Science

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Peter Dejong/AP

Study: ‘Shrooms’ Confer Lasting Positive Effects

July 02, 2008 12:24 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
Subjects who took the psychedelic drug psilocybin, the key ingredient in “magic mushrooms,” said that they felt and behaved better more than a year after taking the drug.

30-Second Summary

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On Tuesday, scientists released their findings on a recent survey of volunteer psilocybin users 14 months after they took the drug.

“Sixty-four percent of the volunteers said they still felt at least a moderate increase in well-being or life satisfaction, in terms of things like feeling more creative, self-confident, flexible and optimistic. And 61 percent reported at least a moderate behavior change in what they considered positive ways,” reported Discovery.

In addition, two-thirds of the 36 participants said that the drug had caused one of the five most spiritually significant experiences of their lives.

Psilocybin research was halted following recreational abuse in the 1960s, and the drug, used throughout history in religious rituals by a variety of indigenous cultures, is currently illegal. The project was one of just a few hallucinogen studies conducted in the past 40 years.

Johns Hopkins scientists last year found that psilocybin from mushrooms produces universal mystical/spiritual experiences that are similar to spontaneous ones that people have reported throughout history.

“The resulting experiences apparently prompt positive changes in behavior and attitude that last several months, at least,” it was reported.

One of the new study’s participants described her lab experience, remembering first a feeling of losing control, then lifting, intense colors and patterns, and then the sensation that her heart was tearing apart. Yet, “it was a joyful, ecstatic thing at the same time, like the joy of being alive,” she said.

Headline Link: ‘Study Reveals Benefits’

Background: Psilocybin research; prescriptions for psychedelics?

Reference: Psilocybin

Related Topic: ‘Inventor of LSD Dies at 102’

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