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Joanna Kempner is the premier expert on the social impact of headache diseases. In Psychedelic Outlaws, she follows a group of people called “Clusterbusters,” a community bound by their experience with cluster headache—a neurological disease so excruciating, its pain is often likened to being shot in the head, repeatedly, multiple times per day. Obtaining a diagnosis can take years and treatments often leave patients worse off than they were before. There's a grim reality behind the disease's nickname, suicide headache.
Kempner’s narrative traces this patient movement to its origins to the extraordinary experiments conducted by a man named “Flash” in Aberdeen, Scotland, and then follows it forward, as the idea of using psychedelics for pain begins to gather in the early days of the internet, and then eventually became a full-fledged effort to bring this knowledge to universities. Their story looks at the politics of pain, why some drugs make it to market when others don’t, and our culture’s complicated history with psychedelics.
Michael Pollan’s bestseller How to Change Your Mind introduced the new science of psychedelic medicine for mental health and addiction to mainstream readers. This book follows a group of patients—most of whom don’t have any medical training—who rely on “magic mushrooms” as a last resort to treat severe pain. It explores not only the fascinating history and exploding popularity of mushroom science, but also proves that the United States has set up a regulatory and legal system so repressive that our most innovative therapies for pain and medicine are being developed underground by sick people forced to break the law just to find relief, and how, in turn, corporate America, and sometimes devious academics, stand to profit from their work and self-advocacy.
- On Sale
- Jun 4, 2024
- Page Count
- 320 pages
- Hachette Books