Psychedelics Don’t Harm Mental Health; They Improve It



mushrooms_psilocibinPsychedelics like psilocybin mushrooms and LSD not only don’t cause mental health problems, they may actually improve mental health, say Norwegian researchers.

The study (here) pulled data from the US National Survey on Drug Use and Health, observing 130,152 randomly-selected respondents from the adult population of the US. 13.4% of that group (21,967 individuals) reported lifetime use of psychedelics. Comparing this data to standardized screening measures for mental health, the researchers found that neither lifetime psychedelic use nor use of LSD in the past year were independent risk factors for mental health problems—and that, in fact, psychedelic users had lower rates of mental health issues.

Teri S. Krebs and Pål-Ørjan Johansen, the Norwegian researchers, additionally noted that “psychedelic plants have been used for celebratory, religious or healing purposes for thousands of years” and that “psychedelics often elicit deeply personally and spiritually meaningful experiences and sustained beneficial effects… LSD and psilocybin are consistently ranked in expert assessments as causing less harm to both individual users and society than alcohol, tobacco, and most other common recreational drugs. Given that millions of doses of psychedelics have been consumed every year for over 40 years, well-documented case reports of long-term mental health problems following use of these substances are rare.”

The study also found absolutely no evidence that “flashbacks” afflict users of psychedelics, slaying another commonly-held superstition around psychedelic use.

The Norwegian study brings good news for the over 30 million Americans who have used psychedelics (compared to 100 million who have used marijuana). And while the media has been buzzing about Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s revelation that he “changed his mind on weed,” it may be time for psychedelics to get a similar PR rehabilitation.

While psychedelics still conjure images of 1960s-era bad trips like Art Linkletter’s daughter jumping out of a window on acid (an overinflated myth, says Snopes), they have undergone significant research and slow progress towards clinical acceptance in the past decades. Researchers still labor under the immensely negative Timothy Leary-era image of psychedelics, but are steadily chipping away at the cultural deadlock created by what many see as reckless abuse of psychedelics during the 1960s and 70s. Standing in stark contrast to the negatives of that time, however, are the immense clinical benefits that psychedelics are consistently being shown to offer.

Another recent study at the University of South Florida, for instance, found that psilocybin mushrooms erase conditioned fear response in mice, suggesting they could potentially be used to cure PTSD—and that psilocybin can even prompt growth of brain cells.

Multiple studies are currently being conducted (at New York University’s medical school and Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center) into using psychedelics to alleviate fear in patients with late-stage terminal illness—easing the experience of death and allowing people to end their lives in states of acceptance instead of terror.

LSD and psilocybin even hold promise for treating cluster headaches, a condition so debilitating and painful that it often leads sufferers to consider suicide.

While marijuana enjoys its time in the spotlight, it may be time for its more potent—and potentially even more beneficial—siblings to join the party.

Source: Ultra Culture, Altering Perspectives

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66 comments on “Psychedelics Don’t Harm Mental Health; They Improve It

  1. Brad G

    I’m in my 50s and have never dabbled much in drugs. But I did try mushrooms on an impulse last year, when they were offered by someone I know and trust.

    How very pleasant the experience was. Mild but lovely hallucinations — for instance, looking at an empty computer screen and seeing constantly shifting pen-and-ink drawings on it. Later I just felt more calm and focused than I had in a long time. And that feeling persisted.

    I’ve since started growing my own, and continue to take them occasionally, in small doses. For me it has been a very positive adventure.

  2. Time indeed marches on and today’s challenges call for better tricks and tools to keep up the cosmic game called life.

    For thousands of years some of the tribes incorporated the sacred mushroom and Ayahuasca into our spirit rituals, and the past 60 years led by the psychonaut cowboys like Terrance McKenna, have greatly expanded their minds with inner-dimensional experiences. Then along came the DMT pipe with a near perfect brain hormone replication of the juice secreted in the pineal gland. On board DMT allows us to seriously “kick it up” going from only a few thousand bytes / second bandwidths to billions of bytes/sec shifting to the Delta part of the brain. Life can overwhelm any of us at the lobotomized low bandwidth states, but at the higher bandwidths, all problems are solvable.

    What the fearless psychonauts have yet to realize is that while its a mind bending trip to spin off the pineal gland, we were actually designed to drive that resource from pituitary gland.

    “They use their pituitary and pineal (DMT) glands and we do not.” The DNA designers built it all in; on-board, but did not leave the owner’s manual. Our golden brain glands are in a state of atrophy but they can be quickly rejuvenated to “kick it up”.

    To learn a duck to water effective brain hormonal secretion technique go to: http://fukushima50.blogspot.ca/

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