Netflix Streaming: How To Change Your Mind - Docuseries Review.
How To Change Your Mind.
I'm a psychonaut from way back. @contagio did a #CineTV movie review a couple of weeks back called Have a Good Trip. I had to watch it. The documentary aired on Netflix and it was really good. I'm glad I gave it a watch.
A quick summary of Have a Good Trip would be a bunch of celebrities discussing taking psychedelics. I love films and conversations like this because I think it's a conversation we need to start having (More on that later). After watching Have a Good Trip, the Netflix algorithm suggested, "How To Change Your Mind".
How To Change Your Mind is a four-part series about psychedelic drugs. It's a four-part series that will try to change your mind about the way you might think about and look at psychedelic drugs like LSD, MDMA, Peyote, and magic mushrooms.
Episode 1 covers LSD. Each episode is like a mini-documentary. The LSD episode covers Albert Hoffman's discovery, the infamous bicycle trip, with other appearances by the usual suspects like Tim Leary, Ken Kesey, and many other psychedelic royalty.
I like that the series takes a very serious and practical look at the science behind LSD. Besides the usual suspects, there are many appearances by doctors and medical professionals mainly from the mental health industry. They also debunk many of the myths surrounding LSD and the other psychedelics featured in future episodes.
Episode 2 covers Psylocibin or magic mushrooms. Again, the series takes an in-depth deep dive into the history of the mushroom. They talk to several mycologists, legal experts, medical professionals, and others.
Episode 3 covered MDMA. I enjoyed this episode A LOT. Up until around 1985 MDMA was legal in the US. When the drug began appearing in nightclubs, raves, and at all-night dance parties, the authorities quickly jumped in the way the always do and put an abrupt stop to it. This also put a stop to most of the research that was happening in the psychiatric industry. Many psychiatrists and medical professionals talk about its use in the treatment of PTSD and other mental disorders.
Episode 4 got into Mescaline and peyote. This episode took a much different approach talking to tribal leaders and shaman from various North American tribes. I liked this episode a lot as it covered the religious aspect of psychedelics as a sacrament.
All 4 episodes were deep dives into the main topic. The topics were approached in an incredibly serious and practical manner. Most of it covered the actual medical uses of these plants and compounds.
The other question it asks is why are these plants and substances banned. Not only are they banned, but it's like people try to make them go away by banning all research. How did this even happen? These are many of the questions each episode asks and looks to answer as well as laying out the groundwork for how these substances could benefit us.
I love documentaries like this because I think these are conversations we need to start having. The drug war turns otherwise innocent people into criminals for simply ingesting or experimenting with a compound. On top of that, we aren't talking about addictive drugs like cocaine and heroin. With the current fentanyl epidemic in this country, I'm even an advocate for the legalization of those so people can once again know what they're really ingesting. However, that's a topic for another conversation.
Another thing I loved about the documentary is how they address the propaganda and disinformation associated with a lot of these drugs. I remember the one study from the 90s that said a girl had literal holes rotting into her brain from heavy MDMA use. We were reading the study from a medical journal at a rave after-hours party. We all knew it was BS because everyone in the room would have either been dead or retarded. We're talking NY and Toronto club kids and ravers, we did A LOT of Ecstasy.
It turned out according to the documentary that it was actually from crystal meth. Not only that, the image was heavily manipulated for the propaganda and it was nowhere near what they said. I thought I remembered from back then that it was from Ketamine, but I think that was later disproven also. Anyway, it was funny seeing that report in the documentary and it brought back some fun memories.
I like that it also addressed some of the ulterior motives for the drug war with the hippie movement and also the racial and cultural issues of these laws. The entire series did a good job covering all things psychedelic. I think DMT deserved an appearance and was surprised they didn't address that particular drug.
This was just such a great look and conversation at a topic we're just not having nearly enough of in my humble opinion. I think drug use among ADULTS is a matter of freedom and personal choice. I don't think innocent people should be imprisoned for at best, being guilty of making a poor life choice and even that is debatable. Drugs aren't for everyone... I do get that aspect of the argument. For some though, they are a great comfort and also life-enhancing.
I finally found an IMDb rating I agree with. 7.9 out of 10 stars. I'd rate it about an 8 as far as drug documentaries are concerned.
If you're into drug culture and psychedelics I highly recommend this one. Even if you're not into drug culture, this series is worthy of an intelligent look at the topic. It takes an intelligent deep dive into a topic that's just not covered enough in modern society.