By Staff Writer Eric Sousa.
During the last week of September, John Hopkins University School of Medicine released their findings about medicinal use of psilocybin, which is a hallucinogenic alkaloid found in certain species of mushrooms.
According to their extensive research and double-blind studies, they have ascertained that psilocybin could be one its way from a Schedule I drug, its current home, to a Schedule IV drug.
This could have a profound impact on the current medical culture in the United States.The scheduling of drugs in this manner is set up to categorize them for accepted medical use and potential for abuse or dependence.
For instance, Schedule I drugs include heroin, alcohol, and cannabis. Schedule II drugs include methamphetamine, (yeah, meth is scientifically more dangerous than weed) cocaine, and oxycodone.
The drugs become more medically accepted and hypothetically less dangerous as they go down the list.
Schedule IV drugs are prescription drugs with a high index for medical assistance such as Xanax, Ativan, and Valium. These drugs are much more common-place in today’s society and receive next to no social taboo for their use.
The new research towards psilocybin use could prove advantageous to those who have not had their needs met by the current power output of modern medicine.
In previous years, a double-blind study conducted by John Hopkins researchers show impressive improvements to the patients. The group reported that, “the compound increased quality of life, life meaning, and optimism.”
The study had long-lasting effects on the patients. Seventy percent of them stated it was one of the most spiritually important experiences in their lifetime, and upwards of 80% continued to show remissive symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Roland Griffiths, professor of behavioral Biology at John Hopkins, stated that “a single dose of psilocybin… produced enduring decreases in depression and anxiety symptoms.” In a world of varying medicines where one glove does not fit all, this profoundly successful study alludes towards a new avenue for growth.
However, the study ensures that they are not condoning recreational use of the drug, but expressing benefits from controlled use. The drugs administered safely and overseen in medical environments similar to anesthetic uses of drugs could be the end result of these studies.
These conversations towards the psychological benefits of “magic mushrooms” are not a new topic in our culture. For decades, it has been referenced to in comedy tropes.
If you have ever seen a person who went to Woodstock, odds are you’ve seen somebody who has dabbled in unsupervised psilocybin administration.
However, these double-blind studies go a long in way in adding some scientific backbone to the argument that psychedelic mushrooms have beneficial effects.
Cancer-related anxiety and depression are the predominately discussed symptoms treated by this psychedelic alkaloid. However, it is important to note that, colloquially, mushrooms have been used and spoken of as an avenue towards spiritual moments.
It does not seem appropriate to discuss personal experiences with psilocybin, or recreational use of individuals I know. It does not seem appropriate to talk about hypothetical realizations I made about my life, humbling perspectives on humanity’s place in this universe, and the audacity of holding onto an ever-rewritten past.
It also does not seem appropriate to discuss how hypothetically incredible trees look on psilocybin.
Like every drug, there is room for abuse and use. While the future may be uncertain to whether or not psilocybin will be administered in future medical settings, it is important to think about how medicine- and science in general- can improve upon itself.
New information comes in every day, and our opinions should continue to evolve with it.
I fully suggest reading over this study for your own conclusions, as it is controversial and fairly groundbreaking.
It feels safe to say that the world deserves treatments that can help everybody, in their various chemical makeups and walks of life.
PHOTO COURTESY: WAKEUPNZ.NET