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6 Widespread Myths About Psychedelic Drugs - Debunked!

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Growing interest has been shown in the possible therapeutic advantages of psychedelic drugs like LSD and psilocybin in recent years. Nevertheless, there are still numerous myths about psychedelic drugs, despite the growing body of scientific data in favor of their use. We'll analyze the truth behind some of the most widespread psychedelic myths in this blog article as we go further into the myths themselves. This article will give you a clear and accurate grasp of the reality behind the most common psychedelic myths, whether you are interested in the potential advantages of psychedelics or simply want to learn more about them.


Myth Nr 1: Psychedelics destroy the brain permanently.

Although psychedelics can temporarily alter the perception and cognition of an individual, there is currently no evidence to support the myth that psychedelics harm the human brain in any way. A common myth that was spread during The War on Drugs (a global campaign to reduce illegal drug use) was that LSD and other psychedelics kill brain cells and cause permanent damage beyond repair. There have been several studies conducted searching for evidence for this statement, however, it was never found. Instead, several studies have indicated that psychedelics may have neuroprotective properties as well as an ability to help us create new neural pathways in the brain which basically allow for new thoughts, ideas, and creative problem-solving to occur.

myths about psychedelic drugs


Myth Nr 2: Drugs like psychedelics are very addicting.

Fact: Psychedelic drugs are not physically addictive as the human body builds a natural tolerance towards them, meaning, they cannot be used frequently and there simply won't be any effect when taken multiple times in a short period of time. Usually, psychedelics also do not cause an obsessive drug-seeking behaviour that is typical of addictive substances. However, just as some people can acquire a psychological dependence on other enjoyable activities like sex or gambling, it is possible for people to become psychologically dependent on psychedelics. However, addiction to psychedelics is incredibly rare, and if it does occur, it is still physically impossible to keep using psychedelics because of the body tolerance we mentioned above.


Myth Nr 3: Using psychedelics can result in a "bad trip" that will traumatize you for the rest of your life.

While it is true that some users of psychedelics may have an unpleasant or difficult experience, 'bad trips' quite often occur only when there has been a lack of preparation and an inappropriate 'set and setting'. This can be preventable, and we wrote an article on the subject:  how to avoid a bad mushroom trip. If things don't go as planned and a 'bad trip' occurs anyways, it can be good to know that the challenging experience is temporary and does not result in long-term psychological harm. It's important, however, to work through it and integrate it into one's life, especially if the experience brought up challenges and discomfort. Quite often people report that the difficult psychedelic experience revealed important lessons and revelations, and once integrated, ultimately had a positive influence on their lives. For some others, the lesson was simply to respect potent substances and learn that these powerful tools are to be used with great caution, preparation, and with an appropriate set and setting. To read more about 'set and setting', click here.


Myth Nr 4: Psychedelic drugs will cause you to become detached from reality.

Fact: While psychedelics have the potential to temporarily alter cognition and perception, making anyone question reality, they do not cause a person to lose all sense of reality in the long term. A psychedelic experience may present reality questioning or challenging ideas and visions, but they don’t always need to be taken literally. This is where psychedelic integration comes in. It is very valuable to talk to someone grounded in reality after the psychedelic experience. The best way to approach psychedelic integration is to take these newfound ideas or visions with a slight grain of salt, look at them through a symbolic lens, and, ideally, reflect on them together with someone who is open, yet able to think critically. While it's a good idea to take a day or two off from work and responsibilities after a trip, the majority of psychedelic users are able to return back to their daily tasks right after the psychedelic experience.

 myths about psychedelic drugs

Myth Nr 5: Every type of psychedelic is the same.

Factual statement: While psychedelics have many overlapping qualities, they can vastly differ in their effects, duration, and reasons for using them. For example, an LSD trip can last 8-12 hours and create similar effects to those of magic mushrooms visually, however, a magic mushroom trip can last 4-6 hours and give a feeling like there is a ‘presence’ of some sort while an LSD trip mostly feels like you are ‘there’ alone. The effects of ibogaine, a psychedelic mostly used to treat and cure addictions, can last up to 3 whole days. For this very reason, it would be foolish to assume all psychedelics are the same and just take the first one that can be found. It’s always a good idea to do a lot of research on each individual psychedelic you are interested in, and learn all you can about it, as well as possible drug and food interactions. Ayahuasca, a psychedelic brew used in the Amazon jungle, requires a special diet to be followed for weeks prior to consumption, and it is also mostly approached from a ceremonial setting. Each psychedelic is often done in a vastly different set and setting, and although some overlaying principles may apply, approaching them all with the same mindset would be foolish and irresponsible. 


Myth Nr 6: Psychedelics have no therapeutic benefit.

Fact: Although we cannot fully comprehend the therapeutic potential of psychedelics just yet, we have a pretty great deal of mounting evidence that points to a variety of potential medical advantages. For instance, research suggests that psychedelics may be useful in treating a range of mental health issues, such as addiction, depression, and anxiety. More on depression in this article: Can psychedelic mushrooms treat depression? Research says yes.

Psychedelics such as psilocybin mushrooms have been shown to be incredibly effective in relieving the fear of death and emotional distress associated with approaching death in terminally ill people. These clinical trials showed a 65-85% effectivity rate and created positive lasting effects that allowed people to experience peace, joy, acceptance, and love in their last weeks or months of life. These results speak for themselves to show that psychedelic substances have great therapeutic potential yet to be explored to their fullest.

Posted in: Psychedelics