Summary of The Trip Treatment

Research into psychedelics, shut down for decades, is now yielding exciting results.

The New Yorker,

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The Trip Treatment summary
Research into psychedelics shows promising results for cancer patients with anxiety, but is it safe?


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Journalist Michael Pollan explains the fascinating history of medical research into psychedelics and captures the sense of wonder among researchers and patients experimenting with them today. It’s hard not to be amazed by Pollan’s accounts of mystical, life-changing experiences – especially among patients facing death. The findings from patients’ brain scans also make intriguing reading. getAbstract recommends this article to anyone who wants to know exactly how the brain creates mystical experiences, either drug-induced or otherwise.

In this summary, you will learn

  • Why researchers stopped studying psychedelics in the 1970s,
  • How psychedelics help cancer patients and
  • How scientists believe psychedelics work.


In 1953, the first government-funded medical research into psychedelics took place in the United States. Over the next 20 years, researchers used lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) in more than 1,700 patients, including addicts, those with terminal cancer and the mentally ill. The findings were...
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About the Author

Michael Pollan teaches journalism at the University of California, Berkeley.

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