Psychedelics, addiction treatment, cultural implications, and billionaires

Posted By on September 10, 2015

Yesterday, September 9th, 2015, I was asked to appear on Lynda Steele’s CKNW’s News Talk show in Vancouver to talk about the treatment of PTSD and addiction using techniques like EMDR – eye movement desensitization and reprocessing – and psychedelics, like LSD, Psylocibin, Mescalin, and Ayahuasca.

This was prompted by an article in the Globe and Mail called ‘Experts call for study of possible therapeutic uses of psychedelic drugs‘. Dr. Evan Wood, co-director of the Urban Health Research Initiative at the B.C. Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, along with three other researchers, published a report on Tuesday 8th September, 2015 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, reviewing the existing mental-health studies into the therapeutic benefits of drugs such as LSD (commonly known as acid), psilocybin (magic mushrooms), ayahuasca (derived from an Amazonian plant and served in a thick tea), mescaline (found in the peyote cactus) and MDMA (the psychoactive ingredient of the street drug ecstasy). Dr. Wood said,

We’re hoping to reduce the kind of stigma, for lack of a better word, around this area of scientific investigation. I think there has to be some acknowledgment that the traditional approach that’s been taken in mental health hasn’t really been effective.

For years the more experimental, and open-minded, side of society has found that psychedelics have yielded many benefits for individuals and communities. Here I wanted to highlight 3 such examples that looks at Psychedelics, addiction treatment, cultural implications, and billionaires

Dr. Gabor Maté: Ayahuasca and Addiction Treatment

Dr. Gabor Maté has worked for several years in Vancouver’s downtown eastside (DTES) with people suffering from severe drug addictions. Based on his own experiences with ayahuasca, Dr. Maté is convinced that the Amazonian shamanic medicine, if taken in the proper context, can help people cure their addictions.

In addition, Ibogaine has been seen as another psychedelic that is yielding amazing results.

What Ibogaine does, that we haven’t touched on, is basically that spirit reprograms your subconscious.

James Fadiman on “Cultural Implications of Altered State of Consciousness”

James Fadiman (Ph.D. in psychology, Stanford) was involved in the beginnings of experimental research on the effects of psychedelics on mind and consciousness in the 1960s. For the past three decades, he has been a Professor at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology (now Sofia University), which he co-founded. Most recently he has been involved in researching spiritual, therapeutic and creative states of consciousness, and his books include Personality and Personal Growth (now in its 2012, 7th Edition), Essential Sufism (with Robert Frager), 1997, and The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys, 2011. Here he talks about cultural implications from the use of psychedelics. A deeply fascinating man that has pushed psychedelic research forward  in a number of fields, including business.

Can LSD make you a billionaire?

Silicon Valley has become a powerful place through innovative thinking in relation to how to solve difficult business problems by thinking outside the box. Some entrepreneurs in the Valley are trying to force creativity by taking LSD. CNN reports.

What’s fascinating is that a lot of the developments that have happened in the Valley, and in educational institutions like Stanford, have been somewhat attributed to the use of psychedelics. Writer John Markoff, author of ‘What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry’ has attributed the use of LSD, and other psychedelics, to developments of the modern computer.

Researcher, Douglas Engelbart,  demonstrated experimental computer technologies that are now commonplace on December 9, 1968. The live demonstration featured the introduction of the computer mouse, video conferencing, teleconferencing, hypertext, word processing, hypermedia, object addressing and dynamic file linking, bootstrapping, and a collaborative real-time editor.”

So, we are in a paranoid world where many are placing psychedelics into a ‘dangerous drug’ category of society. Sure, they can be mistreated, and could possibly have negative long-term effects if over-used, just like anything. But, for me, there are so many positive outcomes that they far outweigh the negatives. I hope that not only do people open their minds for medical treatments for PTSD, addiction, anxiety in terminally ill patients, and the suchlike, as well as look to psychedelics for progressing society in many ways.

Hofmann’s Potion – Albert Hofmann LSD Documentary

I’m going to leave you with a final documentary on Albert Hofmann that discovered LSD in the 1950s. The man that may be resposible for so much of modern society.


Nikolas Badminton is a world-respected futurist speaker that researches, speaks, and writes about the future of work, how technology is affecting the workplace, how workers are adapting, the sharing economy, and how the world is evolving. He appears at conferences in Canada, USA, UK, and Europe. Email him to book him for your radio, TV show, or conference.

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