The Rise and Rise of Psychedelics | High Society

So today we’re going to
share with you a beautiful preparation for the
medicine that we’ve just taken. There might be crying,
there might be screaming, there might be a whole range
of stuff. We’re opening ourselves up
energetically. Follow my lead. The UK is experiencing
a psychedelic renaissance. Everyone should try LSD
at least once in their life. Young people in England and Wales
are taking three times more LSD, than they did five years ago. Is this your first time taking acid?
– Yeah. Scientists at top universities
are claiming hallucinogens can revolutionise how we treat
mental illness. Psychedelics used in a particular way can improve mental health outcome. And the use of magic mushrooms has been increasing by
around 40% year on year. In the UK, psychedelics have the
highest possible drug classification. But recent studies have shown that they’re the safest
recreational drugs you can take. My personal opinion is that it’s just something that grows out the ground. Radically mind-altering substances are now more readily available than ever before. What is making this new generation
of drug takers so interested in self-transformation? And as the self-help trend grows, will they still be considered safe
when thousands of people start trying to solve their mental health
issues themselves by taking powerful hallucinogens
in unregulated settings? I’m currently lying in the grass at
a British music festival and I’ve come here to find out just how rampant
psychedelic use really is. What I’ve seen so far, there appear
to be quite a few people here who are tripping their balls off. What kind of psychedelics are you
taking today? Probably Changa
and some mushrooms. Got some LSD, 240 micrograms. I’m going to take half. What have you guys taken today? 2CB. 2CB? How long ago did you take it? I have no f**king idea,
I don’t even know what time it is. Which ones have you taken today? Australian Gold caps. So what have you got with you today? Psilocybin that you get in mushrooms. And how do you take it? When I take shrooms
I get really horny. If you were to describe your
mental state right now to someone who’s never done
psychedelics before what would you say?
– Fucking amazing. Yeah, it’s actually better
than booze. Yeah you can learn from
the psychedelic experience. Everyone has these doors
in their brain and sometimes they can be opened for healing
purposes, which is really great. One thing I’ve noticed is like,
people who take a lot of psychedelics think that the Illuminati
control the government, like, aliens exist. Oh, I do… OK, I do think the Illuminati
control the government. We can’t be the only people
in this universe. There must be something else
out there. Aliens exist. Psychedelic drugs have
become so popular, that festivals have had to start
providing services like PsyCare to deal with the influx of people
having bad trips. Roughly how many people
use your service? An average of 60 people
across the weekend. What would happen if someone came
through here and was having a bad trip? We would do like a bit of a triage a kind of a little risk assessment
if you like. We tend to keep this one as like
more of a quiet space. We are sort of informed by
indigenous use of plant medicines and we have an altar here
which we feel is important. But if someone’s sort of in
a really bad state, I imagine no amount of crystals and sort of nice fabrics are going to really calm them down. Probably wouldn’t bring them in here. We’d take them into the other tent
that’s kind of set up for people who are maybe potentially gonna be
a little more disruptive or louder. There’s a case that springs to mind. How do you deal with people
who take all their clothes off? There is one notorious case
in PsyCare’s history, which took two dozen volunteers and six security guards to resolve. It led to the phrase
‘Going full Christian.’ I think that day in the sense of,
you know, let’s say bravado I took far too many magic mushrooms and I was kneeling down
in front of an oak tree in tears, kissing the roots and apologising
on behalf of humanity for pillaging the earth. And then one security guard came,
two, three, four, like, “Dude, put your clothes back on.” And essentially, my mind
at that moment switched into defence mode and so I literally felt like a lion
that was about to be poached and this sort of surge of power
came up from the ground, I literally went, “Ahh!” Security guard went flying up
in the air and I made a naked beeline, dove into the middle of the crowd
shouting, “Freedom!” And the next thing I know, it’s
almost like little bits of memory, I’m being dragged through the mud to Kosmicare, PsyCare. From your perspective you were
having a nice time? – I was having a great time.
– Really? Yeah, it was one of the most
beautiful days of my life. Psychedelics have never been
more accessible. You don’t need to meet a drug dealer
in a blacked out car. You just need a broom cupboard and a few mushroom spores. I arranged to meet this cosmic
voyager back at his house, to see his DIY psilocybin operation. That’s quite a doorbell. Matty baby, what up brother? Come on in man. Welcome. OK. You’ve got a lot of art here. Would you say psychedelics
influenced this art? Yeah, I’d hazard a guess, yeah. – I think it’s pretty safe to say.
– Absolutely, it’s pretty safe to say, yeah. Do you trip a lot in this room? Generally I like to be outside
like my garden you know, so you can be looking at like,
the trees and the sky and stuff. Through this way bro. So I made this bad boy, measured my c**k-to-floor height, I purely based it on that.
– Right. – And why is that?
– So it’s functional. Little attachments and stuff,
you know, just in case it gets freaky. Oh man, no. No, my plant broke. – Oh no.
– No, man down, hang on. So you grow weed as well? Well, not especially. We’re right in the beeline actually,
so look just– Yeah, just stand this way. – Oh you mean a literal beeline.
– Yeah, literally. So this is the beeline, yeah, so this is the way they go
in and out of the hive. What’s this shed?
This looks amazing. Oh, it’s the disco shed, mate. What’s going on here? Oh mate, I made Captain Fish’s
Twerkometer and yeah, so we made this c**k and it was on like, a big f**king circular thing and there was different
levels of twerk. So are the shrooms in here? Oh, no mate, no, they’re inside. This way bro. I’m losing my knickers. Yeah, here we go dude. This is my fruiting chamber. It’s called a
‘Shotgun Fruiting Chamber’ because of the holes in it. So do you have any
that are ready now? Mushrooms, yeah. I’ve been drying them,
I’ll show you, yeah. Yeah, these are some that
I’ve been drying out. So are these ones you made earlier? This was the last flush, so I got three flushes
out of this one. – What have we got here?
– Baan Khun Thai. Then there’s Mexican Dutch Cap and there’s Aussie Gold Cap and then there’s these Yosterizii. These were Japanese but it looks
like I’ve eaten all those, those are my favourites. They didn’t last long. Where do you get the spores
for the shrooms? They’re online and it’s all perfectly legal. – Put it together,
– Yeah. it’s deemed illegal. And do you make them for selling
or for personal use? Oh no, absolutely just for myself. Are you aware of what classification
psilocybin is? Yeah. And does that worry you at all? It does to a degree. I certainly wouldn’t want to get in
trouble in it but my personal opinion is that, it’s just something
that grows out of the ground. It’s a great trip, it’s a great drug. I think it’s safer than legal drugs
like smoking. Everyone I had met so far took
psychedelics purely recreationally, to giggle, have a few dance floor
epiphanies and potentially remove
all their clothes and revert to a primeval state. But a growing number of people
are using them far more seriously, as a form of therapy. Instead of Bikram Yoga
or SoulCycle, young professionals are going to
warehouses in East London on their Tuesday evenings and taking psilocybin in front of
a group of shamans. So we’ve been invited to one of
these ceremonies right now. – Namaste.
– Namaste mate. There’s 30, 40 people in this
small warehouse about to engage in this
psychedelic ceremony. It’s very packed. It shows you how popular these
substances are at least in East London. Are there any particular issues you
are working through? I’ve got a lot of stuff in my body, that I have to work through. Not this lifetime but many, many
lifetimes, you know what I mean? So this is a way for you to kind of
exorcise your trauma? Yes. And have you ever sought out
more traditional types of therapy? Yes and I always thought
that I know more than them. This session had been so
oversubscribed that the organisers had run out
of mushrooms. The guy that brought
the mushrooms, has he got more? Does he have more of them on him? – I have some more on me, if need be.
– OK, great. OK, cool. But let’s just start,
if you need more I’ll put them to the side,
you take what you need, he’s going to weigh up some more,
we’ll be fine. So in regards to like,
how it’s going to unfold and what we’re going to do
within the ceremony, you have to be careful,
to be respectful in these, it’s not a recreational ceremony. You’re doing this to sort of
surface certain things past trauma, childhood trauma,
relationship stuff, but make sure you do set
an intention, and you’ll get a lot more out
of the experience. Thank you for the mushrooms. When you’re ready,
in your own time. So today we’re going to
share with you a beautiful preparation for the
medicine that we’ve just taken. It’s breath work. It’s something that was shown to me
during a ceremony in Costa Rica when I was working with the Cabécar. I was communicating
with the medicine so I would like everybody
to be touching, holding hands. There might be crying,
there might be screaming, there might be a whole range
of stuff. We’re opening ourselves up
energetically so there’s a whole range of things
I’ve seen and that might happen. Follow my lead. OK, so after three, a big, deep,
continuous breath in. – Keep your eyes down.
– One, two, three. Apply anger and aggression. On the way out, there’s nothing left. There’s no air left. As the breathing became more
aggressive and our brains more deprived
of oxygen, the mushrooms began to kick in. This was definitely becoming more
Midsommar than SoulCycle. Some people in the ceremony began
reliving traumatic memories. Hold that breath,
feel your vibration. Dude… that was insane. My whole body was vibrating because
essentially what we were doing was hyperventilating, and now I’m going to use something
called Rapé which is life up one nostril, death up the other. Rapé is an Amazonian tribal snuff which is meant to have healing
properties during a trip. I add my heart into yours. Alright, let’s do it. Oh my days. Oh my goodness. Yeah, that’s… that’s intense. That’ll do it. So you obviously had
a very intense reaction to the shrooms and the
breathing ceremony. There’s just so much pain. So much pain, as you could hear,
probably. Yeah. Have you had a particularly painful
relationship experience? Yeah, with my mom, with my dad. The love of my life
that killed himself. Oh my God, – I’m so sorry to hear that.
– 11 months ago. – 11 months ago?
– Yeah. And so, are you still trying to work
through your grief about that? Yeah. The grief, the pain never stops
when it comes to that, yeah. Of course. Do you find that the ceremony helps
you work through that? Oh, yes, definitely. This is how I go through my process. So I want you to just absorb
the vibration of this mantra. This is a prayer. This is a prayer to the Creator
and to the liberator. There’s always something higher
protecting us. I wondered who the shamans in charge
of the ceremony were and how they had become qualified to provide dozens of potentially
vulnerable people with hallucinogens. What makes you guys qualified
to do the work that you do? I think the most important thing
is intuition. – Yeah, yeah.
– Yeah, definitely. – We have done a variety of courses.
– Yeah. Between us, we have got
qualifications between us. It’s nothing that you can really
learn because it’s something that’s
already within us. What kinds of things do you heal
people through? All different things. Additiction, trauma. Cancer patients. It’s beautiful, the way that we can
read people now with our instruments. Where I get a little bit iffy about, you know, can it be used
to heal people is physical diseases like cancer. Do you say that it can actually
heal cancer? – It’s scientifically proven.
– Yeah. It’s scientifically proven that
our instruments– the lady that taught us, Lola Lhamo, she is absolutely amazing. Her brother is a scientist. It’s on scientifical… – spectrum.
– And by the time disease manifests in the physical body, that’s the last stage. Is your business growing? Yeah, definitely. Billy, are you a shaman? The word “Shaman” is, for me, bringing consciousness to darkness which, I’ve lived a lot of darkness and I’m now living in the light. I’ve lived the journey of a shaman. Can you tell me a little
about that darkness? Selling drugs by the time I was 12, I was taking steroids,
sniffing a lot of cocaine. There was times where I was
cutting myself open, a couple of years in prison,
come home. Did you ever seek therapy? I did yes, I’ve been in
three residential rehabilitations and then the opportunity came to go
on a retreat where there was… with ayahuasca, Bufo, Kambo. It gave me more than I could have
ever dreamed. We could be walking into a future where this is the thing people do
to wind down after work. There were some real genuine issues
being worked through there and a lot of sad stories. What I would say is that
if I was on shrooms that would be way too intense for me. A massive reason so many people
have started to use hallucinogens as therapy is because of the heavily publicized
work of scientists like Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris. He has used these drugs to successfully treat a range
of mental health issues. What I wanted to know though was
what he thought about untrained people replicating
that treatment outside of a clinical setting. Is there a scientific basis
for using psychedelics to benefit yourself
or treat yourself? There is a growing evidence base that psychedelics used
in a particular way can improve mental health outcomes, both from observational research or when we do our studies,
clinical trials, that indicate that if used in
a particular way, and that’s so important, psychedelics can have beneficial
effects for mental health. Pseudo-scientific new agey stuff
really worries me. Especially in this day and age where spirituality and religion
is so depleted generally. People are looking for it, you know, they’re kind of searching for it. We’ve all heard anecdotal stories about people who have had a bad trip and sort of had a permanent
psychosis. The risk of having enduring
psychosis from taking psychedelics is far higher in a recreational
context because in a research context
or a therapeutic context these people would be screened out and you would control
the environment so that things can’t so easily
go wrong and if they do go wrong, you’ll have the support to get you
through those experiences and try and learn from them. One of people’s biggest fears that
stops them from taking psychedelics is this idea that, “What if I take
them once and never stop tripping and go permanently crazy?” It turns out there is actually
something called Hallucinogen Persisting Perception
Disorder or HPPD, which means that someone takes
psychedelics either once or several times and then some of the effects of that
seem to linger for anywhere up to a week
to some months to indefinitely. I went to a festival
to sell some acid and ended up spilling a bottle
on myself. So you absorbed it through your skin? And I drank quite a bit of it. How much acid, in total,
do you think you took? About 40 trips so 4,000 micrograms. 40 times the average dose. I was literally tripping eight
or nine months after the incident. Visually to the point where it was
difficult to do things or I’m seeing fractals, visual snow. Exactly like an old school telly
with just the black and white fuzz and that covers your entire vision. – Are you seeing that right now?
– Yeah. You don’t feel like you’re on drugs but everything looks
like you’re on drugs. Right. So just the visual effects
of the psychedelics have lasted since you took it?
– Yeah, it’s been four years now. What effect did that have
on your social life, your family life, your relationships? I didn’t speak to my friends,
I didn’t speak to my family, I didn’t tell anyone about it. I didn’t seek help from a doctor. I was too scared, I thought
I was just going to get sectioned if I saw the doctors. Given how terrible
your experience was, do you think that psychedelics
should remain a Class A drug? Purely because of the damage
they can do to people, yes. I feel everyone should be warned
and fully understand the dangers and it’s not just a game,
as much as I thought it was, It’s not.
It’s really not. Your mental state isn’t something you should just
play with, willy nilly. It’s not something that should be
molded and changed. It’s serious. It seems that the rapidly growing
number of young people struggling with mental
and spiritual ailments are fed up with pharmaceuticals and searching for a deeper cure. It’s clear that we can’t stop them
from taking these substances but if the government relaxed
regulations on research, perhaps we could get to a place
faster where hallucinogens are available
in a safer setting. As for the people using them
purely for fun, this is the UK. If there is a way of getting
spannered, people will do it. You ain’t nothing but a hoodrat
hoochie mama. This is the twerking trophy. It’s an arse that shakes. This is one at a time motherf**kers. I’m going in. OK, Sean’s in. He’s got it. Make way, make a big space.

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *