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Could Psychedelic Drugs Be Used To Treat Anxiety And Addiction?

Psychedelic Spiral Fractal

Psychedelic drugs like “magic mushrooms” (psilocybin), Acid (LSD) and even ecstasy (MDMA) might help patients afflicted with addiction, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) when administered in a carefully controlled setting, according to the preliminary findings of a new study.

Matthew Johnson, the study’s co-author and an associate professor at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, was quoted by HealthDay in a report published on WebMD as having said that the study’s preliminary findings indicate that “in the right context, these drugs can help people a lot,” especially those suffering from hard-to-treat disorders such as PTSD and addiction.

(The study’s preliminary results show that) in the right context, these drugs can help people a lot, especially people who have disorders that we generally treat poorly, such as end-of-life distress, PTSD, and addiction issues involving tobacco or alcohol

For Johnson, an associate professor in the psychiatry and behavioral sciences department at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, the recently published study is by no means his first foray into the study of psychedelics as they pertain to psychopharmacology — the scientific study of the effects drugs have on behavior, mood, thinking and sensation — as he was previously involved in a study published earlier this year alongside a related study in the journal Psychopharmacology.

The studies, which explored the possibility of a connection between mental health problems and psychedelic drug use, found that there is no link between psychedelics and mental health conditions such as psychosis.

In his latest study, Johnson and his colleagues make note of a study published back in 2008 in which researchers found that psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy actually improved mood and reduced anxiety without negative side effects.

In yet another study, one which was published just last year, found that patients administered LSD-enhanced psychotherapy sessions experienced significant reductions in some forms of anxiety and saw this benefit last for at least a year without any long-lasting side effects.

Research results aside, Johnson warns those who would otherwise attempt to treat themselves with such drugs to refrain.

(…) people should not go out on their own to treat themselves with these drugs. These drugs need to be researched according to a strict regulatory process, the same as you would develop any drug.

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