Tripping out to stay sane: 

Mental health and psychedelics

Prior to the reactionary media hysteria and the subsequent government backlash at the end of the 1960s, a wealth of serious scientific research was conducted into the therapeutic and medical benefits of powerful psychoactive drugs. By the beginning of the 1970s, however, almost all therapeutic applications and scientific human research with such drugs had been curtailed and their use criminalized. In the following years, this potentially beneficial side to hallucinogens became largely forgotten. Only during the last decade, has this research gradually been resumed to the point where we might now even speak of a renaissance of research into psychedelic medicines. 

The talk will explore the medical potential of psychedelics in the field of mental health drawing upon current research from the fields of neuroscience, medicine, psychology anthropology and, indeed, personal insight from time spent with psychedelic counter-cultures and shamanic tribes.



David Luke is Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Greenwich where he teaches an undergraduate course on the Psychology of Exceptional Human Experience. His research focuses on transpersonal experiences, anomalous phenomena and altered states of consciousness, especially via psychedelics, having published more than 100 academic papers in this area, including five books, most recently Neurotransmissions: Essays on Psychedelics (2015) and Talking with the Spirits: Ethnographies from Between the Worlds (2014). He has studied techniques of consciousness alteration from South America to India, from the perspective of scientists, shamans and Shivaites, but increasingly has more questions than answers.


8:30 PM @ cafe 1001 

* Entrance over 18


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