Psychedelics Normalization

by andzuck1 min read26th Apr 201926 comments


Hi everyone,

This is my first post on the EA Forum!

I'm one of the board members of Harvard College Effective Altruism. I also recently co-founded the Harvard Science of Psychedelics Club.

I'm curious why psychedelics aren't talked about more on the EA Forum and also why they aren't talked about very frequently as a potential EA cause area. I know Aaron Nesmith-Beck has made a powerpoint suggesting psychedelic research as an EA cause area. Yet, it seems like there are still only whispers and murmurs in the EA community about psychedelics.

There's a lot of promising research that shows how psychedelic drugs may benefit those with treatment-resistant depression, alcohol and tobacco addiction, and anxiety and mood disorders. Also, MDMA is beginning Phase 3 trials for the treatment of PTSD. And there generally seems to be a lot of low-hanging fruit in the field of psychedelics! Both within and outside of scientific research. Clarity Health Fund, which funds projects in the psychedelic space, actually has a list of projects they'd like to fund!

Although there seems to be a reawakening of psychedelics in the past 5 years, especially with the release of Michael Pollan's novel, How to Change Your Mind, I think there is still a lot of taboo around the subject.

Because of that, one of my small goals at the moment is to help normalize public conversation around psychedelics. And while I have avoided using the Harvard brand online in the past, I recently decided to make a YouTube video with the goal of using it to help normalize the discussion of psychedelics. You can watch the video here if you'd like.

Consider this post a gentle push for more discussion about the intersection of Effective Altruism and psychedelics.

And if you are also interested in exploring psychedelics as an EA cause area, shoot me a message! Even better, if you'll be at EAGx Boston this coming weekend, feel free to find me there to chat as well :)