Treating Alcohol Addiction With Psilocybin - New Potential Therapies
The possibility of psychedelic medicine as a form of treatment is a movement gaining a lot of rapid momentum in the West. This is no more prevalent than for the treatment of addiction. It is an area of medical research that is spearheading the psychedelic movement, and brining some of our favourite drugs directly into the mainstream.
A new study, published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, has just taken this movement a mile down the road. This research shows that psilocybin (the hallucinogenic compound of magic mushrooms), significantly increases abstinence in those suffering alcohol addiction.
Now as always, it is important to understand that we are not talking wonder cure. Simply popping a few shrooms in your mouth is not going to necessarily help you beat addiction. It all comes down to context, and here, psilocybin is used as part of a psychosocial therapy.
RESEARCHING SHROOMS AND ADDICTION
Within the research, participants underwent 4 weeks of counselling and assessment before being introduced to psychedelic based therapies. It was found that during the initial four weeks without psychedelics, there was no significant drop in alcohol abuse. However, as soon as participants underwent psychedelic based therapy, there was an immediate and significant increase in abstinence; as well as there being a reported attitude change towards alcohol in general. Furthermore, none of the participants suffered debilitating adverse side effects (although there were a few upset stomachs), and as a result no additional medication was required.
What is also interesting was that researchers found a correlation between the reported intensity of the trip and the level of abstinence from alcohol. Suggesting the more profound or significant a trip was, the greater impact it had on the self being.
As usual, more research is currently required, but for something that has been outlawed for so long, baby steps are needed when it comes to legitimate science. This study didn’t have a control group to test against, neither was the sample size particularly big. But the fact they got positive results here justifies and warrants them taking experimentation further, in much more detail next time.