JUL 29, 2016 08:34 AM PDT

Psychedelics: The New Treatment for Addiction Therapy?

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham
3 2 352

Psychedelic drugs like LSD and magic mushrooms are often associated with recreational use or abuse. But recent studies suggest perhaps the drugs can be used to counter the debilitating effects of addiction, anxiety, and depression. Perhaps it's time more scientists revisit the medical value in these once ill-reputed drugs.

LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide, or acid) is a compound that induces altered perceptions and awareness. Likewise, psilocybin is a compound in some mushrooms that can induce euphoria and heightened sensory perceptions. While the psychedelic effects of these drugs are well-known, studies suggest the same effects may lead to curbed symptoms for patients with mental disorders. For example, some studies have shown that psilocybin can reduce addiction to smoking and even alcohol. Other studies show the psychedelic drugs reduce anxiety, particularly in cancer patients.

Some researchers believe the drugs activate new or otherwise hidden connections in the brain, which facilitate the patients to overcome their psychological and emotional challenges. Indeed, the brain on LSD is many times more activated than a brain without LSD. But it's certain that more work needs to be done to fully understand and reap the medical value of these drugs.
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
You May Also Like
JUL 03, 2018
Videos
JUL 03, 2018
List of Ten Marijuana Falsehoods
Matthew Santoro outlines ten lies about marijuana that are not accurate.
JUL 17, 2018
Chemistry & Physics
JUL 17, 2018
The Chemistry in Airbags
The name "airbag" can be deceiving because the bag is not exactly filled with air. Instead, this life-saving device is filled with nitrogen gas,
JUL 23, 2018
Videos
JUL 23, 2018
Is your commute harming your health?
How far do you commute every day? According to US Census data, the average daily commute...
JUL 23, 2018
Videos
JUL 23, 2018
Why is the ocean getting louder?
 
AUG 02, 2018
Cannabis Sciences
AUG 02, 2018
Cannabinoids Used in Treatment for ALS
The Ice Bucket Challenge brought attention to ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) and the need for further research on the fatal disease. This progressive
AUG 10, 2018
Videos
AUG 10, 2018
Why Cuttlefish are Called Chameleons of the Sea
Did you know that cuttlefish can change color, texture, and shape? Did you know they contain a bone called the cuttlebone? There is a reason why they are c
Loading Comments...