Psychedelics are powerful psychoactive chemicals that produce sensory and psychological changes, resulting in an altered state of perception or consciousness. Long relegated to counterculture dalliances, these drugs are once again coming to the forefront in psychiatric care.
Their role in healing is nothing new. Some, like ayahuasca, mescaline and psilocybin, have been used in ceremonial and medicinal applications for centuries. Ketamine was widely employed as an anesthetic during the Vietnam War; LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) was administered for alcohol addiction in the 1950s; and MDMA (3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, also known as ecstasy or molly) has been used as a psychotherapeutic tool since the 1970s.
In the 1970s and 1980s, however, amid the politically charged War on Drugs, most notions of psychedelic therapy were shoved into the shadows. Misinformation and unregulated use followed.
There's no doubt mushrooms and ecstasy, the "hippie flip," are still the cocktail of choice at any given music festival, or that