– I need to make it quick. Before I forget you what I wanted as I forget. Before… – I break off and parry with uncontrollable laughter. I want to write a message, but the letters blur before I can finish the sentence. I do not remember where the entrance is, after a while my body disappears. Suddenly I get sick and fly to the loo to throw up. Then I throw myself on the bed and discover the lust pulsing between my legs. I masturbate to Zelensky’s image. Twice.
I chewed a space cookie.
The next day I feel like an old fag and resignedly conclude that I leave cannabis to promiscuous people with long hair and questionable personal hygiene. Besides, I have always associated psychedelics with detached hippies. Stories about a man who cut off his own face and fed it to dogs, or legends about a stoned babysitter who fried some flab in a microwave oven over the years have effectively discouraged me from even thinking about them. However, the topic of psychedelics knocked on the door of my subconscious in 2020, when, along with a global existential crisis, forced to sit at home, I took up the supermarket fight to the death over pasta and toilet paper. It was then where the bearded guy with the halo once stood that I noticed the emptiness.
I was not the only one.
Almost immediately, psychedelic substances gained enormous popularity. People were hungry to seek intensified mystical experiences, and psychedelics gave them the promise of something esoteric. Overnight, mushrooms became a favorite drug of start-up founders and yoga enthusiasts, and a band of hippies who met once a year in the desert to burn a large effigy together began to attract very scantily clad icons of fashion, music and the ultra-rich. However, despite their widespread recreational image, psycho-delicas, which were banned in the 1970s, remained and still remain illegal.
The main reason is that the effects of psychoactive substances are not yet fully known to us, even though respected psychopharmacology professor David Nutt compares the risks of taking ecstasy pills to horseback riding. I don’t know how much you can trust a guy named Nutt (freak, madman), but the fact is that psychoactive substances have proven their effectiveness in therapies that treat depression, trauma, eating disorders and even Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases. They have also found widespread use in treating addictions to alcohol, nicotine, opioids, or cocaine.
Why does the use of non-addictive, non-toxic, very rarely causing life- or health-threatening conditions substances that could have breakthrough effects in therapeutic treatment remain a crime under the law?
Perhaps because pharmaceutical companies will make much more money from drugs that require daily use. Or is it because the dangers associated with them, are not supported by scientific evidence, but rather by the panic-sowing media? Because unlike deaths resulting from abuse of legal drugs such as paracetamol or alcohol, the dangers of psychedelics are notoriously publicized by the mass media. It would seem that for many, the scariest aspect of psychedelics remains the vision that their impact on the masses will be so dramatic that it will lead to a confused and incapacitated population. As if this is no longer our reality….
Of course, I am not saying that one can downplay the potential danger of the effects of psychoactive substances on our bodies. Psychedelics can cause long-term mood disorders and psychosis-like illnesses, so they are certainly not for everyone. However, taking ecstasy with the intention of understanding and curing post-traumatic stress disorder is counterintuitively not the same as rubbing cocaine into your anus.
It’s not for me to judge whether the psychedelic renaissance we’re experiencing now brings with it greater awareness. All I know is that the war on drugs, introduced half a century ago in America, has so far only contributed to overcrowding in prisons and the growth of organized crime. I’m not calling for the introduction of LSD into the water cycle so that we are all touched by enlightenment, instead I’m convinced that psychedelics offer easy access to our otherwise inaccessible emotional life.
However, I have to tear down the foundations of the romantic vision in which munching on psilocybin mushroom bars during a Sunday picnic with friends is the path to nirvana. No trip will ever be a therapeutic shortcut for us. After all, real self-work is far less sexy than smoking a joint and laughing so hysterically that it borders on life-threatening. After all, plowing and puking after ayahuasca will be crap (literally) if you don’t integrate your experiences and make real changes.
While I think it’s high time to follow Portugal’s example and start treating drug addiction as a disease, not a crime, we need to understand that interrupting the suffering of millions of people is a tough tyro that requires intentional use of psychoactive substances and full awareness of the potential dangers. Not during a rave, but with the help of a therapist.
Ps. The purpose of this article is not to encourage anyone to use psychoactive substances.
Read another column: a word on “DZ”