Who Gets to Trip?
“Perhaps psychedelics could come to be thought of as an alternative to CBT. The use of psilocybin to treat death-related anxiety in patients with advanced cancer, which has shown great promise in the Johns Hopkins trials, is entirely compatible with the palliative care regimes developed in hospices outside the ambit of medicine. Addiction therapy with psychedelics has parallels with the use of hypnosis or neurolinguistic programming (both non-medical procedures performed by practitioners accredited by their own professional bodies) for the same purpose. Some researchers compare the effects of psilocybin or ketamine on depression to electroconvulsive treatment. In the absence of a clearly understood mechanism for either form of treatment, the effect of psychedelics is sometimes described in terms of the old ECT metaphor, ‘shaking the snow globe’; ‘whacking the TV set’, ‘defragging the hard drive’ or ‘pressing control-alt-delete’ are other possibilities. Maybe we shouldn’t consider psychedelics to be pharmaceuticals just because they happen to be chemicals.”