Magic Mushrooms The New Cure For Addiction
Category: Drugs & Addiction
Psychedelic magic mushrooms have been used for centuries for social, religious and medicinal purposes.
They are commonly called magic mushrooms due to their hallucinogenic properties. When ingested, users can experience a wide variety of effects. Researchers have been studying the effects of these mushrooms and believe that they can be used as a potential therapeutic option for a variety of mental health issues including anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder , and addiction.
While many associate mushrooms with substance abuse, they are not physically addictive themselves, although they can be habit-forming. The active chemical inside mushrooms, psilocybin, can make users see the world differently, causing researchers to explore how it works and how these side effects can be potentially therapeutic.
Do Doctors Recommend Using Lsd Or Mushrooms To Treat Anxiety And Depression
The short answer is no, doctors and psychiatrists dont recommend microdosing at least not in its current form. In addition to the risks assumed by sourcing an illegal drug, Gandotra points to the potential for building a tolerance and accidentally taking too much of the substance in question, even if your intention is to microdose.
Unfortunately, tolerance develops and doses have to go up to produce the same effect over time. That’s where the risk truly lies, he says.
Even doctors and psychiatrists who are the most excited about the therapeutic potential of psychedelics agree that self-medicating is a dangerous prospect. Dimitriu urges anyone set on trying microdosing to embrace the buddy system. You need a flight instructor, he says. Why are you getting in an airplane without a copilot when you haven’t flown before? That really holds true, I think. You need some sort of support.
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Shrooms: A Long Strange Trip Through Time
Magic mushrooms have been used for more than 10,000 years in various spiritual and medical rituals for their ability to alter consciousness and trigger mystical experiences.
As the story goes, R. Gordon Wasson, an American banker, and mushroom enthusiast was vacationing with his wife in Mexico in 1955 when they became the first outsiders to participate in the Mazatec Indians sacred mushroom rituals with a healer named Maria Sabina. He brought some of the mushrooms back to his home in New York City, and later shared his experience in Mexico in a Life magazine article published in 1957, when LSDa chemically-similar psychedelic but about 1000 times more potentwas already being studied for its ability to treat alcoholism and other psychiatric illnesses.
Three years later, two Harvard psychologistsTimothy Leary and Richard Alpertbegan to explore how cognition, perception, and emotion are impacted by psychedelic drugs. They started the notorious Harvard Psilocybin Project, which involved administering psilocybin to student volunteers to document its effects. Bear in mind, psilocybin and LSD were legal then, but both Leary and Alpert were also tripping during their experiments, which ultimately got them fired in 1963.
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Clinical Studies On Psilocybin
Though clinical studies on psilocybin have been difficult to perform in the United States since the passage of the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, which put significant restrictions on scientific research on all substances classified as Schedule I drugs, limited research has been performed in the US and abroad. These studies indicate that psilocybin can effectively be used to combat anxiety and depression, particularly among individuals who are approaching the end of their lives due to terminal diseases like cancer. Mitchell et al noted that symptoms of this form of anxiety and/or depression occur in between 30% and 40% of cancer patients in hospital settings. However, therapies to address this problem are wanting. Writing in 2016, Ross et al noted that there are currently no pharmacotherapies or evidence-based combined pharmacological-psychosocial interventions to treat this type of distress and unmet clinical need in cancer patients.
A study conducted by Griffiths et al that was published in 2016 found that a group with clinical anxiety and depression caused by their life-threatening cancer diagnoses largely reported improvements in mood and attitude directly after the consumption of psilocybin. During the follow-up six months later, these results were largely unchanged. A study by Grob et al produced similar results.
What Does Psychedelic Therapy Actually Look Like
We have had success in demonstrating that psychedelics tackle particularly depression, as well as the mental distress associated with life-threatening illnesses, addictions, and more, Alan Davis, Ph.D., adjunct assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, tells SELF.
In a study from Dr. Davis and his colleagues, published in November 2020 in JAMA Psychiatry, 24 participants with depression were randomly assigned to receive psilocybin-assisted therapy immediately or after an eight-week wait. They found that participants who underwent the therapy had significantly improved depression symptoms compared to the participants who were still waiting. And overall, after everyone had gotten the treatment, 71% of the participants were in remission from depression four weeks after their treatment.
This is an encouraging but relatively small study . However, its not like the participants just took a capsule and their depression vanished into thin air. This study outlined a model for a psychedelic-assisted therapeutic approach, which requires a structured and supervised setting and well-trained providers.
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What The Research On Psilocybin Therapy Shows
Whats most interesting about psilocybin is its ability to address a few different types of conditions. The most promising potential is for addictionsmoking, alcoholism, cocaine, says Matthew W. Johnson, PhD, a professor of psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University and associate director of the Center for Psychedelic & Consciousness Research. His ongoing pilot study on nicotine addiction has found that 80% of participants who underwent psilocybin therapy quit smoking, and 60% of them were still abstinent 16 months laterimpressive compared to the 35% success rate of varenicline, the most effective of other smoking cessation therapies. The idea that something could be efficacious for multiple substances is, itself, very atypical and exciting, says; Johnson. Theres a very good case that psilocybin can treat the psychology of addiction, not just alleviate the withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings.
Beyond those applications, researchers are also looking at psilocybin for anorexia, Alzheimers , post-traumatic stress disorder, demoralization syndrome experienced by long-term HIV survivors, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. We dont have the answers yet, but I would say theyre good bets, says Johnson.
The Link Between Gerd And Panic Attacks:
Studies found that GERD increases anxiety and depression and creating a vicious cycle. Anxiety increase symptoms of GERD and GERD can increase anxiety.
The acid irritates your airways, especially if you have LPR . When bile refluxes into the stomach, the stomach secretes acid in an attempt to neutralize the bile and can cause bloating, heartburn, chest tightness, difficulty swallowing, sinusitis, laryngitis, or even an asthma attack. Acid touches the nerves in your esophagus. Esophagus reflux can also cause symptoms that one does during an allergic reaction. Are that enough symptoms to get panic?
The solution is simple. If you eliminate your symptoms of GERD with natural ways like nutrition and exercise you will break this vicious cycle.
Unfortunately, Psychiatrists do not tend to link gastroesophageal reflux and irritable bowel syndrome with anxiety and panic and usually misdiagnose patients.
Keep in mind that an Acid reflux attack can be trigger by many things including exercise, stress, cold weather, bad food habits, lying in the bed with a full stomach, caffeine, and so on Yes, even exercise makes acid reflux temporarily worse, but in the long term, it helps a lot with GERD.
Physical diseases can cause panic attacks. Diseases like diabetes, GERD, overactive thyroid, rhinitis, asthma, and irritable bowel syndrome can be your hidden cause. So please run some tests to find out if any of these diseases is the cause before visit a psychiatrist.
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Mixing With Other Drugs
Mixing hallucinogens with other drugs can cause serious side effects. These effects depend on the type of drug, the dose and the method of use. Combining hallucinogens with stimulants, such as cocaine or amphetamines, can cause serious heart problems.Both types of drugs increase blood pressure and heart rate.
Some people mix molly and alcohol to feel more carefree. Others combine LSD and alcohol to enhance the hallucinatory effects. Mixing alcohol and MDMA can cause dangerous changes to body temperature, leading to organ damage and overdose.
Taking hallucinogens with other drugs that cause hallucinatory effects, such as marijuana, may increase the chances of having a bad trip. Hallucinations are unpredictable. Taking multiple drugs that disrupt the brain can cause serious health problems.
Is It Safe To Try
Existing evidence doesnt point to any major risks associated with psilocybin. Due to their legal status, though, true psilocybin mushrooms are hard to come by. This leads some people to forage for their own in the wild or buy them from unfamiliar sources. Keep in mind that some mushrooms are toxic, and ingesting them can cause serious illness or even death.
While psilocybin mushrooms dont pose any major health risks, there are a few potential side effects to keep in mind:
- increased sweating or body chills
- body tremors and muscle weakness
- rapid or irregular heart rate
- changes in sleep, including both increased tiredness and trouble sleeping
Experts consider psilocybin mushrooms one of the least toxic drugs, according to the Drug Policy Alliance, and serious physical side effects are very rare. Theyre also , since they affect serotonin rather than dopamine.
Microdoses of around 0.5 grams and smaller macrodoses doses of around 2 to 3 grams may be to lead to negative side effects. Of course, theres no guarantee you wont experience unwanted effects, since other factors beyond the amount you take can play a part.
These factors might include:
- current use of other substances or medications
- the strength of the mushrooms
- existing health concerns
Along with physical side effects, some people also experience paranoia or worsened anxiety. In short, mushrooms may not necessarily help, and they may make you feel even worse.
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Hallucinogens And Mental Health
Hallucinogen use can cause a range of mental health issues. The effects will vary depending on:
- the person ;Mood, physical size, health, gender, previous experience with hallucinogens, expectations of the drug, personality, whether the person has had food and whether other drugs have been taken.
- the drug ;The amount used, its purity, how often it is used, and whether it is smoked, swallowed, snorted or injected.
- the place ;Whether the person is using with friends, on his/her own, in a social setting or at home, at work or before driving.
Short term effects
- Increase risk of developing severe mental disturbances in those who have a predisposition to the condition.
- Impaired memory and concentration.
- Psychological dependence.
Hallucinogen use can cause anxiety, depression, paranoia, psychosis, flashbacks and panic attacks in those people who have a vulnerability to mental health problems.
Long Term Effects Of Magic Mushrooms
Psilocybin, shrooms, magic mushrooms and psychedelic mushrooms are common terms that refer to a similar group of fungi. There are more than seventy-five species that consist of psilocybin or psilocin. These are the chemicals that cause hallucinations and can cause euphoric feelings in those people who ingest the mushrooms species.; Psilocybin present in the magic mushrooms has got hallucinogenic properties that have been utilized for recreation and religious rituals in the past. In the last ten years, researchers have begun understanding the long term effects of the magic mushrooms on the human body.
What is the duration of the long term effects of the magic mushrooms?
The Magic mushroom consists of a Psilocybin compound that can show its effect in just twenty minutes after you ingest them. You have the choice of eating them alone or consume them with other food. You can brew the shrooms like in tea and drink them. Their effects last for six hours.
Physical harm from the psilocybin shrooms
The long term effects of magic mushrooms can prove to be harmful if you have pre-existing conditions. Following are some short-term effects:
- Increase in heartbeat
- Bad coordination
- Fast or irregular breathing
Alterations to heart rate and blood pressure can cause heart attacks, strokes etc in people who have underlying heart conditions. If the psilocybin shrooms are abused frequently, they can give you a heart problem that did not take place before.
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The Future Of Treatment
Treatment for mental health disorders and addiction is constantly evolving. A persons needs in treatment are unique and traditional methods may not always be the most effective. Many treatment centers currently utilize a variety of treatment types in order to provide clients with an individualized plan to best address their needs.
Although much is still unknown about the effectiveness of psilocybin in treatment on a larger scale, current studies and trials show that it may have a promising future. Due to the legal status of mushrooms and the potential consequences of use, it is still necessary to further evaluate the safety of their use in medical treatment. Regardless of the future of medical psilocybin, researchers do not believe that psychedelics in treatment of mental ailments will become mainstream. Instead, they suggest that they may evolve into alternatives for those who are unresponsive to SSRIs in treatment.
The use of psychedelics in treatment is a polarizing topic, but if their use provides meaningful relief in addressing mental health issues and addiction, it is possible that their legal status may change. Researchers are continuing to move forward with studies to explore their potential in treating alcoholism and other conditions with promising results.
What People Are Saying
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“Jen has been instrumental in helping me achieve better health both physically and emotionally. I initially sought her guidance after the birth of my second daughter. Being sleep deprived and exhausted from the every day stresses of life, I was struggling to function.” – Lynn Y., IL
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The Early Research On Microdosing
Research on microdosing is still new, and thus there are a relatively limited number of studies available to understand its effects on humans. As for 2020, the first clinical trials exploring microdosing as a treatment for mental health conditions are now underway. Until those results are available, most human research has been limited to surveys of those who have tried microdosing on their own.
These survey results have largely been positive. For example, in one international survey, 79% of respondents reported improvements in their mental health after microdosing. In other surveys, participants described experiencing better creativity and productivity, in addition to decreased levels of anxiety and depression. Although promising, these results must be taken with a grain of salt. Because these are surveys, there is no way to confirm or enforce the dosage, scheduling, and type of psychedelic used, and indeed, some studies have already noted that experiences can vary depending on these factors. Moreover, these results are susceptible to the so-called placebo effect, in which just the knowledge that you are taking some kind of a treatment can cause you to experience benefits, even if the treatment is not directly causally related to the effects. If this is the case, then microdosing might have very little to do with the reported improvements.
Tripping In The Future
Even if you take out the fundamental question of whether microdosing works or not, the reality remains: Its illegal.
The women interviewed for this article were careful to talk around how they found psilocybin-containing mushrooms, wanting to keep their sources safe from law enforcement. And many asked that we leave out identifiable detailsyes, to stay on the better side of the law, but also to avoid repercussions like losing a job or shade from the PTA.
Just as the majority of the country has begun to embrace medical and recreational marijuana, though, the tide may be shifting for psilocybin-containing mushrooms. In Oregon, a pair of therapists are working on gathering enough signatures to put a measure on the 2020 ballot that would legalize therapeutic doses of psilocybin, to be taken in the presence of trained providers and followed by integration therapy to process the trip.
And in Denver, activists gathered enough signatures to put the question of decriminalizing magic mushrooms to voters. In May, the measure was approved and the city became the first location in the U.S. where possessing or using psychedelic mushrooms is the lowest law enforcement priority.
Even if small amounts of psilocybin or other psychedelics were found effective to treat mental health disorders, prescribing it would add a whole new level of complexity. Theyd never let you take a months worth of microdoses home: If you took 10 of them, youd have a recreational dose, Nichols points out.
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What Does A Mushrooms Overdose Look Like
Mushrooms refer to a type of hallucinogenic mushroom, and are sometimes known as shrooms, magic mushrooms, little smoke, musk, silly putty, caps, or boomers.1 Mushrooms contain a chemical called psilocybin, which is responsible for the characteristic hallucinogenic effects, euphoria, and sensory changes when ingested.1, 2 Psychedelic mushrooms can be eaten plain, mixed with foods like chocolate to mask the flavor, or crushed into a powder and made into a tea.1 About 21 million US residents reported using psilocybin at least once in their life, with the greatest use occurring in people between the ages of 30 and 34 years.3 The gathering of wild-picked mushrooms such as psilocybin is extremely ill-advised, because they are easily mistaken for other types of mushrooms, including poisonous mushrooms species.