An advertisement by the Partnership for a Drug Free America

The Story Behind “This is Your Brain on Drugs”

How did the campaign behind the Partnership for a Drug Free America’s iconic commercials develop, and why were its products so memorable?
Royal Air Force bombers, 1938

The RAF on Speed: High-Flying or Flying High?

Drug use during World War II, especially by Nazis, was typically viewed as immoral. But what about when it was approved by leaders of the Royal Air Force?
Jean-Paul Sartre in front of a swirling background of red crabs

That Time Jean-Paul Sartre Got High on Mescaline

The French existentialist got more than he bargained for when he went in search of drug-induced inspiration for his philosophical writings.
Maia Szalavits

On Drugs and Harm Reduction with Maia Szalavitz

Author of Undoing Drugs and NYT columnist Szalavitz talks history, science, media shifts, politics, and how the US might mitigate its overdose crisis.
Terence McKenna

Terence McKenna’s Anarchic Psychedelic Religion

Terence McKenna was an evangelist for the use of psilocybin and other mind-altering drugs, as a way to transcend and escape “untrammeled rationalism.”
Valium

Just Saying No To Valium

Ninety million bottles of Valium were dispensed yearly in the U.S. during the mellow Seventies. What happened?
An illustration of a woman experiencing information overload

ADHD: The History of a Diagnosis

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder has been a controversial diagnosis since it was first described, back in the 1940s.
Sierra Tarahumara

Where Drug Trafficking and Climate Change Collide

With mounting pressure from cartels and worsening environmental conditions, Mexico’s Indigenous Rarámuri communities face a fraught future.
An Ayahuasca visual

The Colonization of the Ayahuasca Experience

“If someone is from the Amazon,” says Evgenia Fotiou, an anthropologist who studies Western ayahuasca usage, “they bring some legitimacy” to an ayahuasca ritual.
Mimosa pudica

Plant of the Month: The Sensitive Plant

This plant’s animal-like behavior and alleged love-provoking abilities have sparked the imagination of everyone from early modern yogis to today’s scientists.