- Dec 3, 2017
- Reaction score
- Political Leaning
These substances are being touted as a game-changing intervention for mental health. But it’s not clear if their promise will be accessible to all.
n a sweaty Sunday morning in August of last year, Jamilah George was on the 16th floor of the historic Brown Hotel in Louisville, leading a spiritual service of sorts. George, a doctoral candidate in clinical psychology at the University of Connecticut who also holds a master’s degree in divinity from Yale University, asked the audience to shout out the names of ancestors or people they admired. With each name, George performed a libation ritual, pouring water into a leafy green plant, stationed at the front of the podium, as a gesture of thanks. “Maya Angelou,” called out one audience member. “Mama Lola,” called another. The names kept coming: Toni Morrison. Audre Lorde. Mahatma Gandhi. Harriet Tubman.
George, who had been part of a team at U-Conn. running the only clinical trial to study the effects of the psychotropic drug MDMA on post-traumatic stress disorder with participants of color, wanted the audience to connect with its cultural lineages before she started her presentation — a bracing call for inclusion and social justice within the burgeoning world of psychedelic healing. It’s a world that holds great promise but is overwhelmingly White and economically privileged. Part of the problem, as George sees it, is that academia has lost its connection to the histories of these consciousness-altering substances (also known as entheogens), many of which have been used by Indigenous cultures for physical and psychological healing for thousands of years. (more)
Thesis: use of psilocybin & Ecstacy to treat PTSD. But over-policing of non-white minorities may present a barrier to their inclusion in these therapies.