A review of the research on combining therapy with the psychoactive component from magic mushrooms has concluded it’s not only a safe and effective way to treat conditions related to anxiety, depression, and addiction, it could be better than many existing forms of treatment.
The findings reinforce the need to explore the full impact of the psychedelic compound called psilocybin, a drug that is showing increasing promise in its ability dramatically improve the lives of those who suffer debilitating psychiatric disorders.
Psychedelics such as lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and psilocybin have a reputation more as a party drug than as forms of therapeutic medication.
But their similarity to neurotransmitters such as serotonin and their ability to affect our perception and mess with our state of consciousness has made them attractive candidates for treating various psychiatric conditions.
Studies have found patients with severe depression have improved after taking small amounts of psilocybin alongside supportive therapy sessions, with evidence that their brains have strengthened links across previously disconnected regions.
These kinds of results demand attention, demonstrating great potential for using serotonin agonists such as psilocybin to block problematic networks in the brain while therapy can be used to create more functional ones.
A review by researchers in California has shown such studies aren’t outliers, prompting a need to step forward with testing.
This research was published in the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs.