Psychedelics are more legally restricted than heroin or cocaine, “but no evidence indicates that psychedelic drugs are habit forming,” Rucker writes, “little evidence indicates that they are harmful in controlled settings; and much historical evidence shows that they could have use in common psychiatric disorders.” The unnecessarily restrictive legal environment means clinical research using psychedelics "costs 5-10 times that of research into less restricted [but more harmful] drugs such as heroin."
~ ~ Spiritual Healers ~ ~
– Rick Steves, Our Favorite World Traveler
Last of the Medicine Men:
Peyote Cactus (Mescaline)
San Pedro Cactus (Mescaline)
Pioneering research in the last decade supported by Heffter Research Institute (US), MAPS (US), and the Beckley Foundation (UK) provide some of the strongest evidence so far for reclassifying these historically significant substances and making them available for mental health research.
PRISM, recently founded in Australia, is a similarly-modeled organization that researches a range of diseases for which conventional medicines provide limited relief.
Ayahuasca is another classic hallucinogen that is currently being researched. World-renowned addiction and palliative medicine doctor Gabor Maté explores the potential of classic hallucinogen (N,N-dimethyltryptamine, or DMT)-containing sacramental tea ayahuasca for treating opiate addiction David Suzuki's "Nature of Things."
Neuropsychiatric Health & Drug Policy
The Bipartisan CARERS Act
Johns Hopkins University addiction pharmacologist Roland Griffiths, recipient of a $463,000 psychedelics research grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), gives a candid interview that meditation and explains his motivation for studying sacred plant compounds psilocybin, DMT, and Salvinorin A.
The term 'entheogen' is related to classic hallucinogens' unique ability to induce a mystical or spiritual experience. Spirituality is important part of recover programs such as Alcoholics Anonymous and the everyday well-being of people across cultures, so why are psychedelics such a taboo subject? Misconceptions and use that does not involve proper ritual, set, and setting are partly to blame.
For the sake of mental health, Americans should embrace the rescheduling of classic hallucinogens to allow proper research into their benefit. With our poor understanding of the brain, fully incorporating archaic mental health practices with Western psychiatry could help alleviate the everyday mental and existential suffering of millions of Americans.
Brain Chemistry & Mysticism: Can
Psychedelics Expand Our Consciousness?
Current NIH Director Participates in a Pew
Forum Where the Peyote Ritual is Discussed:
Religion & Science: Conflict or Harmony?
Given the benign safety profile of psychedelics compared to opioids and psychiatric medications, should they even be considered drugs, or a special class of psychotherapy in a pill?
NIH and VA address pain and related conditions in U.S. military personnel, veterans, and their families: Research
will focus on nondrug approaches
National Research Action Plan
Responding to the Executive Order
Improving Access to Mental Health Services for Veterans, Service Members, and Military Families
The Department of Veterans Affairs is well-aware of the mental healthcare and chronic pain crises in America:
“Unless the 'cultural transformation' called for by the IOM begins in earnest, our nation faces additional crises in the future. Many service members and veterans with pain also have comorbid conditions such as posttraumatic stress syndrome or traumatic brain injury,” a commentary in the journal said. “Many of them are at risk for a lifetime progression of increasing disability unless the quality, variety, and accessibility of evidenced-based 'self-management' skills are improved. Without more effective and less costly approaches to pain management, the estimated costs of care and disability to the country will approach $5 trillion.”
Resources for Veterans
Department of Veterans Affairs Research:
Complementary and Alternative Medicine