The World Health Organization (WHO) describes infertility as an inability to achieve a viable pregnancy within one year of regular and unprotected heterosexual sex. Infertility is classified as a disease by WHO and as a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The Center for Disease Control estimates that 1 in 5 heterosexual women who have no prior births experience infertility. This makes infertility one of the most common diseases/disabilities in women of reproductive age (Insogna & Ginsburg, 2018; World Health Organization, 2018:2020; Davis & Khosla, 2020).
In my first post for this six-part series of commentaries, I reflected on the start of the “Psychedelic Pasts, Presents, and Futures” Borghesi-Mellon workshop when faculty, students, and community members gathered in the School of Pharmacy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to discuss the importance of transdisciplinarity in psychedelic research and education. In this final post of the series, I return to transdisciplinarity after a semester of events, including a second discussion about transdisciplinarity on the other side of UW-Madison’s campus in the brutalist, concrete Helen C. White Hall. One of the aims of the organizers—Dr. Lucas Richert, Amanda Pratt, and myself–for this workshop was to foster conversations about what humanities and social sciences perspectives bring to psychedelic studies, particularly in relation to the role of transdisciplinarity at the new Transdisciplinary Center for Research on Psychoactive Substances (TCRPS) at UW-Madison.
A commonly cited catalyst for the psychedelic renaissance is the renewed interest in biomedical research on psychedelics for mental health, including depression, PTSD, and addiction. For instance, popular media like Michael Pollan’s How to Change Your Mind (2018) and its Netflix adaptation (2022) often utilize this research to bolster claims about the relative safety of psychedelics and their efficacy as a mental health treatment. The common (and simplified) narrative in these popular portrayals is that psychedelic research boomed throughout the mid-twentieth century before being swept up in the drug war and pushed underground, and yet today, after years of unjust policies and propaganda, psychedelic researchers and advocates from the past are being proven right by contemporary biomedical research.
This post provides some excerpts from an “Addiction Lives” interview with Paul Roman, a researcher in the alcohol and addictions field for 55 years, who talks about the early years of the NIAAA. You can read the full interview here.
The “Addiction Lives” interview project is a print and online collaboration between the Society for the Study of Addiction and the journal Addiction. The series explores the views and personal experiences of people who have contributed to the evolution of ideas in the Addiction journal’s field of interest.
“Addiction Lives” is edited by Professor Virginia Berridge and this interview was conducted by Points co-founder Trysh Travis in August 2021.
Timothy Leary used the phrase “set and setting” to describe the way that one’s mindset and physical setting impacts their psychedelic experience. In a recent talk titled “Beyond Set and Setting: Cultivating Mosaics of Support,” Kwasi Adusei, DNP, PMHNP-BC, clarified that set and setting refer to the extra-pharmacological influences on psychedelic experiences, including the “color palette of set” (i.e. internal elements like mood, beliefs, and attitudes) and the “crucible of setting” (i.e external elements like music, space, and people). Adusei ultimately advocated for the addition of a “mosaic of support”–meaning the collection of factors that aid in integrating a psychedelic experience–to set and setting in order to increase the benefits and reduce the risks of psychedelics.
Adusei came to the University of Wisconsin-Madison to give this talk for the next installment of the “Psychedelic, Pasts, Presents and Futures” Borghesi-Mellon workshop. In his work as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner, psychedelic-assisted psychotherapist, and co-founder of the Psychedelic Society of Western New York, Adusei hopes to shift the stigma around psychedelics and demonstrate that psychedelics can help people heal and remain productive members of society. The aim of such work, in Adusei’s view, is to empower people to do this work within their own communities by providing numerous resources that support them in this project.
Today’s post features an interview with Henry Yeomans, a Professor of Criminology at the University of Leeds and Laura Fenton, a Research Associate at the University of Sheffield. Their work focuses around contemporary alcohol culture and regulation in Europe.
The two, along with the University of Kent’s Adam Burgess, recently authored the article “‘More options…less time’ in the ‘Hustle Culture’ of ‘Generation Sensible’: Individualization and Drinking Decline Among 21st Century Young Adults,” which appeared in the British Journal of Sociology. Find out more about their work in this interview.
If you read my previous post, “The Toad Boom: the false narrative of ancestral 5-MeO-DMT use”, you may perhaps have wondered why I wrote that post with such vehemence and confidence. In this post, I would like share that the reason for that is that I witnessed first-hand how that story unfolded.