There have been many victims in the War on Drugs, from families being torn apart to victimless criminals rotting in a cage for possessing marijuana. But one victim of the war on drugs that is seldom mentioned is alternative medicine.
There has been plenty of research lately showing the near miracle medicinal properties of cannabis, from curing cancer to treating diabetes, but little has been said of these three “psychedelic drugs” which are illegal, however hold some amazing medical properties.
(Pictured above) According to Wikipedia, Ayahuasca, also commonly called yagé is a psychedelic brew made out of Banisteriopsis caapi vine alone or in combination with various plants. It is either mixed with the leaves of dimethyltryptamine (DMT)-containing species of shrubs from the genus Psychotria or with the leaves of the Justicia pectoralis plant which does not contain DMT. The brew, first described academically in the early 1950s by Harvard ethnobotanist Richard Evans Schultes, who found it employed for divinatory and healing purposes by the native peoples of Amazonian Peru, is known by a number of different names. Image credit: theairspace.net
In a post on The Atlantic, Roland Griffiths, a professor in the departments of psychiatry and neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University—and one of the first to resume work on these drugs— published a study five years ago that demonstrated how effective they are at improving how a person feels.
“That first study blew me away,” he says. “Nearly all the participants reported significant positive changes in attitude and behavior, and those changes were also observed by the participants’ friends, family, and colleagues. It was remarkable.”
Anecdotal evidence suggests that Ayahuasca can successfully treat depression, anxiety, addiction, as well as being used by natives to treat nearly any illness.
If you want to give Ayahuasca a try, make sure to be aware of local laws which may prohibit importing it and the risks involved in taking it. You can find it here or elsewhere on the internet, or you can take a trip down to South America to get the authentic experience. Here are a few useful recipes.
2. Magic Mushrooms
Psilocybin, or magic mushrooms, have long been used by people all over the world to reconnect with nature. Many have talked about the therapeutic values of these mushrooms, but only recently have scientific studies confirmed what many have been saying. Image credit: Flickr/uair01
According to Natural Society, research from the University of South Florida shows psilocybin, the active component within psychedelic mushrooms, is able to grow new brain cells—potentially offering treatment for mental illness and improving cognition.
The study, published in Experimental Brain Research, says psilocybin is able to bind to special receptors in the brain that stimulate healing and growth. In the case of these mushrooms, brain cell growth occurs. In mice, the researchers found psilocybin to actually help repair damaged brain cells and cure or relieve PTSD and depression.
“In the study, researchers used functional magnetic resonance imaging to show that psilocybin influences the amygdala in a way that allows for better processing of negative stimuli. Not surprisingly, this led to an improved mood in the participants given psilocybin. Scientists say the results indicate psilocybin shows promise as a treatment for anxiety and depression.”
Commonly know as ‘Molly’, and the main ingredient in Ecstasy, MDMA has long been a party drug commonly found in the electronic music scene. But recent research has found that this drug can be used medically, not just for recreational purposes.
At least two studies have shown a positive health impact of MDMA treatment for people who suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
According to The Guardian,
“The research was a follow up to an earlier study published in 2010 in which a group of 12 patients with chronic treatment resistant PTSD were given MDMA, and compared with another group of eight patients who were not, during and after psychotherapeutic treatment for their PTSD.
The new paper, which is published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, has followed up all but one of the original participants, up to six years after they were treated with MDMA. The researchers found that their PTSD symptoms remained reduced, they didn’t go on to abuse drugs, and there was no harm to memory and concentration after the treatment.”
While the FDA and ‘Big Pharma’ are enjoying their monopoly over ‘modern medicine’, the tides are changing in the way Americans, and people all over the world view illegal drugs. Over 22 American states have already legalized medicinal use of marijuana with many more states voting on marijuana measures in the coming election. Cannabis has been decriminalized in at least 18 other countries.
However, other drugs –just as the ones mentioned in this article– are not being talked about much on the political stage. The truth is that the drug war is not only a failure and a waste of money, it’s also very deadly. The War on Drugs has cost Americans an estimated $1 Trillion over the last four decades, with very little progress to show. Addiction rates remain high, drug use remains high, and patients are being denied their medicine. America’s incarceration rate is now the highest in the history of humanity, with the poor and minorities are taking the brunt of the negative impacts of the War on Drugs. Our policies have caused a massive turf war between rivaling drug cartels competing for the lucrative American illegal drug market, taking the lives of 50,000 people since 2006 and driving a record numbers of refugees to the US from Latin America.
We can’t forget about the staggering rise of ‘legal’ prescription medications. Doctors, many times, will just throw pills at people instead of figuring out why they are ill, leading to and epidemic of over-medication. In fact, the rise of dangerous prescription drugs have led to a huge amount of deaths. There are now more people dying from ‘legal’ drug related deaths than die from illegal drugs including meth and heroin, but they don’t mention these facts on prescription drug ad funded TV news stations.
The fight against the drug war is being won, but we cannot stand for a partial victory. All drug use and addiction should not be treated as a criminal activity, it should be treated as a health issue. The time for putting people in cages for committing victimless crimes, using drugs which disconnected bureaucrats deem illegal, is over. And we can’t forget that many of the so called ‘illegal’ drugs have some pretty awesome health benefits.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Nick Bernabe is the owner and lead editor of the website TheAntiMedia.org, an activist, blogger, and the original founder and spokesman of the March Against Monsanto movement. He is also a guest contributor to The Mind Unleashed. Please follow his Facebook page by clicking here.
Biden to Ban Menthol Cigarettes, Citing Health Impact on Youth and Black People
The Biden administration is reportedly planning to propose an immediate ban on menthol cigarettes, a product that has long been targeted by anti-smoking advocates and critics who claim that the tobacco industry has aggressively marketed to Black people in the U.S.
On Wednesday, the Washington Post reported that the administration could announce a ban on menthol and other flavored cigarettes as soon as this week.
Roughly 85 percent of Black smokers use such menthol brands as Newport and Kool, according to the Food and Drug Administration. Research has also found that menthol cigarettes are easier to become addicted to and harder to quit than unflavored tobacco products, along with other small cigars popular with young people and African Americans.
Civil rights advocates claim that the decision should be greeted by Black communities and people of color who have been marketed to by what they describe as the predatory tobacco industry.
Black smokers generally smoke far less than white smokers, but suffer a disproportionate amount of deaths due to tobacco-linked diseases like heart attack, stroke, and other causes.
Anti-smoking advocates like Matthew L. Myers, president of Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, also greeted the move to cut out products that appeal to children and young adults.
“Menthol cigarettes are the No. 1 cause of youth smoking in the United States,” he said. “Eliminating menthol cigarettes and flavored cigars used by so many kids will do more in the long run to reduce tobacco-related disease than any action the federal government has ever taken.”
However, groups including the American Civil Liberties Group (ACLU) has opposed the move, citing the likelihood that such an action could lead to criminal penalties arising from the enforcement of a ban hitting communities of color hardest.
In a letter to administration officials, the ACLU and other groups including the Drug Policy Alliance said that while the ban is “no doubt well-intentioned” it would also have “serious racial justice implications.”
“Such a ban will trigger criminal penalties, which will disproportionately impact people of color, as well as prioritize criminalization over public health and harm reduction,” the letter explained. “A ban will also lead to unconstitutional policing and other negative interactions with local law enforcement.”
Pollution Is Making Human Penises Shrink and Causing a Collapse of Fertility, Scientists Say
With many still scoffing at the idea of rampant pollution posing a threat to humanity, a new study could drastically change the conversation: the chemicals across our environment could be the cause of shrinking human penises.
According to a new book by Dr. Shanna H. Swan, conditions in the modern world are quickly altering the reproductive development of humans and posing a threat to our future as a species.
The argument is laid out in her new book Count Down: How Our Modern World Is Threatening Sperm Counts, Altering Male and Female Reproductive Development, and Imperiling the Future of the Human Race.
The book discusses how pollution is not only leading to skyrocketing erectile dysfunction rates and fertility decline, but also an expansion in the number of babies born with small penises.
While it may seem like good fodder for jokes, the research could portend a grim future for humanity’s ability to survive.
Swan co-authored a study in 2017 that found sperm counts had precipitously fallen in Western countries by 59 percent between 1973 and 2011. In her latest book, Swan blames chemicals for this crisis in the making.
“Chemicals in our environment and unhealthy lifestyle practices in our modern world are disrupting our hormonal balance, causing various degrees of reproductive havoc,” she wrote in the new book.
“In some parts of the world, the average twentysomething woman today is less fertile than her grandmother was at 35,” she also wrote, noting that men could have only half the sperm count of their grandfathers.
Swan blames the disruption on phthalates, the chemicals used in plastic manufacturing that also have an impact on how the crucial hormone endocrine is produced
However, experts note that the proper implementation of pollution reduction measures could help humanity prevent the collapse of human fertility.
Visualizing The World’s Deadliest Pandemics By Population Impact
Humanity has been battling against disease for centuries.
And while most contagious outbreaks have never reached full-blown pandemic status, Visual Capitalist’s Carmen Ang notes that there have been several times throughout history when a disease has caused mass devastation.
Here’s a look at the world’s deadliest pandemics to date, viewed from the lens of the impact they had on the global population at the time.
Editor’s note: The above graphic was created in response to a popular request from users after viewing our popular history of pandemics infographic initially released a year ago.
Death Toll, by Percent of Population
In the mid-1300s, a plague known as the Black Death claimed the lives of roughly 200 million people – more than 50% of the global population at that time.
Here’s how the death toll by population stacks up for other significant pandemics, including COVID-19 so far.
The specific cause of the Black Death is still up for debate. Many experts claim the 14th-century pandemic was caused by a bubonic plague, meaning there was no human-to-human transmission, while others argue it was possibly pneumonic.
Interestingly, the plague still exists today – however, it’s significantly less deadly, thanks to modern antibiotics.
History Repeats, But at Least We Keep Learning
While we clearly haven’t eradicated infection diseases from our lives entirely, we’ve at least come a long way in our understanding of what causes illness in the first place.
In ancient times, people believed gods and spirits caused diseases and widespread destruction. But by the 19th century, a scientist named Louis Pasteur (based on findings by Robert Koch) discovered germ theory – the idea that small organisms caused disease.
What will we discover next, and how will it impact our response to disease in the future?
Like this? Check out the full-length article The History of Pandemics
Republished from ZH with permission.