Study finds long benefit in illegal mushroom drug

Scientists reported Tuesday that when they surveyed volunteers 14 months after they took the drug, most said they were still feeling and behaving better because of the experience.

Two-thirds of them also said the drug had produced one of the five most spiritually significant experiences they’d ever had.

The drug, psilocybin, is found in so-called “magic mushrooms.” It’s illegal, but it has been used in religious ceremonies for centuries.

The study involved 36 men and women during an eight-hour lab visit. It’s one of the few such studies of a hallucinogen in the past 40 years, since research was largely shut down after widespread recreational abuse of such drugs in the 1960s.

The project made headlines in 2006 when researchers published their report on how the volunteers felt just two months after taking the drug. The new study followed them up a year after that.

Experts emphasize that people should not try psilocybin on their own because it could be harmful. Even in the controlled setting of the laboratory, nearly a third of participants felt significant fear under the effects of the drug. Without proper supervision, someone could be harmed, researchers said.

Full Story: Wired

2 Comments

  1. I think I’d feel fear if I was tripping in a lab. What they really need is a lava lamp and some Pink Floyd. No fear there!

  2. I was going to say the same thing. If there is one butterfly effect-like alteration I could make to the recent past it would be to popularise the old Leary adage “Set, Setting, Dosage” instead of his “Turn On – Tune In -Drop Out”. It’s the foundational guideline for positive psychedelic use, I feel. Can’t imagine a pristine, uncluttered laboratory atmosphere being appriopriate. Even if they tried to make it comfortable, you’d probably feel like you were tripping in a hospital waiting room.

    Outdoor studies might be interesting in terms of results.

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