Psychedelic drugs.

Just how transformative are psychedelic drugs?
You will each be using 6 different archival folders from the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center LSD
Professional Training Program Study Files, which have now been digitized.
The first file, which everyone will read and analyze, is the study results. This is an unpublished document, and
some of it will be difficult to understand (especially reference to particular psychological/psychometric scales
being used on patients). Don’t worry about that. Treat it as you would any piece of evidence – gain from it
what you can, and use it to assess what was of interest to these scientists in the early 1970s.
The other five files are all patient records, and I will be assigning you each different folders, so you’ll all be
1.Watch “The Spring Grove Experiment” which will provide you with some context as to what was going on at
the Maryland Psychiatric Research Center.
2.Read “The Trip Treatment,” by Michael Pollan, in the New Yorker.
3.Watch the video, “Magic Mushrooms and the Healing Trip,” which features the experiences of Cancer
survivor Eddie Marritz, a participant in NYU’s Psilocybin Cancer Anxiety Study.
These three sources (the two films and the New Yorker article), along with Slater’s chapter on psilocybin, will
provide the FRAMEWORK for your research paper. I’d like you to focus particularly on the particular studies
that Pollan describes in “The Trip Treatment” – recent studies at NYU, Hopkins, and Imperial College.
YOUR ASSIGNMENT is to try to assess the similarities and differences between your 5 subjects’ experience
(and, more generally, the LSD Training study) and those currently being conducted at places such as NYU.
You’ll notice that Roland Griffiths, the researcher at Hopkins working with psilocybin, is quoted in Pollan’s
article as saying, “There are so many directions to take this research. It’s a Rip van Winkle effect – after three
decades of no research, we rubbing the sleep from our eyes.”
To what extent does it appear that the recent studies are drawing from the work conducted in Maryland three
decades earlier? Are the findings the same? What about the actual experiences your subjects describe they
are having under LSD – are they similar to those Pollan describes in his article? (see in particular pp. 10-12 of

Sample Solution