Patients treated with psilocybin reported continued well-being after a year
Benefits for people who have had positive or even mystical experiences caused by the psychedelic drug psilocybin. — the psychoactive ingredient in “Magic Mushroom” — linger for up to a year. According to the most recent follow-up study of such patients. Benefits
The study provides further support for those who argue that. When used responsibly. Some of the most popular recreational drugs can be safely used to relieve stress associated with severe chronic diseases such as cancer.
“This experience has a compelling meaning and a spiritual component that is strongly preserved over time.” Says study lead author Roland Griffiths of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore.
Although only one dose was given to 36 patients in the original study. They still considered the trial to have valuable after-effects at the time of the follow-up study.
A group of new studies using psilocybin are now planned or underway in the United States. Hoping to ease cancer-related anxiety with just one dose with lasting positive results for patients.
The latest study, published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology 1, is a follow-up to a 2006 trial in which Griffiths. And colleagues gave high doses of psilocybin to 36 ‘spiritually inclined’ volunteers who had never taken a hallucinogen 2. Focusing on the inner self was encouraged. During their experience, and after two months many of them reported continuous and positive changes in their lives.
“Achieving pantheism and the relativity of ordinary consciousness… I’ve had glimpses of this before – but this was profound and sustained,” read one participant’s comments on the experiment. Another said, “to be with God is an experience beyond words.”
Previous studies have shown a similar effect, the most famous of which is the 1963 Good Friday experiment where psilocybin was administered to theology students in the church. However, this trial has not been peer-reviewed, and many studies completed in the 1960s were often inadequately followed up. Griffiths was keen to use measures adapted from recent studies to see if the life-enhancing traits people described in 2006 still hold.
Of the original 22 participants who had a “complete” mystical experience as defined by the Bankey-Richards Mystic Experiment Questionnaire, all but one still met the same criteria after 14 months.
Griffiths says that most volunteer experiences continue to result in positive changes in attitudes, behaviors, and moods.
After 14 months, 67% of participants rated therapy as one of the five most important spiritual moments in their lives, and 17% rated it as the most spiritually profound individual experience. In addition, 64% of people reported that their sense of well-being or life satisfaction increased. Benefits
It’s uncommon in psychopharmacology for a positive effect to persist for so long after a single dose, says Griffiths.
However, the study is based on a retrospective questionnaire and a sample of people with already spiritual inclinations. Griffiths acknowledges bias in the data, but says he’s looking forward to moving on to more robust future studies. A number of scientific questions and therapeutic applications are raised by this discovery.
But not everyone agrees that drugs have a place in medicine. While respecting the studies’ authors and their conclusions, we should remember that such drugs can have serious bad effects as well as good effects, says Griffith Edwards, professor emeritus of addiction research and co-founder of the National Center on Addiction. “There can be both mystical and self-destructive experiences,” he says.. Edwards adds that he worries that this will be taken as a catalyst for a new campaign for the medical profession. “Other ways exist for us to help people,” he says. Improved mood
Charles Grob, a professor at UCLA School of Medicine, recently finished treating his last patient in a study using psilocybin to treat cancer anxiety. He says studies of cancer patients in the 1950s and 1960s found that those people who had a transcendent or impersonal experience during a drug therapy session also had the most dramatic decrease in anxiety, improved mood, and an overall improved quality of life.
According to Grob, the study suggests a treatment model for difficult-to-treat conditions. A highly resistant and unresponsive population of patients may benefit from anesthetic medications when used by qualified facilitators under optimally safe conditions.
Griffiths and his team have also published 3 proposed guidelines for the safe clinical use of hallucinogens. “It is now safe to proceed with this research, but we must proceed with caution,” Griffiths says. As we’ve done in the past, we’re careful not to crash it again past 40 years because from a scientific point of view there is a lot of hope going forward with this research.”
Griffiths is currently recruiting subjects for a study using psilocybin to treat cancer anxiety. Which will be conducted at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine where it is based. Benefits