There’s a lot of buzz floating around about the promises of psychedelics on those with depression and even healthy individuals. Norwegian scientists took data from a trial of 536 adults diagnosed with alcoholism, nearly 60% of those given an adequate dose of LSD either dramatically cut back on their drinking or quit completely. The control group, which was given a significantly smaller dose or none at all, quit or dramatically cut back only 38% percent of the time. Bill Wilson, the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous even encouraged the use of LSD, he is quoted as saying, “It is a generally acknowledged fact in spiritual development that ego reduction makes the influx of God’s grace possible… I consider LSD to be of some value to some people, and practically no damage to anyone.”
Psilocybin has been shown to markedly reduce depressive symptoms and anxiety in a study of 12 patients. All of the participants showed some reduction in depression, and 5 of the 12 went into complete remission. Strong inferences cannot be made from this study due to the small population size, however, there is a lot of other research coming out that supports these findings. These mind-altering substances are very powerful, a single dose can leave psychological effects on the user for months or years. An outright ban on these substances, like they had on marijuana and alcohol, is preventing many people from receiving the therapeutic treatment they need. However, we should carefully monitor how these substances are marketed and patented by pharmaceutical companies. This is a substance that alleviates symptoms of depression in a majority of the people who use it, and the effects can last for months or even years. We must ask ourselves, would most pharmaceutical companies encourage the public to buy a cheaper and superior alternative that they have to take less often? How will this affect its availability to the people who need it most?