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The New Frontier: Hard Drugs and Mental Health

DALL·E 2023-03-27 13.10.22 - psychedelic aura and mental health(1).png

The New Frontier: Hard Drugs and Mental Health

By: Angelica Brown

            While there are many different ways to go about helping with mental help, other routes using intense and hardcore drugs such as LSD, psychedelic mushrooms, ayahuasca, and other hallucinogens have been utilized for mental health purposes. It is a controversial subject due to the potential mental and physical concerns that can arise from the use of these drugs. Although, they can be used to spiritually help the mind and to help patients with for example schizophrenia to reverse the brain activity and boost serotonin. But how much is too much and is it really effective in the long run for these patients?

            Through these trials for trying to understand and treat schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety microdosing is the way doctors go about using these drugs. Drugs such as cannabis, psilocybin, MDMA, DMT, and LSD are strongly used to experiment and test on patients due to their either relaxing qualities or serotonin boosting elements to them. Also, with analyzing behavioral changes within patients due to the ability of neuropharmaceuticals altering brain chemistry and building new neurons to connect pathways. In regards to ayahuasca, this is a plant based psychedelic that is consumed by drinking a tea brewed from the plant. This South American psychoactive highly alters perception, judgment, critical thinking, and greatly provides hallucinations. In addition, depending on the headspace that the individual is currently at there can be negative consequences due to the introspection of stressors, a negative past, or traumas can come back to the individual and they are forced to sit with it until they come back to themselves. Conversely, there could be a moment of clarity for the individual and they see what they need. Although, it is hard to pinpoint because of the different types of drugs and doses needed for people.

Psychotherapy is an outlet in which there is plenty of room for understanding how it works with the human brain and what little we know about its influences for mental health and diseases. While it is good that microdosing is the way they are testing these psychedelics and drugs on patients, there is still the possibility of psychosis, a negative reaction from the patient, or reliance on the drug depending on the dosage and intensity of the drug. Every person reacts differently to different drugs, even if they are microdosing for the patient, it could still be too much to push psychosis or not enough to make any difference.