The use of psychedelic drugs is a part of the therapeutic process known as “psychedelic therapy.” Numerous civilizations have employed hallucinogenic substances for hundreds of years in their holistic healing and spiritual practices.
The 1950s and 1960s saw a boom in psychedelic research before these substances were declared illegal in the US. Although psychedelic drugs like LSD and psilocybin are still illegal in the US, they may be able to treat a number of conditions like addiction, depression, and anxiety.
Over the past 20 years, regulators have given researchers authorization to conduct trials on the use of these medications to treat a range of disorders. Researchers have demonstrated, for instance, that psilocybin is not only safe but also has a significant positive impact on wellbeing.
Types of Psychedelic Therapy
Many different compounds have the potential to have psychedelic effects. The most popular psychedelic drugs and their uses include:
- Ayahuasca: This South American brew is said to aid in the treatment of anxiety, addiction, and depression. Drug interactions and serotonin syndrome are two potential drawbacks of ayahuasca.
- Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD): LSD can alter one’s mood, perceptions, and awareness. Two potential applications are the treatment of addiction and anxiety.
- Psilocybin: Similar to LSD, psilocybin alters consciousness, feelings, and perceptions. Its potential use in the management of addiction, anxiety, and depression is the subject of research.
- MDMA (ecstasy): Despite not being a classic psychedelic, ecstasy is a substance that produces “psychedelic effects,” such as pleasure, changed perceptions, enhanced arousal, and an improved ability to socialize. It may be therapeutically effective in the management of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), according to study.
The Potential of Psychedelic Therapy
Theoretically, psychedelic treatment might be used for a variety of purposes. Studies have demonstrated that psychedelic-assisted therapy is effective for treating anxiety, depression, substance misuse, alcoholism, and PTSD.
Psychedelics may have possible impacts on mood that could help in the treatment of anxiety and mood disorders. Anxiety and hopelessness in cancer patients were found to be greatly reduced by psilocybin medicine in a 2016 randomized double-blind controlled investigation.
Early research suggested that LSD could help with the recovery from substance use disorders. Alcohol and substance use disorders. Recent research reveals that psychedelic therapy holds promise for treating addiction.
Research indicates that MDMA-assisted psychotherapy may be helpful in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Although MDMA is best known as the main component of the club drug ecstasy (also known as molly), it also has psychedelic effects that have been shown to be helpful for severe PTSD cases that have not responded to other treatments.2
There is a lot of potential for using psychedelic therapy to treat a variety of mental health conditions, such as addiction and depression. Even though more research is necessary, trials are currently being conducted to further assess the suitability and effectiveness of using different psychedelic therapy austin medications to treat specific disorders.
Mood and anxiety disorders
Psilocybin-assisted therapy has also been associated to improved well-being, optimism, and reduced fear of dying. Six months later, 80% of people still showed improvement.3
Another study polled attendees at music festivals to gauge the effects of psychedelic usage in the real world. Participants reported feeling happier and more socially connected after taking LSD and psilocybin. They said that the results persisted long after the effects of the drugs had subsided.7
Alcohol and drug abuse issues
A 2015 study found a correlation between psilocybin-assisted therapy and enhanced abstinence, decreased drinking, and decreased alcohol cravings.8 The effectiveness of psychedelic therapy for alcohol and drug dependence has not yet been established.
One 2012 study found that a single dose of LSD improved alcohol usage for six months after therapy, but the effects were not statistically significant after twelve months.
In one 2019 study, people who had already given up drinking after taking psychedelics were surveyed. More over 25% of respondents said that their hallucinogenic experience contributed to them changing their alcohol use, even though only 10% of respondents intentionally used psychedelics to cut back on their alcohol usage.
But it’s important to keep in mind that studies like this rely on self-reports from people who have already experienced psychedelics. To determine whether psychedelic therapy is genuinely effective in the treatment of alcohol and substance use issues, more research utilizing randomized clinical trials is required.
The term Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is abbreviated as Ptsd
Clinical trials have demonstrated that the therapy is successful in treating PTSD over the long term. One study found that 54% of individuals no longer satisfied the diagnostic criteria after receiving therapy. After being tracked down, just 23% of individuals in the control group met the diagnostic standards.
Things to Consider
Psychedelic therapy is generally seen to be safe and well-tolerated, however there are some potential hazards and adverse effects. In addition to the concerns outlined here, traditional psychedelics like LSD and psilocybin provide little risk in terms of physical or psychological reliance.
Unfavorable Psychological Reactions
It is crucial to take into account the potential for adverse psychological reactions such anxiety, panic, and paranoia. Using psychedelics can also lead to what is referred to as a “bad trip.” These sensations are characterized by a fear of losing control and a powerful, frightening anxiety.
Possibly Changing Personality
Some contend that these drugs have the potential to have long-term effects on the mind and personality. For instance, one study found a link between psilocybin therapy and increases in extroversion and openness.12 These results suggest that psilocybin-assisted therapy may increase people’s openness and willingness to try new things.
The Perils of Self-Care
The usage of psychedelic substances for self-treatment is still another concern. The psychological hazards of a bad trip, the chance of drug interactions, and the fact that many street drugs are blended with unidentified and potentially dangerous substances are just a few of the risks associated with self-medication.