When it comes to addiction treatment, the first thing you think about is therapy or rehabilitation. A new study could totally change this approach.
And it's the classic studio you don't expect. The researchers of the NYU Langone Center for Psychedelic Medicine found that, of all the remedies tested, the most effective for alcoholic addictions could be hallucinogenic mushrooms.
A systematic review
The research team administered two psilocybin pills and psychotherapy to 93 men and women. Everyone involved in the experiment consumed an average of seven alcoholic drinks per day.
The two test groups were given either two psychedelic mushroom pills or two antihistamine pills as a placebo.
According to the results published in JAMA Psychiatry (I link them to you here), after just one treatment, alcohol consumption after eight months has shrunk by 80% of those with addictions who took psilocybin pills. The control group only experienced this reduction in 50% of cases.
Hallucinogenic mushrooms against addictions
The experiment falls short at a time when researchers are trying to understand if psychedelic-assisted recovery can actually help reduce addictions. Among the options under consideration, the administration of ketamine e psilocybin, also known as the substance found in "magic mushrooms".
If future tests confirm the results of this, the use of hallucinogenic mushrooms could be incredibly effective in reducing a wide range of other addictions as well. The main ones? You know them: drugs and smoking.
You are surely wondering: do these pills cause hallucinations?
Yes they do it. Not always, but it has happened more than once in this test and others.
A previous pill tester who participated in a similar experiment in 2015 realized he was placed in the psilocybin group within the first hour of taking the pills. And you can imagine the "why", while the "how" I tell you: he experienced a tryptic vision of himself in the desert with a bottle of alcohol coming towards him.
He later experienced other trips in which he saw himself cut by a sword, or climb a mountain, which he interpreted as stages in overcoming his addictions. Eventually the result came, the subject stopped drinking.
Before the drunkards of you book "therapeutic" visits to the Coffee Shops in Amsterdam, scientists still don't know exactly how these hallucinogenic mushrooms manage to "rewire" brains to heal addictions.
It will take time and caution. In the meantime, if you want to take a tour, the usual saying applies: at your own risk.