The rehabilitation of psychedelic drugs

Back in the 60s and 70s, psychedelic drugs, notably LSD, had a mixed reputation. There were those who took them who claimed that it brought them vivid experiences and enlightenment and increased their creativity, and there were also horror stories of people doing all manner of crazy things, even killing themselves after taking them. The net image that remained from that era (in my mind at least) was that these drugs were too dangerous and one should avoid them at all costs.

But it turns out that because of the war-on-drugs mentality that tried to scare people off all drugs, some of the frightening stories about psychedelics were exaggerated or outright falsehoods and thus suppressed research into those drugs that might have given us a more balanced picture as well as possible positive uses of them.

On his latest episode of his show Last Week Tonight, John Oliver looks at what we know now about the use of these drugs as therapies in treating patients.

This is not to say that those drugs should be taken recreationally. He points out that these drugs should only be taken as part of a carefully monitored therapeutic programs under controlled conditions.


  1. Matt G says

    PBS/NOVA did an episode on psychedelics recently. Used for psychiatric disorders (depression, PTSD) and substance abuse. Seems remarkably promising. But Timothy Leary is still dead.

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