A recent large population study of 130,000 adults in the United States failed to find evidence for a link between psychedelic use (lysergic acid diethylamide, psilocybin or mescaline) and mental health problems. Using a new data set consisting of 135,095 randomly selected United States adults, including 19,299 psychedelic users, we examine the associations between psychedelic use and mental health. After adjusting for sociodemographics, other drug use and childhood depression, we found no significant associations between lifetime use of psychedelics and increased likelihood of past year serious psychological distress, mental health treatment, suicidal thoughts, suicidal plans and suicide attempt, depression and anxiety. We failed to find evidence that psychedelic use is an independent risk factor for mental health problems. Psychedelics are not known to harm the brain or other body organs or to cause addiction or compulsive use; serious adverse events involving psychedelics are extremely rare.
Overall, it is difficult to see how prohibition of psychedelics can be justified as a public health measure.
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Psychedelics have been the subject of experiments by scientists for decades but went out of favor with the law in the 1960s and 1970s when they “escaped the lab” and were picked up by proselytizers who helped give them a bad name, conference presenters said. This led to a backlash that slammed the lid on research for the next several decades.
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Cluster headaches are often viewed to be the most painful headaches anyone can experience. The authors interviewed 53 cluster headache patients who had used psilocybin or lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) to treat their condition. 22 of 26 psilocybin users reported that psilocybin aborted attacks; 25 of 48 psilocybin users and 7 of 8 LSD users reported cluster period termination; 18 of 19 psilocybin users and 4 of 5 LSD users reported remission period extension. Why is this an amazing find?
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I’ve always longed to be a part of the movement to legalize shrooms for medicinal purposes one day. And now, the dream is closer than ever! I never realized how close we were in research and how far forward we are in the process of doing so. This makes me really happy 🙂 Thank you psychedelic society!
Psilocybin, the psychoactive component in magic mushrooms, is proving a prodigious treatment for anxiety, depression, addiction and one study even found it may lead to neurogenesis (the regrowth of brain cells). Dr. David E. Nichols, one of the co-founders of the Heffter Research Institute, explains the steps it will take for medicinal psilocybin to be legalized.
Psilocybin has been recently tested for many purposes:
- Dr. Charles Grob at UCLA Harbor Medical Center: treatment of 12 terminal cancer patients who suffered from anxiety and depression. They were treated with a program of therapy that included psilocybin. Participants showed a significant reduction in anxiety at one and three months after treatment, with no significant adverse events.
- Dr. Roland Griffiths (Johns Hopkins University) and Dr. Stephen Ross (NYU): two additional studies were begun using psilocybin to treat anxiety and depression in cancer patients
- Dr. Michael Bogenschutz at University of New Mexico (UNM): a study of psilocybin-assisted therapy in a pilot study of 10 volunteers with alcohol dependence. Drinking decreased significantly beginning in the second month of treatment, after psilocybin was administered, and improvement remained significant for an additional six months of follow-up. There were strong correlations between the intensity of the experience in the first psilocybin session and clinical improvement following the session.
- Dr. Matthew Johnson at Johns Hopkins University: a pilot study administering psilocybin within a 15-week smoking cessation treatment. Participants were 15 healthy smokers with a mean of six previous lifetime quit attempts who were smoking an average of 19 cigarettes per day for 31 years. Measures of smoking behavior showed that 12 of the 15 participants (80%) were no longer smoking at six-month follow-up. This smoking cessation rate substantially exceeds rates commonly reported for other types of therapies (typically less than 35%). These findings suggest that psilocybin may be a useful and potentially efficacious adjunct to current smoking cessation treatment approaches, and warrant a follow-up clinical trial. Results also illustrate a framework for research on the efficacy and mechanisms of psychedelic-facilitated addiction treatment.
Currently, we are in Phase 2 of 3 in trying to legalize magic mushrooms, where we have to show statistical significance that it is safe and that it can treat the specified condition (in this case, it is anxiety and depression). However, Phase 3 is going to be a hard one and may take awhile to complete the studies.
There is no drug company or government support for these studies.
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