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Introduction Throughout human history people have sought experiences that somehow transcend every day life Some sort of wisdom that might progress their knowledge of self and of the world that they live in For some reason they believed that the tangible world just could not be all there is to life Some believed in a greater force that controlled them some believed of invisible beings that influenced their lives some of an actual other world that paralleled their own Many of these people also believed that it was possible to catch a glimpse of these forces beings or worlds through a variety of means that propel individuals into altered states of consciousness These techniques include meditation hypnosis sleep deprivation and what will be discussed here psychoactive drugs more specifically psychedelic drugs Although in the modern world such drugs have developed an almost taboo status it is impossible to ignore the tales of enlightenment reported by ancient cultures and even those rebels that use such drugs illegally today While the American government has been one of the main influences on todays societys negative attitudes towards psychedelic drugs they have granted some scientist and psychologists permission to experiment with such agents and despite the controversy and varying results there seem to be many positive uses of psychedelic agents These positive uses and the research that has been directed toward these uses will be reviewed in the following as well as a brief history of psychedelic drugs History Native Americans are probably the people most known for their use of psychedelic drugs Being a very religious people their entire society revolved around the spirit world and some believed that access to this world was possible by eating certain plants that were abundant in their surroundings In what are now Mexico and the Southwestern United States tribes familiarized themselves with mescaline the active ingredient in the peyote cactus Another drug that was used by tribes in these and
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