Schedule One Drugs: War on Consciousness- Part 3
Psychedelics increase cognitive flexibility by activating serotonin receptors, a process known as neuroplasticity. This allows our brains to alter their neural circuitry and change its properties; essentially, a rewiring of the brain that underlies learning and memory formation. This rewiring of neural circuits connects parts of the brain that do not normally communicate, leading to an improvement in problem-solving capabilities and an enhancement in creativity. By rebuilding atrophied neural pathways, the brain develops a greater ability to process information and respond to stressful emotional situations that are typically identified with the ego and self-conscious thought.
With our government and culture’s ignorance about arbitrary drug classifications, we fail to protect those that are most vulnerable among us who could benefit from psychedelic medical treatment. Instead, individuals that suffer from drug addiction, PTSD, and depressive mood disorders are forced to navigate their way through ineffective treatments and potentially deadly opioid medications without receiving the full medical benefits of the drugs on the Schedule One substance list.
There are over 300 million people around the world that suffer from depression, the leading cause of disability worldwide; twenty percent of these individuals- 60 million people- do not respond to any type of traditional medical treatment such as talk therapy, antidepressants, and Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs). SSRIs like Prozac, Celexa, Zoloft, and Lexapro function by blocking serotonin receptors in the brain- which prevents the reuptake of the neurotransmitter- essentially flooding the brain with serotonin.
Psychedelic substances like LSD and psilocybin mushrooms mimic the serotonin neurotransmitter and bind to serotonin receptors, which enhances their efficacy and encourages communication between the nerve cells, effectively reducing painful emotional stimuli associated with anxiety and depression. By rebuilding the neural pathways that have deteriorated during severe depressive disorders, psychedelics improve cognitive function by decreasing activity in parts of the brain that are associated with emotional reactivity, self-conscious thoughts, and ego identification within the DMN.
Several studies by Johns Hopkins University show the effectiveness of psychedelic substances in decreasing anxiety and depression in terminal cancer patients after just two treatments of psilocybin mushrooms in a controlled setting with proper medical care. In addition to improvements in mood and behavior, patients exhibited signs of greater optimism about life, meaning, relationships, and a decrease in feelings of hopelessness and fear about death after the psychedelic treatment. Additional studies by Johns Hopkins University show a 60 percent success rate with psilocybin mushroom treatment in heavy nicotine-dependent smokers.
One study involved 15 individuals who smoked an average of 19 cigarettes a day for 31 years, and who previously sought treatment for their addiction. Over the course of 15 weeks, the tobacco addicts received up to three doses of psilocybin mushrooms in a controlled environment with the assistance of trained doctors. After the six month mark, 80 percent of the trial participants were smoke-free; two years later, nine people were still free from their tobacco addiction.
Many scientific studies show the effectiveness of LSD and psilocybin mushrooms in dissolving impulse addiction centers in the brain, and in rewiring the DMN in individuals suffering from depression with fewer treatments and greater success than traditional opioid medication treatments, which require months and years of painful stimulation while the brain is under attack from antidepressants and SSRIs. These opioid medications interrupt the brain and prevent the neural network from functioning properly by blocking serotonin receptors, while psychedelic substances encourage connections and stimulate the growth of previously worm down neural information pathways.
Contrary to what the mainstream media and American government espouse in their war against psychedelic substances, both LSD and psilocybin mushrooms rank lowest on the scale of harm to user and society; alcohol, heroin, and tobacco are the most damaging, due to the number of health risks and deaths that they cause. The danger is in our society’s characterization of substances that pose a threat to the order and control of federal agencies. Organizations with a vested interest in suppressing dissent and stifling the progression of culture conduct vast propaganda campaigns to influence public perception towards pseudoscientific claims about psychedelic substances.
Psychedelics pose a threat to the established order of society. The intense, hyperawareness and perception that LSD and psilocybin mushrooms induce challenge the symbols, conventions, and social constructs that our fallible government viscerally fights for in order to control the state of consciousness, and convince the public of an imaginary hierarchy and political code that must be obeyed. The counter-culture movement of the 1960s briefly pulled the curtain away from the American government’s oppressive and paranoid grip over culture in the United States. During this time, the youth of America rebelled against the government’s overt and subliminal racist attacks, corruption, lies, and the wasteful and murderous Vietnam War.
By standing up for race and gender relations, women’s rights, world peace, and challenging American consumerism and materialism, the counter-culture movement used psychedelics as a tool to advance the human condition and expand consciousness away from our primal feelings and emotions, which is the dominant operating system within the United States today, as is evident with the tribe mentality that many feel when arguing for divisive social and political issues.
Psilocybin, LSD and other psychedelics dissolve the boundaries between liberal and conservative, Republican and Democrat, left-wing and right-wing, to a point where these two opposing categories are understood to be two sides of the same coin, two parts of the same whole. Modern society is locked up in these ridged political and social ideologies that leave no room for substantive discussion. The progression of American culture into two fundamentally opposed sets of ideas about the direction of political and social life derives from our lack of understanding about the nature of the ‘other’ and the significance that the ‘other’ holds when debating and defending our own subjective ideas.
Republicans and Democrats are mutually interdependent and interconnected no matter how hard that the two sides try to ignore the other. When confronting our opposites in the United States, we immediately discount their credibility and blame their naiveté on a lack of morals, ethics, human integrity, and overall understanding of reality as it is. This lack of understanding about the grievances of the opposing party requires the physical and mental effort of identifying ourselves with our egos and subjective experiences instead of viewing our political and social climate objectively without our internal baggage.
Like the world’s religions, there is no right or wrong political ideology. Republicans and Democrats are both right, and they are both wrong; the beauty is in understanding that the game of life is not a matter of being won or lost, but in recognizing the insignificance of our ideas from a cosmic perspective and the power of uniting with one another against an oppressive government with a vested interest in controlling dissent and culturally laid down opinion and power structures.