By: Words: Alexandra Jones Illustration: Frieda Ruh | ‘The ketamine blew my mind’: can psychedelics cure addiction and depression? | Neuroscience | The Guardian
This week sees the opening of the first UK high-street clinic offering psychedelic-assisted therapy. Could popping psilocybin be the future of mental healthcare?
In the summer of 1981, when he was 13, Grant crashed a trail motorbike into a wall at his parents’ house in Cambridgeshire. He’d been hiding it in the shed, but “it was far too powerful for me, and on my very first time starting it in the garden, I smashed it into a wall”. His mother came outside to find the skinny teenager in a heap next to the crumpled motorbike. “I was in a lot of trouble.”
Grant hadn’t given this childhood memory much thought in the intervening years, but one hot August day in 2019, it came back to him with such clarity that, at 53, now a stocky father of two, he suddenly understood it as a clue to his dangerously unhealthy relationship with alcohol.
I realised feeling overlooked as a child drove my drinking. It hadn’t been on my radar – but with ketamine I got there
See a psychiatrist at 20 and chances are you still will be at 60. We’ve come to accept we can’t cure patients. Why not?
It’s not a magical cure. People should definitely try talking therapy first. It does work, and is much less invasive