In the context of some recent reads on psychedelic drugs, Laura Miller at Slate looks at Michael Pollan’s new book, How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence.

In it, Pollan says that drugs such as psilocybin and LSD got a bad rap after some flawed scientific experimentation and images of burned-out, ’60s counter-culture hippies soured Americans on exploring the medical benefits these drugs might offer, suggesting that their mind-altering abilities might help free us from cognitive patterns that are holding us back.

After 40 years in the wilderness, psychedelics are once more the subject of serious scientific study, with early results suggesting that the drugs, when used under a therapist’s supervision, can help patients suffering from anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and both alcohol and nicotine addiction.

Pollan took a couple of research…

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