- Crinkle Cut Psychedelic Pulse/Shutterstock
From this week's Last Days: The Week in Review:
TUESDAY, MARCH 4 The week continues with LSD, that chemical hallmark of every good liberal-arts education and the only thing on earth that made Grateful Dead shows even temporarily palatable, which may be en route to a resurgence as a mainstream therapeutic aid. Details come from the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, which today published results from the first controlled trial of the hallucinogen in more than 40 years, undertaken in Switzerland on 12 patients with soon-to-be terminal illnesses, all of whom appeared to derive tangible psychological benefit from tripping in the face of death. "Their anxiety went down and stayed down," Dr. Peter Gasser told the New York Times, specifying each session of acid-enhanced talk therapy lasted about eight hours and regularly involved tearful revelations and a diminished fear of death (several passed away within a year). "We want to break these substances out of the mold of the counterculture and bring them back to the lab as part of a psychedelic renaissance," Rick Doblin, executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, said to the NYT. Will the deathbed trip become a routine part of end-of-life care, or will the mystical secrets of LSD remain accessible only to those brave enough to approach the weird guy hanging out on the street around the corner from the college? Stay tuned.
(Meanwhile, my previous experience in talking friends through complicated acid trips is seriously informing and enhancing communications with my suffering-from-situational-dementia father.)
Go here to read this week's full Last Days: The Week in Review.