Since the 1960s, psychedelic drugs have been illegal. A wave swept through the United States during the sixties causing a shift in personal views and values. During this period, many people abused psychedelic drugs giving the substances a bad reputation. In order to prevent the spread of the psychedelic movement, psychedelic drugs were made illegal in the United States, as well as in other countries. Although the growing popularity and usage of the substances had ruined the reputation as a medicine, scientists had been studying the effects at that time and the laws put in place had prevented further research. Many of these researchers saw great potential in these substances, and until recently, were not allowed to run any trials or experiments.
In the sixties, serious research had been conducted with remarkable results. Patients suffering with mental conditions saw positive results when administered certain psychedelic substances, such as LSD or Psilocybin, under strictly controlled conditions (Sidney Cohen). Researchers sometimes tried the substances on themselves, revealing a completely new understanding of consciousness. From recent therapeutic studies, mind-altering drugs, such as LSD, ketamine, Psilocybin mushrooms, ibogaine, mescaline, and DMT, “could be combined with psychotherapy to treat people suffering from depression, compulsive disorders or chronic pain. (Kelland, China Daily)” The sixties era had fogged the truth about psychedelics and there are a number of misconceptions about these substances that result from the lack of education on the subject. The therapeutic value of psychedelics is often overlooked. LSD and Cluster Headaches
In the 1950s, psychedelic agents began to be studied and used in therapy in the United States. In 1938, LSD was first synthesized and its psychoactive effects were first discovered accidentally by Albert Hofmann in 1943. During the 1950s and 1960s, LSD was used in psychiatric research as an experimental drug, as it produced “experimental psychosis”, meaning a temporary psychotic state. The substance worked by altering patients neurotransmitter system. Because of its widespread use among people without serious medical conditions, the government had made it an illegal drug of abuse (CNS). Toward the end of the 1960s, people began using LSD for recreational and spiritual purposes, forming the psychedelic movement. A number of complications from use during the 1960s resulted in LSD’s illegality, although recreational use did not end. The complications have declined over the decades due to better-informed users, better mental preparation and attention to surrounding conditions (CNS).
The leading research program in the world for psychedelic drugs is known as the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). This organization researches psychedelic compounds to develop medical, legal and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful use of psychedelics. Its mission is to develop psychedelics into prescription medicine, train therapists and work to establish a network of treatment centers, support scientific research into spirituality, creativity, and neuroscience, and to educate, “the public honestly about the risks and benefits of psychedelics” (MAPS.org). Since the organization is international, studies began in 1986 outside of the United States. LSD is a major source of research for MAPS. Extensive research revealed a number of benefits, for those with mental disorders and diseases, and for those searching for spirituality or meaning in life. LSD had proven to be a successful medicine for those with cluster headaches, anxiety from end-of-life issues, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
One of the most common uses of LSD as medicine is used by those with cluster headaches. Sometimes referred to as “suicide headaches”, the pain is almost unbearable to sufferers, and usually occurs on one side of the face (ScienceNOW)....