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Psychedelics Through the Ages… Well, from Youth to Old Age!

Professor Adam R. Winstock, MBBS, BSc, MSc, MD, MRCP, MRCPsych, FAChAM

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Some mates of mine visited from overseas this year. Sensible, educated, law abiding, employed with diverse cultural and musical tastes, they were in their late 50s and early 60s. They were on their way to a festival in the British countryside.

Although I knew they liked a drink, I also knew that some had broader tastes, so I asked them if they would be taking drugs at the festival. I told them about high dose MDMA pills and to go easy if they decided to dabble.

They looked at me aghast.

“We’re too old for stimulants,” they said. Cholesterol, high blood pressure and expanding waist lines made chuffing lines of cocaine and dropping pills way too stressful and risky.

So just beers then? Pretty much, they said, but with a few mushrooms added in—just to add sparkle and offer some energy to see them through the night.

Really? Yep.

They said that low-dose trips are the party drug of choice for “us oldies”—safe, familiar and fun. They weren’t dosing to find spiritual enlightenment or to see dancing matchboxes—just enough to lighten their senses.

When it comes to psychedelics, as with most drugs, dose is everything. It is easy to forget that most traditional psychedelic drugs, as well as exerting action at the 5HT2 receptors, also cause the release of monoamines (the chemical transmitters, dopamine and noradrenaline), something typical of stimulant-type drugs. In fact, common effects among those seeking emergency medical treatment with these drugs are markedly elevated pulse rates and levels of arousal.

With the recent emergence of LSD micro-dosing in the workplace—taking small doses to enhance work performance and creative thinking—the folks at the Global Drug Survey decided to take a look at recreational micro-dosing with psychedelics as well. So if you are starting to grey or go bald, can’t stand dance music and hoard your vinyl, we want to hear from you.

Please take a few minutes this year to take part in the world’s biggest drug survey by clicking HERE. The survey is completely anonymous and confidential.

Dr. Adam R. Winstock is the founder of the Global Drug Survey and a consultant psychiatrist. 

Related: Interested in Making Drug Use Safer? Read This!

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