In Ten Trips neuropsychologist Andy Mitchell takes ten different psychedelic drugs in ten different settings, puncturing the hype while providing the fullest picture yet of their limitlessly fascinating possibilities.
Once demonised and still largely illegal, psychedelic drugs are now officially a 'breakthrough therapy', used to treat depression, trauma and addiction and to enhance well-being. But as neuropsychologist Andy Mitchell shows in this deeply serious yet wildly entertaining investigation, this approach misses what is so strange and valuable about them: the psychedelic experience itself.
In Ten Trips he takes ten different compounds, some famous, others obscure, journeying from a neuroimaging lab in London to the Colombian Amazon via Silicon Valley and his friend's basement kitchen. His encounters with scientists and gangsters, venture capitalists and con-men, psychonauts and shamans provide a panoramic view of psychedelics today: their capacity for healing but also trauma, for transcendence and corruption, profundity and hilarity.
By removing psychedelics from their indigenous and underground cultures, we risk losing the very things we need to harness them. To make them safe or normal might ultimately destroy what makes them potent. That potential is indeed great, not as an antidote to mental illness - none exists - but as a way of changing our whole perspective on mental health and flourishing.
Ten Trips is a dazzling, perception-shifting odyssey that shows how psychedelics can re-enchant us with the world.