There is a stigma in our society today: “Drugs are Bad” and it is put into our heads at a very early age that we should stay away from them. There is definitely truth in this unconscious belief that the majority of us possess. That being said, I find the way our society classifies “drugs” is completely incorrect and downright absurd. True psychedelics should not be under the same category as heroin, cocaine or meth. It really does not make any sense to classify these substance together because in reality they are polar opposites. While drugs like heroin, cocaine and meth are very addictive and have the potential to destroy your body and mind, psychedelics actually possess strong anti-addictive effects and are used for healing in many cultures in the past and around the world today. It is very rare that you will find someone who is addicted to psychedelics. There are virtually no deaths due to psychedelics apart from some freak accidents that have occurred, but freak accidents can happen when taking a shower or mowing the lawn. Then the question arises why they are a schedule one substance in the United States if they don’t kill people, people don’t get addicted to them and there are mountains of scientific studies proving the beneficial effects of them. Hmmmm….. Maybe I will write about this in a future piece.
Let’s take a deeper look at what a substance has to have to qualify as a drug. Oxford defines a drug as “A medicine or other substance which has a physiological effect when ingested or otherwise introduced into the body.” So essentially a drug is any substance that has a mind altering or body altering effect. Let’s take it even further to see why these substance even affect us in the first place. In order for a substance to affect our minds it must affect certain neurotransmitters in the brain. There are seven main neurotransmitters which include dopamine, epinephrine, norepinephrine, serotonin, scetylcholine, GABA, glutamate and endorphins. Essentially any substance that can alter these chemicals in the body is called a drug.
The chart below list the seven main neurotransmitter, what they do and what substances affect them
What is very interesting to note is that your body is like a chemical factory. It is able to produce a wide array of chemicals that affect these neurotransmitters depending on the situation you are in. Majority of the chemicals produced naturally in the body are much more effective at preforming the desired function compared to using an external substance. For example if you cut your finger off, your body will produce pain killer’s way stronger and more effective, with no downside, than anything you can externally input into your body.
Going back to psychedelics, your body is able to naturally produce them. Chemicals such as DMT is naturally produced in the body. DMT is the active psychedelic component in Ayahuasca and it is very similar in chemical structure to psilocin, which is the active psychedelic component in Mushrooms. Check out my blog post Ayahuasca VS Mushrooms. A serious questions arises. Why are substance that we naturally produce in our body illegal? It doesn’t make any sense. HMMMMM ……
Psychedelics mostly affect the serotonin receptors in the brain. They are proven to actually correct the imbalances in the serotonin network. Anti – Depressants work on the serotonin receptors as well but the thing with anti – depressants is you have to keep using them in order to maintain the balance. They also can have severe side effects. In modern pharmacology the main goal for anti - depressants is to bring balance to the serotonin receptors. Psychedelics are able to bring balance to the receptors after one or a few trips and has been very effective to treat many diseases. In fact, the founder of AA used LSD along with the other steps of AA to treat alcoholism before LSD became illegal.
Psychedelics do not distort the balance of the neurotransmitters listed above like drugs such as cocaine, heroin or meth but they actually do the opposite and bring them back to balance if used responsibly. If you compare psychedelics to legal stimulants that our society consumes everyday it can be seen that psychedelics are harmless. They are less toxic than coffee. This is a perspective of psychedelics on a scientific level. But there is much more going on when the spiritual and energetic perspectives are explored.
There have been a lot off studies done on the effects of psychedelic on people. It is clear to see that psychedelics help with addiction, anxiety, depression, PTSD and a multitude more of ailments. From my experience I can see they do more than just that. They allow me to think of things in way I would have never thought of before, they help grow my awareness, they allow me to connect with my body, they open up my perception of life and so much more. For more on psychedelics effect on the brain click here.
So are psychedelics bad? I think anything can be good or bad and the reality is that nothing is good and nothing is bad. Good and bad are just concepts created through language to simplify an aspect of reality. I do not think any drug is bad. Every drug has its purpose but too much of anything will cause a major imbalance. I think a better question to ask is if psychedelics will help you in your life. From all the research and experience I have with psychedelics, I can confidently say that if you are a person who wants to grow more in your life, who wants clarity and understanding, who wants to broaden their perception, who wants to learn about themselves, who wants to give up addictions and just someone who wants more from life, psychedelics can work for you. On the flip side if you’re not that kind of person they can be a bad thing.
You can check out my book “Trip to the Infinite – The Ayahuasca Experience” available on amazon.com to learn more about what ayahuasca is; how it affects your mind, body, and soul; my detailed ceremony reports explaining what exactly happened to me in the South American Jungle; and the ways in which I transformed afterwards. I also included some ways to prepare if you are looking to have an ayahuasca experience of your own.
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