[Rushtalk] Study Concludes Alcohol is More Harmful to Mental Health Than Psychedelics

John Quayle blueoval57 at verizon.net
Tue Dec 13 15:26:39 MST 2016

/*Just had a former adult baseball teammate die from cirrhosis at age 
49. He was bloated to the point that he was unrecognizable. Sad...........*/

On 12/13/2016 12:10 PM, Carl Spitzer wrote:
>   *Study Concludes Alcohol is More Harmful to Mental Health Than
>   Psychedelics
>   <http://www.collective-evolution.com/2016/11/29/study-concludes-alcohol-is-more-harmful-to-mental-health-than-psychedelics/>*
> Alexa Erickson 
> <http://www.collective-evolution.com/author/alexaerickson/> November 
> 29, 2016
> Around the world, alcohol is often seen as an acceptable beverage in 
> moderation, and even accepted in excess. And while it’s a drug, it’s 
> typically not referred to as such, since “drugs” seem to fall into a 
> taboo category that have caused many of them to be outlawed 
> altogether. But why do we put alcohol on a pedestal and others, like 
> psychedelics, in such a dark place?
> A 2014 /Vice/ article titled /Why Are Psychedelics Illegal? 
> <http://www.vice.com/read/why-are-psychedelics-illegal-368>/by Tao Lin 
> put this interesting dichotomy into perspective by pointing out why 
> psychedelics are illegal:
>     “Terence McKenna viewed cannabis, psilocybin, DMT, LSD, and other
>     psychedelics as ‘catalysts of intellectual dissent.’ He wrote in
>     The Archaic Revival (1991) that his assumption about psychedelics
>     had always been that they were illegal ‘not because it troubles
>     anyone that you have visions’ but because ‘there is something
>     about them that casts doubts on the validity of reality.’ This
>     makes it difficult, McKenna observed, for societies—even
>     democratic and especially ‘dominator’ societies—to accept them,
>     and we happen to live in a global ‘dominator’ society.”
> And another article, /NY Mag/ called /The Truth About Psychedelic 
> Drugs and Mental Illness 
> <http://nymag.com/scienceofus/2015/03/truth-about-psychedelics-and-mental-illness.html>/by 
> Jesse Singal said:
>     “Psychedelic drugs are confusing, and it’s easy to get very
>     different views about them depending on whom you ask. On the one
>     hand, enthusiasts — not to mention a small body of scientific
>     research — have long claimed that, when taken responsibly and with
>     the proper supervision, so-called classical psychedelics like LSD
>     and psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms) are a
>     safe way to smooth the path toward tranquility and spiritual
>     enlightenment. On the other hand, ever since the cultural spasms
>     of the 1960s and a subsequent government crackdown on these
>     substances, the archetype of the hallucinogen burnout has loomed
>     large in the public imagination; that is, people who try LSD or
>     ‘shrooms’ — sometimes even just once! — are forever ruined by
>     flashbacks and other symptoms that eventually drive them to a
>     state of full-blown psychosis.”
> To put it simply, one could argue that alcohol has less horror stories 
> that have made their way into public history than that of 
> psychedelics, which has created fear and a generalized taboo that 
> keeps many governments from taking into consideration scientific 
> research that would suggest otherwise. And though alcohol is, without 
> question, many countries’ biggest and most deadly recreational drugs, 
> it’s the most legal, and the most addictive. But too many people drink 
> and the alcohol industry is far too powerful for this drug to ever be 
> considered as dangerous as psychedelics.
> For a while now, researchers have worked to debunk the theory that 
> psychedelics are harmful when used correctly, and have actually found 
> through their experiments that such drugs can even treat anxiety and 
> depression 
> <http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2015/02/09/trip-treatment>, as 
> opposed to provoking such mental illnesses. Now, a study by the 
> Research Council of Norway has discovered that psychedelics don’t 
> cause mental health problems or suicidal behaviour at all. The 
> researchers looked at about 130,000 adult citizens in the United 
> States 
> <http://www.emmasofia.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Psychedelics-not-linked-to-mental-health-problems-or-suicidal-behavior.pdf?115a76> 
> and found no “evidence that psychedelic use is an independent risk 
> factor for mental health problems.”  Furthermore, 19,299 of the 
> randomly selected people had used either lysergic acid diethylamide 
> (LSD), psilocybin or mescalin, but no links were revealed that 
> /“/increased likelihood of past year serious psychological distress, 
> mental health treatment, suicidal thoughts, suicidal plans and suicide 
> attempt, depression and anxiety.”
> The findings triggered the concluding statement that “it is difficult 
> to see how prohibition of psychedelics can be justified as a public 
> health measure.”
> Meanwhile, there is a direct link between alcohol abuse and suicide, 
> with the U.S. National Library of Medicine stating 
> <https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20617037>: /“/Alcohol abuse may 
> lead to suicidality through disinhibition, impulsiveness and impaired 
> judgment, but it may also be used as a means to ease the distress 
> associated with committing an act of suicide.”
> So if classical psychedelics are in fact safe, why do we continue to 
> live in fear? Why are they still illegal despite such scientific 
> findings? And how is it possible that alcohol can be legal but drugs 
> that can improve quality of life are not? Media coverage may have a 
> lot to do with it, as they hype up certain fears, most specifically, 
> fears that are culturally resonant.
> But there are also big differences between alcohol and psychedelics 
> that people hold on to. “Psychedelics are psychologically intense, and 
> many people will blame anything that happens for the rest of their 
> lives on a psychedelic experience,” explained clinical psychologist 
> Teri Suzanne 
> <http://www.nature.com/news/no-link-found-between-psychedelics-and-psychosis-1.16968>.
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