Trippy: The Peril and Promise of Medicinal Psychedelics (Hardcover)

Trippy: The Peril and Promise of Medicinal Psychedelics By Ernesto Londoño Cover Image
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A riveting look at the tremendous promise and inherent risks of the use of psychedelics in mental health treatment through the lens of a New York Times reporter whose journalistic exploration of this emerging field began with a personal crisis.

When he signed up for a psychedelic retreat run by a mysterious Argentine woman deep in Brazil’s rainforest in early 2018, Ernesto Londoño, a veteran New York Times journalist, was so depressed he had come close to jumping off his terrace weeks earlier. His nine-day visit to Spirit Vine Ayahuasca Retreat Center included four nighttime ceremonies during which participants imbibed a vomit-inducing plant-based brew that contained DMT, a powerful mind-altering compound.

The ayahuasca trips provided Londoño an instant reprieve from his depression and became the genesis of a personal transformation that anchors this sweeping journalistic exploration of the booming field of medicinal psychedelics. Londoño introduces readers to a dazzling array of psychedelic enthusiasts who are upending our understanding of trauma and healing. They include Indigenous elders who regard psychedelics as portals to the spirit world; religious leaders who use mind-bending substances as sacraments; war veterans suffering from PTSD who credit psychedelics with changing their lives; and clinicians trying to resurrect a promising field of medicine hastily abandoned in the 1970s as the United States declared a War on Drugs.

Londoño’s riveting personal narrative pulls the reader through a deeply researched and brilliantly reported account of a game-changing industry on the rise. Trippy is the definitive book on psychedelics and mental health today, and Londoño’s in-depth and nuanced look at this shifting landscape will be pivotal in guiding policymakers and readers as they make sense of the perils, limitations, and promises of turning to psychedelics in the pursuit of healing.

About the Author

Ernesto Londoño is a national correspondent at The New York Times, where he has worked since 2014. He was born and raised in Colombia and has spent two decades covering some of the most important stories of his generation. He covered the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; the Arab Spring; served on the editorial board of The New York Times; and was the newspaper's bureau chief in Brazil.

Praise For…

An Amazon Best Book of 2024
Oprah's Book Club recommendation

“A moving, tender and thoughtful exploration of a complicated subject. If you want to understand psychedelics better, this is a great place to start.”
—Johann Hari, New York Times bestselling author of Stolen Focus and Lost Connections

"A compulsively readable romp through a burgeoning scene that has immense potential for both harm and healing."
—Dan Harris, New York Times bestselling author of 10% Happier and host of the Ten Percent Happier podcast

"I loved the reported memoir Trippy: The Peril and Promise of Medicinal Psychedelics by the New York Times journalist Ernesto Londoño. A testament to the complexity of Londoño’s perspective is that some passages made me really want to try ayahuasca and some definitely didn’t. A thorough and fair-minded reporter, Londoño also writes movingly about his own extended family, experiences with depression, and delightfully unexpected courtship."
—Curtis Sittenfeld, The Guardian

"In Ernesto Londoño's courageous and revelatory book, a whole new continent sails into view: of the hidden corners of our minds, and of the mysterious substances that light them up. This journey inside the brain and around the world taught me more than any book I've read in a long time. It's an important book, one that will save people's lives."
—Benjamin Moser, Pulitzer Prize winning author of Sontag: Her Life and Work

“Trippy is a meticulously researched investigation into the brave new world of psychedelics. But it’s so much more than that. It’s the story of how — in learning about the passages other travelers found for relieving their pain — Ernesto Londoño found joy, love and illumination.”
—Jennifer Finney Boylan, author of She’s Not There and co-author of Mad Honey

"New York Times correspondent Londoño debuts with an arresting survey of the “medicinal psychedelic field” and where it’s headed...a scrupulous study of a fascinating development in mental health care.”
Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Blending solid research and personal experience, the author points to a new frontier for trauma treatment.”

“An engaging memoir…Trippy is a fascinating account of the world of medicinal psychedelics.”
—LA Times

Trippy: The Perils and Promise of Medicinal Psychedelics is Ernesto Londoño’s mix of candid personal reflection and deep reporting, illuminating a growing trend in mental health that many of us don’t understand.”
—NYT Columnist Frank Bruni's Opinion Newsletter

"Londoño has drunk the brew, but, thankfully, not the Kool-Aid…Seeing the perils and the promise of psychedelic experience play out in Londono's own mind, as he comes to terms over years with his own (quite considerable) personal traumas, is a privilege.”
—The Telegraph

“This title about utilizing medicinal psychedelics in the treatment plans of some conditions could easily have future public policy implications worldwide. The subject matter will be of interest to many readers.”
—Library Journal

Product Details
ISBN: 9781250878540
ISBN-10: 1250878543
Publisher: Celadon Books
Publication Date: May 7th, 2024
Pages: 320
Language: English