|groove for the cure|
a lot of criticism has been leveled at their work, particularly about the qualitative nature of much of the data, but the sad fact is that their research was abandoned in the sixties for political rather than scientific reasons, leaving most of their findings in the realm of the possible, promising but unproven. with established opinion turning against the accoutrements of the youth movement- drugs above all- lsd was relegated in north america and the united kingdon to the lowest circle of narcotic hell, classed as a substance with no medical potential whatsoever. which kind of sucks if you're one of the people who might benefit from it.
you see, psychedelics aren't just good for making you see god and paint in bright colours. it turns out that at lower [sub-hallucinatory] levels, they're remarkably good at improving mood, even among the chronically depressed, at helping patients deal with chronic pain [not unlike a lot of current prescription meds for mental disorders, which are often used "off-label" to treat conditions like fibromyalgia] and even help those who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, when used in conjunction with therapy.
|if you can see this, your dosage is too high|
this is where our societal prejudice about drugs comes to the fore. we are all socialised to accept certain drugs as acceptable within certain limits [alcohol, nicotine], certain drugs as necessary [prescription medications] and certain drugs as evil [narcotics]. most rational people know that these divisions based more on superstition and politics than on any potential dangers or benefits. i touched on this subject a while back, when i talked about the benefits of desoxyn [crystal meth to you] as a medication for adhd. the fact is that when you look at the reported side effects of a lot of medications that are commonly prescribed for mental disorders, the idea that accidentally taking a double dose of your meds might cause you to shake hands with vishnu doesn't seem so awful.
it's almost reassuring to think that "the man" is preventing you from getting better drugs because of some archaic drug war- and i'm not saying that isn't the case- but the fact is that the injunction against certain medications not only prevents them from being prescribed to treat conditions for which they might prove a relief, but it also prevents them from being properly, quantitatively studied to see if they really do fulfill the promise they've shown, or if they're doomed to be somewhat enjoyable recreational tools with mildly positive side effects [which would still make them superior to nicotine].
|take two and call me when you can find the phone|
for more on the subject, check out this article from the excellent neurophilosophy blog.