When it comes to addiction recovery, the first thing you might think of is therapy or rehab. However, a new study could potentially change the way we perceive getting help for addiction.
Researchers at the NYU Langone Center for Psychedelic Medicine at have found that, of all things, psychedelic mushrooms could be effective for alcoholics.
During the study, two psilocybin pills and psychotherapy were administered to a group of 93 men and women. All of the people within the experiment were consuming an average of seven alcoholic drinks per day.
The test group was either given two pills of the psychedelic mushrooms or two antihistamine pills, the latter of which acted as a placebo.
According to the results published in JAMA Psychiatry, alcohol consumption in 80% of those taking the psilocybin pills had reduced significantly over a period of eight months after the first treatment. Thos is in contrast to just half for those taking the antihistamine.
The experiment comes at a time when researchers are trying to figure out if psychedelic-assisted recovery can actually help reduce addiction. This will include the administration of ketamine and psilocybin, also known as magic mushrooms.
If proven true, the use of these mushrooms could be used to reduce a wide range of other addictions to drugs and smoking as well.
Now, if you’re wondering if the specially-made pills still cause hallucinations just like the actual recreational drug, yes, they might. According to NBC, a previous tester for the pill who participated in a similar experiment in 2015 figured out he had been placed in the psilocybin group within the first hour of taking the pills, as he had experienced a trippy vision of himself in the desert with an alcohol bottle coming to him.
After that, he came to accept it as his call to quit drinking. However, it wasn’t until his second and third sessions that he truly decided to give it up after other drug-induced trips where he saw himself being cut down by a sword and scaling a mountain, which symbolized his journey to overcome drinking.
Unfortunately, it is still unclear to scientists how exactly psychedelics are able to rewire addiction in a person’s brain.
[via NBC and The Smithsonian Magazine, images via © Dmitry Tishchenko, 191550657 © Sergeblack | Dreamstime.com]