New York Times on psychedelic microdosing

11 Jan

Over the weekend The New York Times published this piece on LSD microdosing: “How LSD Saved One Woman’s Marriage”:

Ayelet Waldman, a novelist and former federal public defender, recalled the sunny spring morning she rolled out of bed in her Berkeley, Calif., home and experienced the most curious sensation: She felt alive.As her husband, the novelist Michael Chabon, slept and her teenage son and daughter slumped over the breakfast table, Ms. Waldman did not feel a trace of morning surliness, or of the suffocating depression that had dogged her for months. Rather, she says, with the perkiness of a morning-show host, she chirped about the loveliness of the blue skies and hummed upbeat ditties as she whipped up banana-strawberry smoothies. She even offered to braid her daughter’s hair. It was all so out of character that her children spoke up.“Mom, are you on acid?” her daughter asked sarcastically. Ms. Waldman froze. It was not yet the moment, she decided, to answer “yes.

Ms. Waldman had discovered microdosing, an illegal but voguish drug regimen in which devotees seek to enhance creativity, focus and mental balance by ingesting regular, barely perceptible doses of hallucinogens like LSD or psilocybin mushrooms.

In the 1960s early research on LSD and other psychedelic drugs suggested that they might be useful in treating a number of psychological problems, including alcoholism. There was even one study that suggested that psilocybin might reduce criminal recidivism. However, this line of research was stopped when LSD became illegal and was regarded as a national scourge. Now, thankfully, that trend is reversing and there is more interest in studying the potential benefits of these drugs.

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