Addiction and Psychedelics

We are on the precipice of a Psychedelic Renaissance proclaims Michael Pollan in his best-selling book, “How To Change Your Mind.”

But are we ready to re-engage these soul-manifesting medicines in a mature way, with the respect that they deserve?

The War on Drugs has been a war on people, particularly the poor and People of Color. The end of the prohibition of certain substances can be a positive thing.

As the Psychedelics and Addictions Fellow for the CIIS Center for Psychedelic Treatments and Research, I am interested in how some psychedelics can support Recovery, along with PTSD, depression, and other ailments.

But any medicine when mis-used can be a poison. Some can develop a psychological addiction to psychedelics, compulsively chasing after exciting experiences, attempting to escape consensual reality, or merely to boost “performance”, at times leading to ego-inflation and many other problems. In indigenous traditions, plant medicines all have a shadow side, which the Shipibo of South America call their shitana.