In these clinical studies, certain agents such as LSD, Psilocybin and mescaline have been utilized in efforts to treat alcoholism and other various forms of addictions. These substances have also been used to treat anxiety, depression and cancer, albeit in more limited forms.
Researchers at John Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore worked with substances like Psilocybin in tests with 18 adult volunteer subjects.
“Previously, we looked at a single high dose of and showed that it occasioned these mystical-type experiences that had profoundly meaningful and spiritually significant effects,” said study researcher Roland Griffiths, PhD, professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and neuroscience at Hopkins.
“That’s known to be one of the risks of recreational use of these compounds: People can have panic reactions, fearful reactions, and the danger is that they’re going to engage in dangerous behaviors that then put themselves or others at risk,” Griffiths sid.
“The optimal dose appears to be lower than what we were using,” he says. “You can back the dose down and pretty dramatically, like fivefold, decrease the rates of these fearful anxiety responses while only marginally decreasing the mystical-type experiences.”
The study was published in Neuropsychopharmacology.