Why Don’t More Black People Use Psychedelics?

Robin Divine
12 min readAug 13, 2020
Photo by Andrew Ridley on Unsplash

What are Psychedelics?

According to the Psychedelic Society, Psychedelics are substances that induce a heightened state of consciousness The best known psychedelics are psilocybin (found in Magic Mushrooms), DMT (found in Ayahuasca), mescaline (found in Peyote and San Pedro Cacti) and LSD.

Studies suggest psychedelics could be a breakthrough therapy for mental health issues including depression, anxiety, addiction, OCD, and PTSD through their ability to work on a deep emotional as well as biological level.

Psychedelics can also bring about profoundly positive and meaningful experiences for people who aren’t facing any particular issue or difficulty. Many participants in a Johns Hopkins study said they were left with the sense that they understood themselves and others better and therefore had greater compassion and patience. Psychedelics may also improve creativity and problem-solving abilities.

Ok, But Why Don’t More Black People Use Psychedelics?

1. We Don’t Know About Them

The only thing I knew about psychedelics growing up was that one time in college, my hippie Mom tripped on LSD with a bunch of frat guys wearing togas. She smoked her fair share of pot which gave me a familiarity with drugs, but not psychedelics.

My own personal high school and college drug experiences didn’t involve hallucinogenics either. I attended an HBCU for college which is more than likely why I never ran across LSD or MDMA.

It wasn’t until this year when I heard the term “Psychedelic Renaissance” that I knew drugs such as LSD and magic mushrooms even still were still being heavily used. Research facilities such as MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) has started to receive substantial grants to run clinical trials studying the effectiveness of psychedelics in treating depression, PTSD and social anxiety.

How can we change the secrecy around psychedelics?

Well, we can start by decriminalizing drugs (many of which are naturally occurring eg: magic mushrooms) that actually help people. Once the threat of jail time is taken away, people will be more open…

Robin Divine

I write about mental health and I’m an advocate for making psychedelics accessible for Black Women. Insta: @blackpeopletrip email: blackpeopletrip@gmail.com