Appearing in: New Politics and Old Threats and Forbidden Fruit

Psychedelics are back in the cultural zeitgeist, this time as a mental health treatment. But many argue psychedelics only work by replacing mental illness with a distorted view of reality. Michael Pollan commented "psychedelic therapy might simply be imposing a comforting delusion on the sick". But is this a mistake? A study from Imperial College London suggests people get better at predicting future life events following psychedelics and visual acuity is known to increase - suggesting people become less delusional, not more.

Should we see the psychedelic experience as showing us something true about the nature of reality? Do hallucinations give insights into metaphysical and spiritual truths, or might they encourage pluralism? Will psychedelics usher in a new era of mental well-being or will they put thousands of patients into a delusional state of mind?

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