Psychedelic substances present in nature have been used by humans across hundreds of years to produce mind-altering changes in thought, mood, and perception—changes we do not experience otherwise except rarely in dreams, religious exaltation, or psychosis. U.S. scientists were studying the practical and therapeutic uses for hallucinogens, including LSD and mescaline, in the 1950s and 1960s supplied by large manufacturers including Sandoz. But the government took steps to ban all human consumption of hallucinogens, and thus the research. By the 1970s, all human testing was stopped. Medical concerns were not the issue, the ban was motivated by social concerns, not the least of which were created by legendary researcher Timothy Leary, a psychologist who advocated free use of hallucinogens by all who desired. Nationwide, however, a cadre of scholars and researchers has persisted in pushing the federal government to again allow human testing and the moratorium has been lifted. The FDA has begun approving hallucinogenic research using human subjects. In these groundbreaking volumes, top researchers explain the testing and research underway to use—under the guidance of a trained provider—psychedelic substances for better physical and mental health.
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After a 25-year moratorium on research into therapeutic uses for psychedelic drugs, the FDA is again approving testing with human subjects, and top researchers in this collection explain why hallucinogens may hold promise to treat physical and mental disorders.About the Author:
Michael J. Winkelman is former Head of Sociocultural Anthropology and current Associate Professor in the School of Human Evolution and Social Change at Arizona State University. He has served as President of the Anthropology of Consciousness section of the American Anthropological Association and was founding President of its Anthropology of Religion section. His Ph.D. was completed at the University of California, Irvine and his Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the National Institute on Drug Abuse. He has researched shamanism across 30 years. His book, Shamanism (2000) was reviewed as brilliant.
Thomas B. Roberts is Professor Emeritus of Educational Psychology in the Department of Leadership, Educational Psychology and Foundations at Northern Illinois University. He is a Founding Member of MAPS, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies. As part of his retirement activities, he spent the fall of 2006 as a Visiting Scientist at the Johns Hopkins University Department of Psychiatry and Human Sciences' Behavioral Biology Research Center, chairing a weekly staff development discussion about psychedelics. He has taught Foundations of Psychedelic Studies, now an Honors Program Seminar, at NIU since 1982. Roberts' Ph.D. in Educational Administration and Psychology is from Stanford University.
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