Fun in Youth Could Be Blessing in Old Age

Many in my generation, the Baby Boomers, did a lot of drugs in their youth (and beyond!), including psychedelics like LSD and Magic Mushrooms.  While I didn’t participate, I can’t help but join my peers now in the aging process.  More and more of us will face a terminal diagnosis, an expiration date stamped on our foreheads that will cause terrible anxiety, depression, and fear, and prevent us from enjoying the time we have left, even when we still feel well physically.

An amazing article in the NYT Sunday Magazine, “A Kaleidoscope at the End of the Tunnel,” by Lauren Slater, says that the drugs that once were fun in youth, now could be a blessing in old age, with studies showing that LSD, MDMA (ecstasy), and psilocybin, significantly reduced anxiety and depression in terminal patients, and gave them a sense of oneness and participation in a greater whole that took away much of the sting of approaching death, replacing it with a sense of inner peace.

Many respond to a terminal diagnosis by deciding to go on a trip.  In the future, the best possible “trip” might not be hopping on a plane to Europe, but swallowing a pill.