How MDMA, magic mushrooms and LSD help cancer patients cope, and cure addictions

So how do psychedelics work to help patients? The experience can change a patient’s world view, and give an addict the will and the desire to break their addiction, or someone with a terminal illness the strength to face up to death. It’s a matter of neuroscience, says [Michael] Pollan.

It’s possible, he says, that psychedelics allow us to see the world as it is rather than how our brains want us to see it. The different world view the patient has while under the influence of psychedelics can bring about changes in behaviour when the drug wears off … Alcoholics and smokers, for instance, while under the influence of psychedelics, may realise that they should not be harming their bodies – and they bring this realisation back to their everyday reality when the drug fades. Patients dying from cancer who have been part of the research have said the experience – the glimpse of a different reality – makes it easier for them to face death … The treatment is only suitable for a certain type of mental problem, Pollan notes – it won’t solve all the world’s problems, as Timothy Leary thought. “The mental problems that the drugs appear to work well on share certain trademarks. There’s a kind of stickiness – you are mentally stuck in a negative groove.

Original Article (South China Morning Post):
‘How MDMA, magic mushrooms and LSD help cancer patients cope, and cure addictions
Artwork Fair Use: dankeck

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