle a relationship, doesn't even come out of the house.
Me and tons of others took psychedelics with no side effects - it works that way for most people. But when it goes wrong, the downside can be staggering.
> re: you and 'avodonosov's positions are "not welcome"
If you think HN is open to anti-drug views, you're kidding yourself.
I'll certainly concede that HN doesn't tend to respond well to a position of, "Drugs are bad, mmm'kay?" I submit that has more to do with that being a hopelessly naïve stance than anything else.
Sure, some drugs are bad. Sure, some drugs are bad for some people. Sure, some people probably shouldn't take any drugs at all.
Going from that to blanket condemnation and prohibition is sloppy and illogical, and is very likely not to be a welcome notion in a community as broadly libertarian (note, small-l) in attitude as we "hackers" tend to be.
> yes it is possible - drugs can have a downside!
Nowhere in this discussion do I call for prohibition. Downvotes are given to the possibility that drugs can have a downside. Now who is sloppy and illogical?
What? That's not true at all.
Be serious @dang - Hacker News mods and community are very strongly pro-drug. Own it!
Your warning to @avodonosov:
> please stop re-litigating the presence of <drug> stories on Hacker News. You're creating a gigantic off-topic diversion.
Anti-drug views on HN are litigating/vendetta/off-topic/divisive. Pro-drug views on HN are exciting/substantive/interesting. By your own words! :-)
There's a strong temptation on HN to see the community and perhaps also the mods as lined up against oneself on controversial issues. For the sake of interesting discussion—and, I might add from experience, one's own well-being—it's important to resist this. Such perceptions are easily distorted by cognitive bias: enemies loom larger than friends, negative responses feel stronger than positive ones, and so on.
No doubt the community does have more bias on some issues than others, but there's nearly always room for calm, substantive contrarian arguments. What there isn't room for is the frustrated comments people tend to post when they become convinced that the community is against them. That's the HN equivalent of going on tilt. Other users respond negatively to the lashing-out aspect, which then gets interpreted as "hostility to my views", "groupthink", etc., at which point you're in a cognitive-bias hall of mirrors.
As for the moderators, we try as hard as we know how not to let our personal views influence moderation activity, and to keep the latter strictly procedural. I know we don't do that perfectly, but one improves with practice, and we get a lot of practice.
p.s. I'm sorry about your cousin and your friend. I'd feel intensely too in your position.
You might be confusing drugs and drug policy.
Poor drug policy like the "War on Drugs" has killed millions, and is indeed a huge tragedy that needs to come to an end.
Edit: To whoever downvoted this comment: could you please reply to this comment with your concerns (instead of downvoting and walking away)?
And 'exciting' was used to describe the results, not psychedelics.
Your contribution as an anti-drug crusader has been noted in this thread. You can move on now.
> It is irresponsible and inappropriate to promote drugs (LSD or whatever). And off-topic for Hacker News. There are people who unstable, who have internal emotional conflicts, etc. For them drug use may be a catastrophe.
I would agree with the latter, and only half of the former.
Yes, you are absolutely right that for some people in some circumstances drugs like psychedelics can lead to real harm.
But that is true of virtually all drugs. Let's dive deeper into the first sentence:
> It is irresponsible and inappropriate to promote drugs (LSD or whatever).
If you meant that literally, then you also believe that it is irresponsible and inappropriate to promote aspirin and caffeine.
Do you believe that? If not, you are not being consistent, and what you really meant to have said is that it is irresponsible and inappropriate to promote some drugs.
Well, which ones and why?
Think about this in a larger context, and maybe actually consider reading the article. I read your post and the article both, and I think there's a lot in the article that, if you read it with a clear mind, you will find yourself agreeing with.
Comments like this violate the HN guidelines. Please don't.