Psychedelia: is it really a cure for Alcoholism?

By Ian Young

Dec 04

Saturday 4th December

Psychedelia: is it really a cure for Alcoholism?

I loved this piece of writing in the Guardian newspaper from earlier this week http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2010/dec/01/nudge-alcoholism-drug-abuse

The article considers how LSD, Peyote and other psychedelic drugs could help cure alcoholism and drug addiction!

The author considers the Native Indians’ answer to the alcoholism that ravaged their reservations in the 19th (and 20th) Century and how the Tribe elders introduced Peyote as a solution, because it allowed the Braves to re-discover their sense of purpose and mission in life.

Beautiful stuff, if you ask me.

It begins to display the possibilities of how a shift in thought processes and believe system could bring about permanent change. It’s very in line with Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) practices too.

As someone with a serious history of psychedelic intoxication and a reputation of being a bit of a ‘cosmic casualty’ when I finally became clean and sober in 2001, I’m inspired to comment.

It’s true that Bill Wilson – one of the Founders of Alcoholics Anonymous did try LSD in the early to mid 1060s. But the conclusion he came to was that you could indeed have a spiritual experience as a result of an LSD experience, but that it wasn’t the same one as the Spiritual awakening that one get’s as they work their way through Alcoholics Anonymous’ 12 Steps Programme.

I agree with Bill Wilson – it is different.

But having had significant spiritual experiences and profound explosions of consciousness during my 7 years of constant (daily) hallucinogen consumption, I came into the world of recovery with my eyes already open.
The beautiful 12 Step programme made perfect sense to me cognitively.

The only problem was that due to a further 7 ears of stimulant and opiate (daily) addiction I was very far removed from the person that I had become – all starry eyed at the thoughts of a better world filled with one love, one spirit and one purpose – Peace and utopia!

You see it is my firm belief that psychedelics such as LSD, Peyote, Mescaline, Magic mushrooms, DMT, and a whole range of ‘designer drugs’ that I won’t go into here, do have a profound effect on one’s consciousness. Normally a very healthy and positive attitude towards the world, backed up with logical ideologies about the unification of human kind through libertarian free thinking. Sadly, these thoughts and corresponding behaviours are virtually the exact opposite under the influence of cocaine, heroin and alcohol. Too bad really.

So I came into the 12 Step world and I knew I had arrived home.

I felt safe in a Fellowship built up around spiritual principles such as love, compassion, sympathy, tolerance, forgiveness, understanding, contribution, etc

I do want to point out at this stage that their simply is no name that can be associated with the “higher-Power” that I discovered throw both psychedelics and the 12 step programme, but that this deity is the still the same deity in my eyes. Possibly the closest recognizable name I could give Her could be ‘Gaia’ or ‘Mother Earth’. Today I’d just like to refer to my God as Jennifer, though it’s true that yesterday her name was Mary. It doesn’t really matter that much. The point is that we’re willing to grow along spiritual lines.

Are these hallucinogenic drugs a solution to addiction and alcoholism?

I personally don’t believe so.

But I do believe they can go a long way towards helping someone with an eagerness towards self discovery and personal development accelerate their journey if taken moderately. Like I previously mentioned – the point is that we’re willing to grow along spiritual lines – like those Native Indians did. AHO!

And it’s only retrospectively that I can concur with Bill Wilson – that this spiritual awakening I’ve experienced as a result of the 12-step programme isn’t the same as the drug induced, artificial one.

But they are both very powerful indeed.

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front-only-198x300This is a story that needs to be told. Well, at least I need to tell it. I’m bound by my commitment to return the favour that the Spirit of the Universe deemed appropriate for me to recover, to then pass it on.

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About the Author

Ian Young is a man who wears many hats but no masks, who uses his experiences to see how he can benefit others, be that through business or in a personal capacity. He’s always happy to help.