“Ten Trips: The New Reality of Psychedelics” by Andy Mitchell

"Ten Trips: The New Reality of Psychedelics" by Andy Mitchell

"The more we learn about psychedelics, the less we seem to understand them…. In this engrossing, sometimes hilarious, always dramatic chronicle, a neuropsychologist deflates the hype, explores the limitless possibilities, and reveals a much-needed perspective about psychedelics, giving us a scientist’s first-person experiment with ten different compounds in ten different settings.

Once demonized and still largely illegal, psychedelic drugs are now officially a "breakthrough therapy" in treating mental illness, used to heal trauma, conquer addiction, and enhance well-being. But as Andy Mitchell reveals, this approach to psychedelics is overhyped, and most importantly, neglects what is so unusual and valuable about them: the psychedelic experience itself.

In Ten Trips, Mitchell takes ten different drugs in ten diverse locations—including a neuroimaging lab in London, the Columbian Andes, Silicon Valley and his friend’s basement kitchen—to document their remarkable effects. Along the way he encounters a cast of distinctive characters: scientists and gangsters, venture capitalists and philosophers, psychonauts and shamans, musicians, monks, therapists, poets, and conmen. His experience opens a doorway to psychedelics’ full potential: for healing and trauma, for ecstatic one-ness and utter terror, for transcendence and corruption, for profundity and laughter.

Mitchell argues that by removing psychedelics from their cultures and rituals, both indigenous and underground, we risk rejecting the expertise and the contexts which hold the key to understanding them—and from which their real benefits may derive. In the drive to standardize, control, and monetize the psychedelic experience, we may ultimately destroy what makes them potent: their ability to transform our whole perspective on mental health and reenchant us with the world.

A hallucinogenic experience nearly as mind-blowing as actually taking psychedelics themselves, Ten Trips is Michael Pollan’s How to Change Your Mind written by Hunter S. Thompson with a PhD in neuroscience—a perception-altering odyssey that will change the way we see these substances and the world."