That drug abuse can cause serious mental issues is common knowledge. But the knowledge that responsible use can alleviate mental problems is still in its infant stages. And, continuing the analogy, in terms of social acceptance, it has not even begun to crawl. An incredible waste, in my opinion. I know several students who suffer from depression and who are apprehensive about the many side effects of common antidepressants. Like me, they benefit from the controlled use of tiny doses of LSD. Especially now that a substantial portion of students report mental issues due to the pandemic, rearranging the public view on drug use is long overdue.
Only nicotine, weed, and alcohol have gained their own category in daily language. All other drugs are frenetically lumped together. A lump to be feared and avoided. On its main page, the Trimbos institute only mentions alcohol, tobacco and drugs. While considering the effect on the body and mind as well as the addictive element, it is unjust that only nicotine and alcohol are socially accepted. The recently increased scientific interest in the positive effects of MDMA and Psilocybin -the active substance in magic mushrooms – on mental health is a hopeful development.
Rearranging the public view on drug use is long overdue
There are, for example, clinical trials on trauma therapy using MDMA. People suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome (PTSS) are given a limited dosage of the drug under strict and expert supervision. The therapist prompts the patient to relive the traumatic event to alter the perception of the trauma. Under the influence of the drug, the heavy burden of remembering can be reduced to a less extreme emotion. Discussing the trauma becomes a little easier, which may be the first step in healing the emotional damage.
Micro dosing LDS or truffles is also gaining scientific attention. Micro dosing is ingesting a so-called sub-perceptual dose. You don’t trip, but your brain experiences various benefits. You become more productive, creative, cheerful, and it helps you live in the moment. Moreover, it has been proven to help against depression and addiction. A full dose of a hallucinogenic may also have a life-altering effect. Steve Jobs admitted in interviews that he experienced the most significant hours of his life under the influence of LSD.
Of course, much research is needed to study the precise effect of the different substances, but I am delighted that the door to drugs is ajar.
Oscar Delissen is a fourth-year Food Technology student. He is currently studying in Bolzano, Italy.