A look back into the evolution of psychedelics paints an ugly picture. Not for its pitfalls, but how the war on drugs counter-revolutionized therapy.
‘Turn on, tune in, drop out‘ – the famous counterculture-era brought forth by Timothy Leary was nothing more than a taboo in the late 60s. Perhaps, the government had a singular take on the movement – war on drugs. Despite the studies proving otherwise, authorities turned a blind eye towards the potential of psychedelics; a decision that would have saved more lives than one can imagine.
War on Drugs: Timeline
Since the inception of LSD in 1943, the psychedelic finds itself lurking in the dark. Freethinkers found a holy grail in LSD in the 50’s, stretching down to the early 60’s too. Scientists around the world took a keen interest in this one and research was at its apex, reports Slate. LSD and Psilocybin found themselves in the swim of things, but nowhere on the streets.
Come 1963, the revolution took a rather different path. Needless to say, the drug escaped the experimental fortress and went rampant on the streets. Thanks to sexual liberation and rock ‘n’ roll, its popularity came as no surprise to the officials. This, in turn, paved way for what is synonymous today with the ‘war on drugs’.
Arthur King’s story in 1965 is perhaps one of the breakthrough in the psychedelic therapy. A chronic drunkard – King was a patient in the alcoholics ward in a hospital in Baltimore. Sanford Unger, a researcher by his own right, gave King a dose of psychedelic as treatment. Much to Unger’s delight, King broke the alcohol addiction subsequently and rode into the sunset.
— MAPS (@MAPS) January 7, 2017
Half a century after King’s success, a question arises on what’s the current status of psychedelics in therapy treatment. Turns out, the involvement is virtually nothing. In a major crackdown on drugs and the likes of Timothy Leary, officials burned psychedelics’ potential to the ground. Not to mention, the stigma attached to it.
After the government mishandled the drugs and consequences were dire, they initiated a cover-up. The result of which is the hindrance to the research and development of LSD-induced therapy. On a lighter note, industries are increasingly getting fascinated with such treatments lately. The new world order might as well embrace the brighter side of the psychedelics.