Psychedelics have been vilified since the drug crackdown in the 1970s associated the drugs with counterculture and rebellion. Psychedelics were made illegal and are still classified as Schedule 1 drugs, despite no solid evidence showing they are addictive or lethal. However, studies have shown that psychedelic drugs like LSD and psilocin and psilocybin may have great potential to help treat mental illnesses like depression, anxiety, and even addiction. They do this by interrupting negative thought cycles, dissolving the ego, and encouraging a sense of interconnectedness and a greater understanding of simple, profound truths. However, the user’s experience on psychedelic drugs relies heavily on the set and setting where the trip takes place. Some of the same benefits of psychedelics can be experienced even without the use of drugs, through using mindfulness techniques like breathing exercises, mantras, religious practices, and meditation.
About the Author
Michael Pollan is an American journalist, activist, and author of eight books, four of them bestsellers. He is a journalism professor at UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism and the Lewis K. Chan Arts Lecturer and Professor of Practice of Non-Fiction at Harvard University. He is also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine, and the former executive editor for Harper's Magazine.
Pollan is the recipient of the Washburn Award from the Boston Museum of Science and the James Beard Leadership award. He was educated at Bennington College and Oxford University, and received his master’s degree from Columbia University.
Pollan lives in the Bay Area with his wife, the painter Judith Belzer.