Some people tend to associate psychedelics with trance parties and hippies, or in a darker way, with the experiments conducted by the CIA in the 1950s using LSD.
In more recent times, scientists have been researching the positive effects that psychedelics can have on people suffering from depression, anxiety and addiction.
According to CBS, the early results are impressive, “as are the experiences of the studies’ volunteers who go on a six-hour, sometimes terrifying, but often life-changing psychedelic journey deep into their own minds”.
Anderson Cooper interviewed some of those volunteers on 60 Minutes. You can watch the full episode by following this link.
Here’s a snippet about how psychedelics have helped this woman deal with her anxiety surrounding death:
Scientist Roland Griffiths has been working on the study for nearly two decades now with his colleague Matthew Johnson. The two of them have been giving what they describe as “heroic doses” of psilocybin to more than 350 volunteers, many struggling with addiction, depression and anxiety.
We tell people that their experiences may vary from very positive to transcendent and lovely to literally hell realm experiences.
Matthew Johnson: About a third will– at our– at a high dose say that they have something like that, what folks would call a bad trip. But most of those folks will actually say that that was key to the experience.
Griffiths and Johnson screen out people with psychotic disorders or with close relatives who have had schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.
Study volunteers at Johns Hopkins are given weeks of intensive counselling before and after the six-hour psilocybin experience; the psilocybin is given in a carefully controlled setting one to three times. To date, they say there’s not been a single serious adverse outcome.
You lay on a couch, with a blindfold to shut out distractions and headphones playing a mix of choral and classical music – a psychedelic soundtrack with a trained guide, Mary Cosimano, watching over you.
Everything is done the same way it was for the LSD experiments scientists conducted in the 1950s and 60s. Some of the most dramatic results have been with terminal cancer patients struggling with anxiety and paralysing depression.
Before you contact your local dealer and order a hefty bag of ‘shrooms, just remember that these studies are being conducted by professionals in a controlled environment.
It’s probably best to wait for the overall outcome of the experiment before dosing up.
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