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Hallucinogen myths put to rest
    #4123058 - 05/02/05 01:27 PM (11 years, 5 months ago)


Hallucinogen myths put to rest

Article By:
? Genevieve Diesing
? gdiesing@northernstar.info

Recently, the U.S. Supreme Court considered whether a church in New Mexico should be able to continue using hallucinogenic tea for religious purposes. The Bush administration has made clear the use of hallucinogens for any reason is illegal and harmful, but depending on how selectively the court applies freedom of religion laws, this regard could change.

It?s not just the Bush administration that views psychedelics as harmful; since we were little we?ve been bombarded with myths and propaganda about the evils of their use, from the preaching of the nationwide D.A.R.E. program to widely circulated wives? tales. But with rapid scientific discovery, a new perspective about psychedelics is emerging. Extensive medical research has provided evidence that psychedelic drug use can be beneficial to a person?s well being, and now the Food and Drug Administration has begun allowing research with psychedelics for psychotherapy to heal trauma.

NIU?s Thomas Roberts, Ph.D., longtime professor of the course "Psychedelic Mindview" (EPS 492) said he believes this might be just the beginning.

"Now, the D.A.R.E. view is being laid to rest," Roberts said. "Interest in psychedelics is coming back in a more medical, therapeutic sense."

With proper, educated use, within a controlled setting (which usually involves determining beforehand if the person in question has any predisposition toward psychedelics) psychedelics can have lifelong positive effects, Roberts said. Although people should not try to experiment with drugs bought "off the street" because their purity and potency is always questionable, many people who have used psychedelics in a proper manner have had experiences described as "life-altering" and "holy." And for victims of trauma or people who would benefit from further exploration into their subconscious, psychedelics can serve as extremely helpful agents.

"What these drugs do is illuminate and magnify areas of our brain that are not normally accessible," Roberts said. This is because psychedelics can tune into the area of our brain that psychologists call the transpersonal area, which can cause people to - as Roberts says - "drop one?s identity and feel related with something bigger than themselves." Obviously, this feeling can have strong correlations with what some people consider religious or spiritual experiences, and for others, it can cause them to explore their reality differently and to challenge their sensory perceptions. This has proved to enrich people?s lives on the whole well after the initial experience and deepen people?s appreciation and understanding of nature, spirituality and many different aspects of the humanities, such as literature or the arts. These experiences are also extremely valuable for people who benefit from their medical service.

One stigma that has stuck like glue to the use of psychedelics is that they are physically harmful. Roberts refutes this, saying it is merely one of the myths that surrounds the issue. "There is no physical damage [caused by psychedelics] that I know of," he said. "The most realistic danger is that someone might use psychedelics that shouldn?t be and have traumatizing psychological results." Roberts advised that people who are given psychedelics for medical use should be screened beforehand to be sure using them would be appropriate.

Whether or not the Supreme Court decides hallucinogens should be accessible for religious services, the attitude toward psychedelics on the whole is in the process of major transformation. If people wish to further their knowledge about this subject, they can sign up for Roberts? course next semester. And for those who are still trying to decide how they feel about it, keep this quotation (Richard Rudgley, "Essential Substances in Society," from the EPS 492 course syllabus) in mind: "Humans have an innate need to experience altered states of consciousness. To ignore or repress our own natures in this way is to neglect our own capacities."

Columns reflect the opinion of the author and not necessarily that of the Northern Star staff.


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Registered: 10/03/04
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Re: Hallucinogen myths put to rest [Re: motaman]
    #4123627 - 05/02/05 04:09 PM (11 years, 5 months ago)


motaman said:
But with rapid scientific discovery, a new perspective about psychedelics is emerging. Extensive medical research has provided evidence that psychedelic drug use can be beneficial to a person?s well being...

This is hardly a new perspective, but at least more people are starting to get the idea. :smile:

"What is in us that turns a deaf ear to the cries of human suffering?"

"Belief is a beautiful armor
But makes for the heaviest sword"
- John Mayer

Making the noise "penicillin" is no substitute for actually taking penicillin.

"This country, with its institutions, belongs to the people who inhabit it. Whenever they shall grow weary of the existing government, they can exercise their constitutional right of amending it, or their revolutionary right to dismember or overthrow it." -Abraham Lincoln

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Re: Hallucinogen myths put to rest [Re: dblaney]
    #4123652 - 05/02/05 04:13 PM (11 years, 5 months ago)

it's definitely something many many people have known all along, without the medical field pointing that out. even hellish trips can have positive outcomes after the fact. i hope to see this type of research continue to blossom

Manoa said:
I need to stop spending all my money on plants and take up a cheaper hobby, like heroin. :lol:

Looking for Rauhocereus riosaniensis seeds or live specimen(s), :pm: me if you have any for trade

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