The Psychedelic Revolution: Can Hallucinogenic Drugs Transform Medicine?

Jacob Appel
Jacob Appel
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai

Jacob Appel is Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Medical Education, and Director of Ethics Education in Psychiatry, at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. A bioethicist, physician, lawyer, author and social critic, he is best known for his short stories, his work as a playwright, and his writing in the fields of reproductive ethics, organ donation, neuroethics and euthanasia. Appel’s novel, The Man Who Wouldn’t Stand Up, won the Dundee International Book Prize in 2012. He has taught medical ethics at New York University, Columbia University, and Brown University’s Alpert Medical School.



July 20, 2022, 4:00 pm

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For Americans who came of age in the 1960s, hallucinogenic drugs like LSD and mescaline are inextricably linked to that decade’s counterculture and guru Timothy Leary’s call to “Turn on, tune in, drop out.” More recently, studies have shown significant efficacy for hallucinogens in treating a range of psychiatric illnesses, including depression, anxiety, and—ironically—substance use disorders. Beyond recreational micro-dosing and Michael Pollan’s “ego dissolution,” psilocybin may prove the source of a revolution in mental health. This lecture explores the history of these mind-altering substances, the evidence for their therapeutic value, and the complex ethical and legal issues that keep them out of reach of most Americans.



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