Psychedelics are Drugs.
And Drugs are Bad.
On my journey of utilising Shamanic Medicines and Psychedelics for self-discovery, healing, exploration, growth and transformation, I still encounter these prehistoric dinosaur-esque beliefs from countless people.
Some are young, some are old. Some are open to reframing their perspectives. Some are not. Some are not health oriented, some are health oriented. Some are even associated with the health & wellness / spiritual / yoga industry.
And although many of you will already be educated on what I'm about to say, it's obviously still incredibly important to address in this day and age.
The statements I still come across include:
- Drugs are bad.
- Drugs are for losers.
- Drugs that alter your consciousness are dangerous.
- People who use drugs are criminals.
- Drugs create drug addicts.
- Keep our children away from drugs.
- Lock people up who choose to use drugs.
Well, first of all, what are these people talking about??
What kind of drugs?
What actually are drugs???
What Are Drugs?
Definition: a medicine or other substance which has a physiological effect when ingested or otherwise introduced into the body.
Okay, so essentially it's any substance that has some sort of effect when we take it into our bodies.
If that's the case, we need to recognise that there are DIFFERENT CLASSES of drugs to consider.
There are the commonly prohibited drugs:
- Amphetamines, methamphetamines, ice, cocaine, speed, heroin, magic mushrooms, LSD, cannabis, DMT, mescaline, MDMA etc.
There are the medically accepted drugs:
- Ritalin, adderall, methadone, suboxone, oxycodone, valium, xanax, codeine, DXM (cough syrup), nitrous oxide (laughing gas) etc.
There are the socially acceptable drugs:
- Alcohol, tobacco/nicotine, coffee/caffeine etc.
There are smart drugs / cognitive enhancement drugs, known as Nootropics:
- Piracetam, aniracetam, modafinil, l-theanine (green tea), bacopa, phenibut, noopept, etc.
So to lump all substances that have a physiological effect on the body into one category, makes little sense, when there are quite obviously different uses for them.
When talking about drugs, or when listening to someone talk about drugs, we need to clarify - what drugs? What do they mean?? And why?
Drugs Are Tools.
Let's take a moment and picture drugs as tools. Tools for the body, and tools for the mind.
We can choose to use these tools to achieve certain outcomes that we desire. These outcomes could be positive, and they could be negative.
Take a hammer for example: it could be use to build a magnificent house, or it could be use to bonk someone over the head with it.
We know that drugs can be harmful, and certainly hold the potential to ruin one's life.
Addiction is a major epidemic. But what are the major drugs that cause addiction?
What are the common drugs that are detrimental to one's life, whether that be physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually?
What are the drugs that are most damaging to our relationships, to our health and wellness, to our connection with ourselves, others, and the world around us?
Well, we know that some of the prohibited drugs such as cocaine, heroin, meth, ice etc can be incredibly destructive and addictive.
There are also plenty of medically prescribed drugs that we also know to be detrimental and/or addictive, such as ritalin, adderall, methadone, oxycodone, dxm, valium, xanax, and a whole host of antidepressants!
Isn't Western medicine supposed to reorient people to a life of health & wellness?
Well, pharmaceuticals have their place and are helpful to many, but the risks and harm cannot be overlooked. A major problem is that allopathic medicine doesn't often address the root cause of someone's suffering and illness; often times spiralling them into a dark abyss of further suffering and addiction.
It's similar to placing a bandaid on a bullet wound.
Then there's the socially accepted legal drugs, such as coffee, nicotine, alcohol, and even sugar.
We know these substances can have negative effects on one’s life, even death!
There's a lot of studies, research and anecdotal evidence that back up these claims. They're easily accessible and not hard to find.
And even though many of these have the potential to cause damage in one's life, it's a health issue, not a criminal one.
So then where do various psychedelics & shamanic medicines fall??
Psychedelics are Schedule 1 Drugs.
Psychedelics are prohibited in most places on our planet.
But if socially legal and medically prescribed drugs are causing a significant amount of damage, just as much as, if not more than prohibited drugs, can we really rely on legalities to determine the health benefits or risks?
Well, possibly not. Let's take a closer look.
Psychedelics are considered Schedule 1 drugs in America, which means "significant potential for abuse and dependence" and have "no recognized medicinal value.”
(They're Schedule 9 in Australia - considered a Prohibited Substance)
Hmm, that’s an interesting claim, because...
Research continues to be conducted in the fields of neuroscience, medicine, psychology and psychotherapy, and these studies are looking at many of these Psychedelic Schedule 1 Drugs and Prohibited Substances, and their effectiveness to treat disorders such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, hard addictions like heroin, alcoholism and other drug addictions, and even helping terminally-ill patients overcome death-related anxiety, just to name a few.
The clinical data is showing tremendous results; highlighting the therapeutic potential for many of these psychedelics substances.
The outcomes are impossible to ignore or dispute.
Actually, these psychedelics and shamanic medicines been used in various ceremonies, rituals, and rites of passage for thousands of years.
They continue to be used today, having been adopted by many people in western society and culture, for similar reasons as our indigenous ancestors.
- Psychological or physiological healing
- Releasing emotional baggage, burdens and deep rooted trauma
- Treatment for ailments where western medicine and pharmaceuticals have been ineffective
- Deeper connection with self, others, community & nature
- Making amends, bridging the gap and healing family bonds
- To seek out answers for deep and meaningful life questions
- To discover insights about how to better one’s life
- To find more clarity, direction, meaning and purpose
- To challenges and overcome one's fear of death
- To experience and explore incredible visionary states of consciousness that leads one to question the nature of reality and if there is something else that potentially exists outside the domains of our standard model of scientific physical materialism; beyond our regular five senses of day-to-day normal reality.
Some of these shamanic medicines and psychedelic substances are cannabis, ayahuasca, iboga, kambo, DMT, san pedro, peyote, psilocybin, LSD, MDMA, and ketamine.
There are quite literally thousands of accounts all across the world from people using shamanic medicines and psychedelics - intentionally, safely and responsibly; receiving life-changing benefit from doing so.
Even in various clinical studies, people reported that these experiences were some of the most meaningful experiences of their lives.
It's indisputable that these substances hold vast potential to completely transform someone's life. To not realise this, to continue to cling onto outdated beliefs, to have your identity attached so tight onto your own sense of being right instead of seeking the right answer, rather than having the humility to acknowledge your shortcomings and reframing your perspectives, is madness.
Okay, so using psychedelics can clearly be beneficial.
What about the risks?
Well, I'm glad you asked!
Now, no one should be saying that there are no risks involved with psychedelics, because there are.
That's exactly why harm reduction is such an important piece of the puzzle.
Scientific research needs to continue, and proper education must be shared, so that everyone who chooses to utilise these substances can be aware of any contraindications, and the safety precautions and protocols for using these powerful healing medicines in the most responsible way possible.
It would be insanity to ban the hammer as a constructive tool, just because it could be used smash someones car to bits, or to smack someone over the head with it.
A study recently came out that magic mushrooms are the SAFEST recreational drug out of all recreational drugs.
Yes, safer than alcohol and tobacco! Which many who claim that drugs are bad, consume without a second thought! This one still boggles my mind.
Alcohol and tobacco are related to far more harm related incidents - including deaths, than any of these psychedelic medicines.
Cannabis has ZERO recorded deaths attributed to overdose. The list of medicinal and therapeutic benefits from utilising this particular plant seem to be growing by the month.
Then there's the topic of recreational use!
Someone please try and lay out a rational, logical, reasonable argument as to why someone should be looked down upon, or treated / seen as a criminal, delinquent, loser, or bad person, if they choose to alter and explore their consciousness, in a safe and responsible manner, without doing harm to themselves or others?
Hmmm... just as I suspected. There is no reasonable way to argue that. Because it's absolute nonsense.
Humans have altered their consciousness since the dawn of recorded civilisation. There's plenty of evidence for that too. It seems to be a fundamental quality inside of us to want to alter our consciousness in some form or another.
Whether that's with legal, or illegal drugs, which is merely a human concept to place laws upon and categorize these substances based on the fearful / uneducated / ignorant views of a few select people in an outdated dinosaurian political system.
The foundations of our existence and evolution are not complete without the acknowledgement of consciousness altering substances and modalities.
Even still, with all the science, all the anecdotal evidence, all the recorded positive outcomes, all the people who have found these to be some of the most meaningful and beneficial tools they have used in their lives, all the people who are looking to shamanic medicines and psychedelics to actually overcome things like hard drug addictions, there still exists so much misinformation, disinformation, negative connotations, heavy stigma, and dogma towards these substances.
Many of which are secreted by our planet, mother earth - straight out of the dirt.
Many of which are viewed as sacred medicines, sacraments, tools that are to be respected because of the immense power and potential they hold for one's personal evolution and transformation.
I think I'm done here. That’s my rant.
All drugs are not the same. Develop your discernment, question your beliefs, reframe your perspectives, educate yourself a little more and help others do the same.
The political system is so backwards, outdated and corrupt, that change has to spread through the people at our level; through society, through culture, through community.
Because these very substances have played a significant role in transforming my life for the better, I feel as though it’s part of my duty to stand up and continue to be a voice to reclaim our sovereign right to explore our own consciousness with psychedelic substances if we so choose.
It’s our right as human beings to have access to these healing medicines, whether they be from the Earth, or from the Lab, so that if we wish to do so, safely, and responsibly, we can utilise these tools to better our lives and grow into more mature, conscious, integrated human beings.
I truly believe that psychedelics will be one of the great catalysts of consciousness; playing a key role in the sustainable, ecological, love and compassion oriented transformation of this planet.
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