Govt’s Own Data Finally Admits Magic Mushrooms and LSD Can Stifle Opioid Addiction
Before the War on Drugs cast its shadow across humanity, a collective mind expansion was being achieved in part thanks cannabis and psychedelics. For decades the military-corporatist state has suppressed the human right to ingest “illicit” substances – while profiting from this prohibition – but the pursuit of knowledge has a way of thriving despite fascism.
While research on the medicinal uses of cannabis has increased at a tremendous pace, therapeutic research into psychedelics has also garnered more interest in recent years. In 2014, advanced cancer patients “experienced immediate and dramatic reductions in anxiety and depression, improvements that were sustained for at least six months” with a single dose of psilocybin (the “magic mushroom” active ingredient).
Psilocybin is successfully treating patients with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In Dec. 2016, clinical trials showed that psilocybin can heal mental illness, such as depression and anxiety, like a “surgical intervention.”
Addiction, too, can be treated with psychedelics. Psilocybin has a far better success rate at helping people quit smoking cigarettes than any nicotine-replacement therapy. As one study participant said, “Smoking seemed irrelevant, so I stopped.” This comes as no surprise; in the 1960s and 70s LSD was being shown to help people overcome alcohol addiction.
Now, as the opioid epidemic rages in America, psychedelics are again telling us they can help.
Widget not in any sidebars
The Drug Policy Alliance reports on a new study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. According to the government’s own data, people who have experienced psilocybin or LSD have a “decreased risk of opioid abuse and dependence.”
Among respondents with a history of illicit opioid use, psychedelic drug use is associated with 27% reduced risk of past year opioid dependence and 40% reduced risk of past year opioid abuse. Other than marijuana use, which was associated with 55% reduced risk of past year opioid abuse, no other illicit drug was associated with reduced risk of past year opioid dependence or abuse.
Researchers analyzed “44,000 illicit opioid users” from a six-year timeframe, finding a “pervasive and significant” association between psychedelic use and decreased opioid misuse. The authors note that their results are consistent with other studies showing psychedelics can treat substance use disorders.
What makes this study so glaring is the fact that it is based on six years of data from the federal government’s own National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), which surveys 70,000 people each year.
How ironic that two drugs deemed illegal by the federal government – cannabis and psychedelics – clearly help people overcome addiction to legal opioid drugs and heroin.
As we reported in August 2015, a major study showed that deaths from prescription painkillers plummeted in states with legal cannabis. Other studies confirmed that the use of prescription pills drops in states with legal cannabis, which explains why big pharma fights against cannabis legalization.
Based on the facts, any measure to combat opioid abuse should include the use of medical cannabis. However, the Comprehensive Addiction & Recovery Act or ‘opioid bill’ passed by Congress in 2016 did not contain a single reference to cannabis, and lawmakers actually rejected an amendment to “potential for marijuana to serve as an alternative to opioids for pain management.”
Clearly, there’s something about psilocybin and LSD and cannabis which, when taken responsibly, can allow a person to break free from strangleholds on life.
“I understand love is the most powerful force on the planet.”
“I had an encounter with my cancer, this black cloud of smoke.”
“I was bathed in God’s love, and that continued for hours. I really had no other way to describe this incredibly powerful experience.”
These are some quotes from people in clinical trials taking psychedelics, and the last one is from an atheist.
Albert Hofmann, who discovered LSD in 1938 and accidentally touched some with his finger, described the first-ever LSD trip as follows:
At home I lay down and sank into a not unpleasant intoxicated-like condition, characterized by an extremely stimulated imagination. In a dreamlike state, with eyes closed (I found the daylight to be unpleasantly glaring), I perceived an uninterrupted stream of fantastic pictures, extraordinary shapes with intense, kaleidoscopic play of colors.
The mystical experience of psilocybin described by patients can be thought of as the opposite of PTSD, where a single event has a lasting negative effect on the mental state.
Functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) is helping to understand the mechanisms of how psychedelics can treat addiction and depression. Stimulation of serotonin 2A receptors by psychedelics decreases activity in certain areas of the brain, especially the “default mode network” (DMN) which is involved in our ingrained thought patterns and behaviors. Decreasing DMN stimulation can allow people to break free from destructive brain patterns.
An exhaustive survey carried out by Johns Hopkins Medicine supports the conclusions of clinical research, finding that “A history of psychedelic drug use is associated with less psychological distress and fewer suicidal thoughts, planning and attempts…”
Fascinating research using fMRI shows that, under the influence of psilocybin, the brain enters a pattern of activity similar to the dream state. Primitive areas of the brain linked to emotions, memory and arousal become more synchronized, while higher-level thinking and the “sense of self” become unsynchronized.
As long as the nonsensical War on Drugs continues to be waged by government, the power of psychedelics to free people from opioid addiction and numerous other mental ailments will remain out of reach for millions.
Justin Gardner writes for TheFreeThoughtProject.com, where this article first appeared.