There have been trials giving people who are close to death psilocybin (magic mushroom chemical) and AFAIK it really helps them in coming to terms with the inevitable. The idea is that in experiencing ego death, real death becomes far less scary. You realise how connected everything is. However, after a quick scan of that article, I can't see how a purely visual experience can replicate ego death. Psilocybin works by dampening down activity in the default mode network part of the brain (IIRC), the bit that makes you YOU. When activity there is dampened down enough, you merge with the universe. (I've never got anywhere near this stage.)this might be of interest to your society JV - from what I can make out these are simulated, virtual psychedelic trips
wondering though why they would want to recreate a near-death experience ? and how they can ethically justify introducing it to people in palliative care !!!! all humans naturally fear death to varying degrees - is there not a danger here that you could unleash unpredictable terror on people not equipped to handle it, and could actually hasten their check-out times?
The psilocybin trials I've read about have been with cancer patients and I would imagine they'd need to be mentally sound. There is loads to read and watch on the subject. Participants are given the chemical in a controlled setting and probably only once. There will be an integration session to help them make sense of their trip. How much your life changes will depend on the person and strength of experience. Greater changes are linked to stronger ("mystical") experiences and ego death.not sure how I feel about testing on mentally impaired people in their 80s/90s - do you at that stage not 'naturally' reach a level of acceptance, if nothing else through increasing fatigue? I am interested though in where the psychs help people with depression or inhibition. I would be willing to try out certain things but not in the expectation my life would change overnight. I lean towards the cautious side due to some horrendous experience on K which put me off repeating. I was watching this thing about Peter Green (ex-Fleetwood Mac) who was given some old school LSD by some German hippies in a forest and 'never came back'. Interested in why his brain was altered permanently - conspiracy theorists have suggested that some cults are only too aware of this when they recruit people but that implies something a lot more sinister - whereas perhaps the more boring truth is that different brains are simply hardwired to react differently?
PsyCare UK provides a peaceful, friendly sanctuary in the midst of the sometimes hectic festival environment. We are always open to provide information and support to anyone that needs it. From crisis intervention for people who may be in profoundly disturbed mental states, to support for the lonely with a hot cuppa and a chat, PsyCare UK aims to consistently support the wellbeing of all festival goers.
Although most drug use at festivals is intended for enjoyment, some drug experiences can cause a person to be physically and mentally vulnerable; to experience feelings of fear, paranoia, delusion, discomfort and even psychosis; creating the potential for people to be a danger to themselves and others.
Difficult experiences arising from psychedelic drug use may require specialist intervention due to the mental crises and altered states of consciousness they can induce. People on a strong psychedelic “trip” can become volatile and feel a wide range of intense and heightened emotions, potentially lasting several hours. In these cases, conventional medical services may struggle to find an appropriate treatment and once in the care of medics and/or taken off the festival site, patrons might not be allowed to return to the event. If the police or security are involved, the situation may escalate and the individual may be arrested or sectioned. Being taken to hospital or handled by security or police whilst undergoing an intense and frightening psychedelic experience can be incredibly traumatic and increase the risk of long-term emotional and psychological harm. We work closely with medical personnel to address the needs of those in distress, while aiming to prevent sedation, hospitalisation or detention. Our work over the years has demonstrated that these individuals often only require the type of engaged, empathic care we provide, to move from a place of crisis to a calm, positive perspective.
We believe that the principle of ‘set and setting’ is key for psychedelic support. This approach recognises the impact that the user’s mindset and their physical and social environment has on their drug experience. We provide a multidisciplinary approach, meaning that each volunteer will offer what they feel is appropriate for the individual they are supporting. This could be anything from massage or holding someone’s hand, to simply providing a listening ear and a calm presence. PsyCare UK works on the principles of peer education; being comprised largely of individuals who themselves enjoy festivals, we aim to be approachable and familiar, and to project a sense of calm, compassion and competence. We are akin to sitters rather than guides, but our understanding of the experiences our service users may undergo often makes all the difference to the outcome. All our volunteers undergo basic training in ethical and caring work standards and follow the principles and guidelines set out in The Manual of Psychedelic Support.