By Gabriel García October 19, 2023
On October 15, Roland Griffiths, psychopharmacologist and researcher on psychedelics and their applications in mental health, left us. Griffiths was one of the pioneers in reactivating the scientific study of substances such as psilocybin, LSD or DMT, after decades of prohibition and stigma.
Griffiths graduated in psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1972 and obtained his PhD in psychopharmacology from the University of Minnesota in 1976. Since then, he worked as a professor and researcher in the Department of Psychiatry and Neurosciences at Johns Hopkins University, where he founded and directed the Center for Research on Psychedelics and Consciousness.
His work focused on exploring the effects of psychedelics on the brain, mind and behavior, as well as their potential therapeutic benefits for treating various conditions such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress, addictions or existential disorders.
Among its most outstanding findings are the following:
- Psilocybin, the active component of magic mushrooms, can induce mystical experiences that have a profound positive impact on people’s personality, well-being and values, even years after the session.
- Psilocybin can also help reduce depressive symptoms and improve the quality of life of terminal cancer patients, alleviating their existential distress and increasing their acceptance of death.
- Psilocybin can facilitate smoking cessation in heavy smokers, with success rates higher than any other available treatment.
- LSD can improve mood, creativity and open-mindedness in healthy people, as well as reduce anxiety and pain in chronically ill patients.
- DMT, the active component of ayahuasca, can generate experiences of contact with supernatural entities that have great personal and spiritual significance for participants.
Griffiths was a rigorous, honest and courageous scientist, who knew how to confront the legal, social and academic barriers that hindered the study of psychedelics. His legacy is enormous and has inspired numerous researchers and professionals who follow in his footsteps around the world.
Rest in peace Roland Griffiths, a true psychonaut who opened the doors of perception.
One source of useful and rigorous information on psychedelics is Argonowta’s Psychonaut’s Guides, which offer practical and scientific advice on how to prepare for, experience and benefit from psychedelic trips. These guides address topics such as dosage, set and setting, integration or legal and health precautions. If you want to know more about the fascinating world of psychedelics, we recommend that you consult these guides and explore your mind responsibly and respectfully.
The Psychonaut’s Guides from Argonowta Publishing is a collection of books that explain in a rigorous and accessible way the scientific, historical, cultural and experiential aspects of psychedelic substances. These guides offer updated and contrasted information on the therapeutic and neuroscientific applications of psilocybin, LSD, DMT and MDMA, as well as practical advice on how to prepare, carry out and take advantage of psychedelic experiences. The Psychonaut’s Guides are a must-have reference for anyone interested in learning about the psychedelic renaissance that is transforming mental health and changing lives.