New Title: Ten Trips The New Reality of Psychedelics By Andy Mitchell

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Ten Trips

The New Reality of Psychedelics

By Andy Mitchell


It’s been five years since Michael Pollan’s bestselling book How to Change Your Mind brought psychedelics into the cultural mainstream. In his hilarious, groundbreaking page-turner Ten Trips: The New Reality of Psychedelics (Harper Wave; 9780063220386; On-Sale October 10th), British neuropsychologist Andy Mitchell is a well-timed and much-needed update and riposte to everything that followed Pollan’s book.

Once demonized and still largely illegal, psychedelic drugs are now officially a “breakthrough therapy” in treating mental illness, used to heal trauma, conquer addiction, and enhance well-being. We are living in a psychedelic renaissance, with major university hospitals such as Johns Hopkins, NYU, and Stanford funding major research. Legalization efforts has ramped up across the United States. Even major celebrities such as Russell Brand and Prince Harry, have tried and advocated for this alternative treatment. With venture capitalists and assorted corporations planting their various flags, the Renaissance has become a veritable gold-rush of mind-altering substances.

Andy provides a much needed, fresh prospective on psychedelics, why they’re important, how they might be abused, and how to harness the true benefits from taking them. Ten Trips combines a survey of the latest medical and spiritual applications of the drugs as Mitchell adopts a first-person scientific-practitioner approach taking ten different drugs in ten diverse locations to take the reader on a journey about psychedelics and the power they hold—for better and for worse.. Incorporating the latest science and therapeutic approaches the book is also a serious, and at times, hilarious travelogue of the state we’re in; the book tis own hilarious hallucinogenic experience that can be as mind-blowing as actually taking psychedelics themselves.

Mitchell Ten Trips is comprised of ten chapters, each of which focuses on a specific substance:

  • Ketamine
  • Psilocybin (magic mushrooms)
  • MDMA (Ecstasy)
  • Ibogaine
  • Ayahuasca
  • 5MEO-DMT (Buffo toad venom)
  • LSD
  • Coca
  • Yage
  • Wachuma (San Pedro)

Throughout each experience Mitchell encounters a cast of distinctive characters who also provide their own insight, including scientists and gangsters, venture capitalists and philosophers, psychonauts, shamans, monks, therapists, and many more. Mitchell aims to open a doorway to psychedelics’ full potential: for healing and trauma, for ecstatic one-ness and utter terror, for transcendence and corruption, for profundity and laughter.

Mitchell argues that by removing psychedelics from their cultures and rituals, both indigenous and underground, we risk rejecting the expertise and the contexts which hold the key to understanding them—and from which their real benefits may derive. In the drive to standardize, control, and monetize the psychedelic experience, we may ultimately destroy what makes them potent: their ability to transform our whole perspective on mental health and reenchant us with the world. Ultimately whatever model we use to interpret the psychedelic experience – neuroscientific, psychotherapeutic, spiritual, or shamanic – it tends to breakdown, becoming more of a reflection of that particular ‘way of seeing’ than facts about the drugs themselves.

About the Author:

Though Andy didn’t really go near a psychedelic drug until he was approaching fifty, his life has been somewhat trippy in its own right.

Growing up in Leeds he was the singer in a punk band called ‘Armitage Shanks’—named after the UK’s premier toilet manufacturer. He read English Literature at Oxford and after flirting with a career in academic philosophy, he spent several years as an avant-gardish screenwriter—there’s a good reason you’ve never seen classics like ‘God’s Toxic Piss’ and the Rom-Com ‘World of Pain.’

Plagued by pretentiousness and uselessness, Andy ran a separate career helping to establish an NGO which provided emotional and practical to support to the homeless in Leeds. Later he would work in a similar vein with Mexican gangs in Los Angeles and with disabled children in Northern India.This work implied broader existential questions and in his late twenties Andy spent three years as a monk, in Big Sur, California.

It was only in his early thirties that Andy began his clinical career, first of all in psychology and later in neuroscience. Over the next fifteen years he worked across a range of mental health and neurological settings, from intensive care to community rehabilitation. With a longstanding background in meditation he recently took a sabbatical in Asia to consider ways in which different mindfulness practices might be applied to neurological patients.

And it was during this sabbatical that Andy stumbled into his first psychedelic ceremony.

Curiously this has led him, full circle, back to writing again—books but also tv screenplays—as well as voluntary clinical work in Europe, America and Asia.

Advance Praise for

Ten Trips

“An original and thrilling investigation into psychedelics and the claims and narratives that currently surround them. Ten Trips is perfectly pitched for those who are looking for a deeper exploration of the psychedelic experience and its possible meanings.”

   — Mike Jay, author of Psychonauts: Drugs and the Making of the Modern Mind

“A dazzling, timely book, as deep and poignant as it is madcap and hilarious—exactly what you’d want from a book on psychedelics. Mitchell does something rare: he takes a promising, voguish region of interest in medical neuroscience and deepens it so that the whole culture is implicated.”

   — Professor Mark Lythgoe, director of the Centre for Advanced Biomedical Imaging, University College London

“A hair-raising hurtle of a ride into the belly of the ‘psychedelic renaissance,’ exposing and dissecting its perils and pitfalls, as well as the marvels and mysteries the ‘medicines’ can open up, all fueled by spectacular prose, and by the urgency of a desperate quest for healing of self, world and culture. Neuroscience, extractive post-colonialism, religion, therapy, addiction treatment, meditation, the contemporary wellbeing industry—all are given a thorough shaking-out, with as much brilliantly rendered trip porn as you could ever hope for.”

   — Henry Shukman, Spiritual Director, Mountain Cloud Zen Center

“An incisive, deeply personal, and beautifully written account of the power, the uses, and the modern misuses of psychedelics. Highly recommended.”

   — Professor Anil Seth, bestselling author of Being You: A New Science of Consciousness


“A captivating exploration of the mind’s untapped potential. In this deep dive into the realms of altered consciousness, Andrew Mitchell investigates the complexities of the psychedelic renaissance. A clever, groundbreaking and often hilarious insight into the world of modern mysticism and the inner workings of the mind. A must-read for anyone interested in this important and fascinating subject.”

   — Levison Wood, explorer and author of Walking the Himalayas


“Mitchell is a gifted writer, sprightly and light, yet profound; the nature of his inquiry—namely, the professional and corporate appropriation of hallucinogenics—is generously handled, with a healthy amount of skepticism. He has a big heart and a wide eye, and a great ear for dialogue. Mitchell is not afraid to put himself—warts and all—in the telling, to make it personal, and it is this that makes Ten Trips hum, true, and real.”

   — Michael Taussig, anthropologist and author of Mastery of Non-Mastery in the Age of Meltdown


“Utterly compelling. Some books are in a category of their own and this is one them. Reading it is like having an out of body experience.”

   — Mark Miodownik, author of Stuff Matters


“Beguiling, captivating, mind-expanding. It’s impossible to read this book and not be tempted to replicate some of its wild, sanity-stretching forays into the peculiarities of human perception.”

   — Stuart Ritchie, author of Science Fictions


In Ten Trips, Andy Mitchell captures psychedelics’ gonzo spirit and speaks to the psychonaut in all of us.”

   — Katherine MacLean, author Midnight Water: A Psychedelic Memoir


“Eagle-eyed, poetic and always playful, Ten Trips is chock-full of profane illumination.”

   — Tehseen Noorani, Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, University of Auckland


“Mitchell’s decapod of delirious drug experiences is an antidote to the hype and a rallying cry to keep psychedelics . . . psychedelic.”

   — Josh Hardman, Psychedelic Alpha


“The psychedelic world has been waiting for this book: a sceptic’s account of the allure of psychedelics.”

   — Erika Dyck, Professor in History of Health & Social Justice, University of Saskatchewan

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