Michaela Haas in Reasons to be Cheerful:
Ralph Gerber* has tried nearly everything a wealthy alcoholic can try during two decades of excessive drinking: half a dozen stints in rehab, Alcoholics Anonymous, even a shaman-led quest through the Arizona desert. Each time, the treatments got him sober, yet the 48-year-old real estate broker in Los Angeles kept relapsing. His divorce, problems at his firm, the Covid lockdowns — there was always a trigger that sent him back to the gin.
In the spring of 2021, he decided to try a path that is not entirely legal. He flew to Denver, Colorado, to take a dose of psilocybin, the hallucinogenic component in magic mushrooms. “It was a journey into my innermost core,” is how Gerber describes the six-hour experience. “I felt flooded with love and was able to get in touch with long-suppressed feelings.” Six months later, he made the trip again for a second session. “I have been sober ever since,” he says proudly, half confident he’s reached the end of his addiction, half fearful the effects might eventually wear off.