Amber Lyon of St. Louis was a journalist for CNN who had reported on some heavy, big-time Life Stuff like war, government strife, and sex trafficking. So it made sense that she went on to develop Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder; I mean, who wouldn’t? The interesting thing was what she chose to use to help ease her through the debilitating condition. Instead of turning solely to shrinks or psych meds, Lyon opted to try natural psychedelics, like mushrooms, as medicinal treatments. Her experience eventually led her to start Reset.me, a website, launching this month, that’s dedicated to none other than “psychedelic journalism.”
“For me, I was out in the field for 10 years covering violence, fighting, slavery, drug abuse, the underbelly of society,” Lyon said. “I saw the worst of the worst in my career and I was kind of absorbing the pain of others. I started to have problems sleeping, problems with short-term memory, it got so bad that I couldn’t write and I’m a writer, so that’s when I knew something was wrong.”
As a journo, Lyon had spent years covering prescription drugs and their plentiful varieties of misuse and abuse, and she knew she didn’t want to get stuck on some sketchy pill that may or may not ever release her from its mind-numbing death grip. Instead she opted to take ayahuasca, a famous, psychedelic Peruvian plant she’d heard about via comedian Joe Rogan’s podcast the Joe Rogan Experience.
Lyon traveled to Peru and attended an “ayahuasca retreat,” which she described as “incredibly healing.” Since then, she’s taken the drug seven times.
Why and how does the ayahuasca plant work? Lyon gives it a rosy spin, saying, “It’s like hitting the reset button on your brain and life and like going back to your true self…And it’s like dissolving your personality and dissolving all of the trauma that you’ve had throughout your life and just starting over.”
Sounds pretty amazing to us. So…Can just anyone do it? What about addicts and alkies? Er, possibly not the best idea, though many forums do claim that ayahuasca can be used as a tool to TREAT drug addiction, as well as depression. Not gonna lie: This National Geographic story about one journalist’s ayahuasca “trips” and their massive affect on her depression (hint: IT CURED HER) got me pretty damn intrigued.
Different Psychedelic Strokes for Different Folks
My problem is that, in addition to being sober, I loathe psychedelic drugs’ effects on me. Always have, always will. I want nothing to do with “long, strange trips” that don’t involve car rides, junk food and cheap motels. In other words, you couldn’t pay me to put that shit anywhere near my person. But hey, if fancy Peruvian plants help other folks with their PTSD or their depression or their fondness for cocaine, great! More power to them.
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