Could Hollywood’s favorite party drug spark an American epidemic of psycho killers? After a pilot on a bad tri

Shutting down a passenger aircraft’s engines in mid-air is not a recommended procedure in a flight manual. But Alaska Airlines pilot Joseph Emerson certainly wasn’t following the rules.

The 44-year-old father of two was off duty but caught a ride – as pilots often do – in the cockpit of an Alaska flight from Washington state to San Francisco last month. He is accused of attempting to grab and pull two emergency handles that would have activated the plane’s “fire suppression system,” cutting off fuel supply to the engines – and potentially causing catastrophic consequences.

Luckily, he was overpowered and held back by the crew – but not before he also tried to open an emergency exit door.

He is now charged with 83 counts of attempted murder – one for each passenger on Flight 2059. He has pleaded not guilty.

Emerson’s wife, Sarah, spoke to reporters outside the courthouse last month about her disbelief, saying, “That’s not my Joe.” He would never have knowingly done such a thing.

Shutting down a passenger aircraft’s engines in mid-air is not a recommended procedure in a flight manual. But Alaska Airlines pilot Joseph Emerson certainly wasn’t following the rules. The 44-year-old father of two was off duty but sitting in the cockpit of an Alaska plane when he allegedly tried to pull two emergency handles that would have activated the plane’s “fire suppression system” and cut off fuel to the engines. He is now charged with 83 counts of attempted murder – one for each passenger on Flight 2059. He has pleaded not guilty.

Meanwhile, the couple’s neighbors in Pleasant Hill, California, described Emmerson to DailyMail.com as “lovely and amazing.”

So what can explain his sudden deranged and possibly murderous act?

In an interview with The New York Times on Friday, Emerson admitted that he had taken magic mushrooms – the powerful hallucinogenic mushroom scientifically known as psilocybin – about two days before the flight.

The drugs caused “anxious” and “traumatic” thoughts and, as he told investigators at the time of his arrest, left him unable to sleep for 40 hours.

Once on board, Emerson said he felt like he was having a “panic attack” and wondered if he was dreaming. He reached out to turn off the engines, believing it would help him “wake up.”

He also spoke of his struggles with depression and grief over the recent death of a close friend, which may explain his impulse to take the mushrooms in the first place.

Finally, there is a growing body of thought that calls “mushrooms” a miracle cure for treating a myriad of mental health issues, from post-traumatic stress disorder to anxiety and depression.

In 2018, the Food and Drug Administration even decided to give psilocybin a “breakthrough therapy” designation.

This growing hype around magic mushrooms is due in large part to celebrity endorsement.

Prince Harry recently joined the many stars, including Mike Tyson, Seth Rogen, Miley Cyrus, Kristen Bell and Harry Styles, who made public claims about the supposed “benefits” of psychedelics.

The headstrong prince, who says mind-altering drugs were a “fundamental part” of his life, confided in his memoir “Spare” earlier this year that he once took psilocybin at the Los Angeles home of “Friends” actress Courtney Cox , after he found “black” “Diamond Mushroom Chocolate” in her fridge during a party.

“My buddy and I grabbed several, devoured them, [and] “I washed it down with tequila,” Harry revealed, adding that he then started hallucinating in Cox’s bathroom.

In an interview with The New York Times on Friday, Emerson admitted that he had taken magic mushrooms – the powerful hallucinogenic mushroom scientifically known as psilocybin – about two days before the flight.

“There was a round silver trash can next to the toilet,” he wrote. “I stared at the trash can. It stared back. Then it became… a head. I stepped on the pedal and the head opened its mouth. A wide, open grin. I laughed, turned away and was horrified.’

Very silly – but it’s exactly the kind of bizarre story that infuriates experts who say Harry and company are reinforcing the dangerous misconception that psychedelics are harmless fun.

Because while magic mushrooms may offer promising therapies (though it’s important to emphasize that the science is not yet conclusive), some users – and those around them – could face deadly consequences.

As with other psychedelics such as LSD, magic mushrooms induce a “trip” that affects all of the senses and alters a person’s thinking, sense of time, and emotions. They can cause hallucinations in which users see or hear things that do not exist or are drastically distorted.

The effects are immediate and can last for hours.

In the best case scenario, you feel a feeling of euphoria and then return to normality.

However, it’s almost impossible to know whether you’ll have a “good” trip, as some people instead experience frightening paranoia, aggression and disorientation – as well as a variety of other potential reactions, including uncontrollable shaking, loss of muscle control and, in the worst case scenario, a full-blown one “psychotic” episode.

Even more frightening, research shows that the mental effects of a “trip” can alter someone for the rest of their life, causing recurring hallucinations or “flashbacks” even years after use.

But despite all this, the feverish excitement surrounding psilocybin has reached the highest echelons of the US government – and some predict that the drug will follow closely behind cannabis as the next widely decriminalized or even fully legalized substance in America.

In Congress, former Republican soldiers are now joining forces with liberal Democrats to push for the U.S. military to investigate claims that psilocybin could help treat soldiers with PTSD.

More states are now actively considering legislation to expand access to psilocybin, while both Oregon and Colorado have already legalized it for “therapeutic” use.

Scientists have told DailyMail.com their fears about this rush, which is largely due to commercial greed from potential sellers and scientifically ill-informed excitement to make mushrooms widely available.

According to the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, 1.4 million Americans tried psychedelics for the first time in 2020 alone.

Much of this usage clearly occurs on the black market.

Prince Harry recently joined the many stars, including Mike Tyson, Seth Rogen, Miley Cyrus, Kristen Bell and Harry Styles, who made public claims about the supposed “benefits” of psychedelics. The headstrong prince, who says mind-altering drugs were a “fundamental part” of his life, confided in his memoir Spare earlier this year that he once stayed at the home of Friends actress Courtney Cox (pictured) afterward Los Angeles took psilocybin during a party and found “Black Diamond Mushroom Chocolate” in her fridge.

Of course, psilocybin use is currently low compared to cannabis – but interest is booming and the market for “legal” psychedelics is expected to be worth more than $7 billion over the next five years.

Food and drinks enriched with psilocybin are particularly popular. At parties, in addition to dessert wine and after-dinner scotch, “edibles” made from magic mushrooms – chocolates, gummy bears, tea – are increasingly being offered.

And it’s not hard to get there: In many US states, the state of drug enforcement is downright absurd, so mushrooms are often sold under the counter in marijuana shops in areas where weed is legal with virtual impunity.

In drug-ravaged New York, dealers have become so brazen that DailyMail.com has obtained copies of their business cards dropped through strangers’ doors in trendy Brooklyn neighborhoods like Williamsburg.

This summer, Oregon became the first state to open licensed “psilocybin service centers,” meaning adults over 21 can experience a “trip” on mushrooms.

So far, only five companies have been approved to produce psilocybin in Oregon, with 13 locations approved to conduct “dosing sessions.”

Although the centers purport to have a therapeutic role for people with mental health problems, clients do not require a doctor’s referral or prescription.

To the concern of experts, the licensed “facilitator” who accompanies each paying customer during their trip (sometimes for up to six hours) does not have to be a doctor.

Clients cannot take the medication away and must remain at the center until the effects wear off.

It’s not cheap either – at one of two centers in the city of Bend, a single session costs about $3,000. This includes a preparatory meeting and a follow-up appointment a few days later.

Meanwhile, Colorado has gone even further. Although the state is in the process of establishing a network of licensed centers similar to Oregon’s, it is now legal for adults over 21 to make magic mushroom “edibles” at home.

Psilocybin supporters had hoped that California – already committed to legalizing cannabis – would be the next state to take the plunge and legalize mushrooms.

But given that the main argument in their favor was their supposed therapeutic benefits, recent headlines about the transformation of a local California pilot into a potential mass murderer are definitely a blow to the cause.

Just weeks before the Emerson incident, California Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill that would have legalized the possession of mushrooms and other psychedelics, saying he needed to put better safeguards in place before moving forward.

Because while magic mushrooms may offer promising therapies (though it’s important to emphasize that the science is not yet conclusive), some users – and those around them – could face deadly consequences. (Pictured: Harry Styles admitted to taking magic mushrooms). Some people experience frightening paranoia, aggression, and disorientation after taking magic mushrooms—as well as a variety of other possible reactions, including uncontrollable shaking, loss of muscle control, and, in the worst cases, a full-blown “psychotic” episode. (Pictured: Kristen Bell has spoken about taking the drug).

This would need to include measures to “prevent exploitation” and protect those most likely to develop a psychotic reaction.

Many experts share such concerns.

Certainly it doesn’t help that magic mushrooms – once as central to 1960s culture as anti-war protests and the Beatles – have a fuzzy, hippie and perhaps even comical image that rivals other equally dangerous psychedelic drugs such as LSD and MDMA (also known as Ecstasy ) do not own.

On a mass scale, this widespread misunderstanding could have catastrophic consequences.

And certainly the drama aboard the Alaska Airlines flight was a frightening wake-up call.

Of course, psilocybin advocates quickly absolved the drug of blame, saying there was no trace of it in a user’s body after 24 hours. However, according to experienced researchers, that is by no means the whole story.

UCLA professor Charles Grob is one of the world’s leading experts on psilocybin and has been researching it for more than three decades. He told DailyMail.com that Emerson experienced what “sounds like a psychotic reaction.”

During one such “manic episode,” Grob explained: “[the user’s] The mind begins to race and their imagination goes out of control, they become delusional.”

Dr. Matthew Johnson, a psychiatrist and psychedelics expert at Johns Hopkins University, agreed, saying, “Some people have the naive view that once a drug is no longer in your body, it can no longer affect you. “

He added that he believes Emerson experienced “derealization,” a feeling of detachment from his surroundings.

Apparently the aviation industry is also concerned.

After Emerson’s arrest, the Association of Flight Attendants warned its members about the risks of psilocybin, pointing out that many believe that “microdosing” – consuming very small amounts – makes it possible to avoid full-blown hallucinogenic experiences However, the strength of psilocybin is too great. Each mushroom varies enormously, making precise dosage control very difficult.

The union also said psilocybin can interact with medications like antidepressants in “unpredictable and potentially dangerous” ways.

Experts told Dailymail.com that taking psilocybin must be done under clinical supervision.

This includes screening subjects for underlying diseases or risks (from very high blood pressure to schizophrenic parents, there can be side effects) and taking the drug under supervision.

Unfortunately, that doesn’t sound like what’s on offer at your average social gathering, even Courtney Cox’s.

The most immediate challenge, then, is to address this alarming misperception of psilocybin as a harmless party accessory, whether or not it becomes more widely legalized.

“Looking at it as an alternative to getting drunk on a Saturday night is a worrying model.” “Combining it with alcohol and other drugs can be very problematic,” warns Dr. Rough.

He and other experts emphasize that psilocybin and other psychedelics require much more research to fully understand the risks — and, yes, potential benefits.

The passengers and crew of Alaska Flight 2059 were very lucky. If the rush to legalize magic mushrooms continues unchecked, there will be many more “bad trips” that could prove infinitely worse.

Originally posted 2023-11-12 15:48:29.


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