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Celebrity Endorsement of Psychedelics

0 2
in this article
  • Introduction
  • The Science
  • Celebrity Endorsements
  • Psychedelics and Celebrity Influence
  • Elevating Public Awareness
  • Expand Reach and Influence
  • Leverage Media Opportunities
  • Examples
  • Actors/Musicians
  • Writers
  • Scientists
  • Tech CEOs
  • Conclusion

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Chemical Collective or any associated parties

Introduction

Psychedelics are rapidly gaining popularity and acceptance worldwide. With these changes in not only the perception of psychedelic substances but also the corresponding changes in legality, an increasing number of prominent individuals are beginning to share their experiences. The potential health benefits they perceive to have encountered are often the main thrust of their motivation for adding to the public discourse.

Throughout history, ancient civilizations attributed profound cultural significance to these substances, incorporating them into various therapeutic, religious, and spiritual practices. This diverse and vibrant history of psychedelic use has undeniably left an indelible mark on the human narrative but has been sorely lacking in Western culture for many decades. Fast-forward to the cultural explosion of the 1960s, for the first surge in popularity of psychedelics within the counterculture movements of the West. Becoming tools for self-exploration and avenues for creativity, these substances found champions in influential figures of the era, with revered artists such as the Beatles openly embracing hallucinogens such as LSD and magic mushrooms.

While many years of moral panic and the ‘war on drugs’ prevented in-depth exploration of psychedelics, research is now rapidly growing in both scope and scale. The data seemingly validates the widespread claims of enhanced well-being associated with psychedelic use. As a result, the health and wellness sector is newly awash with an array of ringing celebrity endorsements. What are the effects of this?

The Science

psychedelic celebrity endorsements

Research reveals significant improvements in depression and anxiety, emphasizing the positive impact of psychedelics on emotional well-being – even with microdosing. Interestingly, these studies appear to indicate that the benefits of psychedelic use are observable after just one use, although greater exposure leads to more substantial improvements. Additionally, through the groundbreaking work of Roland R. Griffiths and others, there is emerging evidence of the positive effects of psilocybin in alleviating distress for individuals with cancer.

According to insights from The Atlantic, psychedelics induce neuroplasticity, altering the human brain, and potentially aiding individuals in overcoming fear and anxiety linked to past trauma. However, it’s crucial to acknowledge limitations and potential drawbacks. Some proponents’ claims may be overstated, and adverse effects, including the occurrence of “bad trips,” are well-documented. Despite the need for further research, the necessity to explore the benefits of psychedelics is strongly evident.

Celebrity Endorsements

Evidence suggests that the endorsement of a product or cause by a celebrity can significantly sway public perception. An article on Venable.com highlights the findings of two studies that specifically explored the influence of celebrities on advertising and marketing nonprofit organisations. The initial study established a significant correlation between a celebrity’s connection to an organisation or product and the intention of individuals to volunteer their time or donate money. This emphasizes the role of source credibility when promoting something, and a known celebrity with die-hard fans or well-known expertise has built credibility into their public persona. The following study investigated the impact of attractiveness as a means of judging an individual’s credibility, which also lined up with widespread perceptions of celebrities.

Psychedelics and Celebrity Influence

The influence of celebrities can be a powerful catalyst to raise awareness of psychedelic causes and initiatives. This creates a unique platform to educate and engage the public on the potential benefits and transformative effects of these substances. The fact that much of the information being shared is anecdotal and often extremely emotional in nature makes it particularly powerful. A lot of the time this information isn’t even actively promoting a specific cause or substance but is more just a desire to share positive, personal experiences. This only serves to further serve the power of their input, as it is perceived as honest.

Elevating Public Awareness

Whether championing the need for decriminalisation, promoting therapeutic applications, or endorsing research, celebrities lend their star power to increase public awareness. Much like traditional charitable causes, the spotlight on psychedelics becomes more pronounced when embraced by high-profile figures. This endorsement attracts media attention and resonates with the public, fostering a wider cultural understanding of psychedelic exploration.

Expand Reach and Influence

Celebrity endorsement extends beyond the immediate circles of existing supporters. By collaborating with celebrities passionate about psychedelics, these causes gain access to broader audiences that might otherwise remain unengaged. The influence of a celebrity’s endorsement can bridge the gap between the psychedelic movement and demographics unfamiliar with the current landscape (which has changed dramatically in the last several years). This expansion of reach opens doors to potential new donors, supporters, and advocates, bringing fresh perspectives to the cause.

With their diverse fan bases, celebrities present a unique opportunity to connect with varied demographics. Psychedelic charities, continually have to tackle the lingering effects of the war on drugs on public perception – often navigating misconceptions and stigmas. Causes can benefit immensely from the ability of celebrities to break down these barriers.

Leverage Media Opportunities

Securing positive media coverage is difficult. Whether through social media advocacy, spokesperson roles, or more substantial engagements like ambassadorships, celebrities can amplify the visibility of psychedelic charities. The media is naturally attracted to high-profile personalities aligned with particular psychedelic causes, or initiatives. This immediately provides valuable coverage. If this is an active process by an organisation, the strategic selection of celebrities can serve to ensure not only increased reach but also sustained media attention, fostering an environment where the discourse around psychedelics can thrive.

Examples

Here we will spotlight a diverse selection of celebrities who have candidly shared their experiences with these mind-altering substances. Some cite the profound effects these psychedelic encounters have had on themselves – their mental health, perspectives on the world, and overall well-being. Others more actively represent specific causes.

Actors/Musicians

psychedelic celebrity endorsements

Aubrey Plaza

Aubrey Plaza, known for her roles in “White Lotus” and “Parks and Recreation,” shared a lighthearted psychedelic adventure on The Late Night Show with Stephen Colbert. Lost in Italy on a low dose of magic mushrooms with co-star Meghann Fahy, Plaza had a lot of fun! She also discussed the potential benefits of mushrooms for depression.

Harry Styles

Singer-songwriter Harry Styles shared a unique anecdote involving magic shrooms, a bitten tongue, and Paul McCartney’s music. Despite the tongue mishap, he described the experience as the perfect day, make of that what you will.

Kristen Bell

The versatile actress from “The Good Place” and the voice of Anna in “Frozen,” Kristen Bell, experienced psychedelics for her 40th birthday. After reading Michael Pollan’s “How To Change Your Mind,” Bell tried psilocybin mushrooms. Her journey led to what she described as a transformative appreciation for her body.

Post Malone

In an interview on The Joe Rogan Podcast, rapper Post Malone shared his creative journey after consuming “shroomies chocolates” with his producer. The psychedelic trip fueled their musical collaboration, resulting in a memorable, creative experience.

Chelsea Handler

Comedian and talk show host Chelsea Handler has been open about her use of psychedelics, particularly microdosing. In her Netflix show, “Chelsea Does,” she travelled to Peru for an ayahuasca experience, emphasizing the journey’s focus on opening her mind to love and compassion.

Paul Simon

Paul Simon of Simon and Garfunkel reportedly drew inspiration from ayahuasca for his song “Spirit Voices.” Simon’s experimentation with South African, Latin, and Mesoamerican elements in his music mirrored his openness to psychedelic experiences.

Susan Sarandon

Actress Susan Sarandon candidly discussed her history of psychedelic use in interviews for more than ten years, highlighting her preference for outdoor experiences. Her reflections on psychedelics described a sense of reframing one’s space in the universe, fostering profound experiences.

Cary Grant

In a surprising revelation from the 1950s, actor Cary Grant credited LSD psychotherapy with saving his life. Seeking treatment, after his wife’s endorsement, Grant underwent over 100 LSD trips, experiencing a mental health breakthrough during a period when psychedelic research was temporarily still accepted.

Carrie Fisher

Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher, dealing with bipolar disorder and addiction, had positive experiences with LSD. While acknowledging her young exploration of hallucinogens, she highlighted the fun aspects but advised a safe environment.

Sting

Sting recounted a special trip in the Netflix documentary Have a Good Trip.

His psychedelic adventure involved nature coming alive, contemplations on mortality, and quite unexpectedly assisting a cow in giving birth while on peyote.

Miley Cyrus

Actress and singer Miley Cyrus has revealed her usage of ayahuasca for its purported healing properties. Her psychedelic journey included encounters with snakes and visions of “Mother Ayahuasca.” Despite past drug use, after the experience, she decided to scale back and focus on her career and health.

Writers

psychedelic celebrity endorsements

Jean-Paul Sartre

French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, the creator of existentialism, recounted a particularly difficult mescaline trip. While the experience involved unpleasant lobster-like creatures, Sartre also expressed the long-term benefits of the experience and a continued fondness for mescaline later.

William James

American writer and philosopher William James seamlessly blended science and religion in his works. Nitrous oxide played a role in his exploration of different forms of consciousness, contributing to his unique perspective.

Deepak Chopra

Present-day spirituality and wellness author Deepak Chopra explored psychedelic usage out of curiosity about the mind-body connection. His experiences with ayahuasca ceremonies and LSD left him with deep compassion and a desire to alleviate suffering which informed much of his following work.

Scientists

psychedelic celebrity endorsements

Francis Crick

Nobel Prize-winning biophysicist Francis Crick, a key figure in discovering the double helix, was known for his regular LSD use. While the claim of discovering the double helix under LSD’s influence lacks definitive proof, it is widely accepted that LSD played a large role in the discovery.

John C. Lilly

Isolation tank innovator and dolphin enthusiast John C. Lilly openly discussed his adventures with LSD. His book, “Programming and Metaprogramming in the Human Biocomputer,” related his psychedelic experiments.

Kary Mullis

Inventor of polymerase chain reaction (PCR), Kary Mullis, a Nobel Prize winner, synthesised and openly experimented with LSD at UC Berkeley.

Humphrey Davy

Pre-Victorian inventor and chemist Humphrey Davy engineered an air-tight breathing box for inhaling nitrous oxide. His pursuit of scientific and self-exploration, facilitated by “laughing gas,” coexisted with his inventions in electrochemistry.

Tech CEOs

Steve Jobs

Apple co-founder and CEO Steve Jobs attributed his success partly to psychedelics, particularly LSD. For Jobs, the profound experience reinforced his focus on creating great things over monetary pursuits.

Bill Gates

Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, in a well-known 1994 interview with PlayBoy, discussed his experience with LSD in his younger years.

Elon Musk

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is rumoured to be a seasoned psychonaut. Public endorsements and his association with Burning Man have fueled speculations about his psychedelic experiences.

Conclusion

This is just a small section of the increasing number of celebrities and well-known individuals openly discussing their psychedelic usage, or actively advocating their benefits. These narratives illustrate the profound influence of psychedelics for shaping conversations on healing, inspiration, and self-discovery. It is clear that the dialogue around these substances is expanding, with each public figure contributing to the continued “psychedelic renaissance” and increasing public knowledge and awareness.

David Blackbourn | Community Blogger at Chemical Collective

David is one of our community bloggers here at Chemical Collective. If you’re interested in joining our blogging team and getting paid to write about subjects you’re passionate about, please reach out to David via email at blog@chemical-collective.com

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maciek62829
29 days ago

I recommend everyone Polish writer’s – Witkacy – book “Drugs”. He describes his experiences with many drugs like Mescaline or Morphine. Even tho the book was published ~100 years ago, its still relevant.

Adbl0ck
1 month ago

when you can stimulate your brain to be better, there’s no need to hide from it, so make the most of it! 
Thanks steve jobs , bill gates & elon

when I’ve taken my microdoses, I feel 10x more productive, and that’s not just any old job! 

let’s keep going 

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