Magic mushrooms and LSD give sustained boost in mood after recreational use, study concludes

The recreational use of psychedelic drugs can provide a sustained improvement in mood and leave users feeling closer to others even after the initial high has worn off, a study of more than 1,200 festival goers has found.

Those who had recently taken substances like LSD and magic mushrooms were more likely to report having “transformative experiences” profound enough to radically alter their moral values, which subjects associated with feelings of increased social connectedness and mental wellbeing, Yale University scientists discovered.

By surveying 1,242 UK and US festival goers over a four-year period, the researchers were able to characterise the psychological effects of the “afterglow” often documented in laboratory-based research into psychedelic experiences, publishing their findings in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal.

“Our results show that people who take psychedelics ‘in the wild’ report positive experiences very similar to those observed in controlled laboratory studies,” said lead author Matthias Forstmann.

The most pronounced effects were reported by those who had used psychedelics within the past 24 hours, as opposed to within the past seven days.

Alprazolam (Xanax): What are the facts?

Over the past year, there has been increasing media coverage about alprazolam (typically referred to by the brand name Xanax), highlighting what is being seen as a rise in the number of young people using it. Most of the media reports have described individual cases or reports from treatment services, and there has been little discussion of the research evidence or the actual data.

As with all media coverage which highlights potential changes in drug trends, there is a risk that the evidence isn’t clearly presented or even available, and that raising the profile of a particular drug can inadvertently increase interest from some drug users.

PHE has been looking into the available evidence, and this blog explains what we now know, what is currently being done, and what should be done in the future.

What is alprazolam?

Alprazolam is a medicine in the benzodiazepine family of drugs. Benzodiazepines are most commonly prescribed for the treatment of anxiety and insomnia, and they are also prescribed to control seizures caused by epilepsy.

The most frequently prescribed benzodiazepine in the UK is diazepam, known by the tradename Valium. In comparison, alprazolam is a faster acting drug and is about 10 times stronger, meaning that it can rapidly cause feelings of sedation.

Like other benzodiazepines, alprazolam can cause problems when taken without medical supervision. In the short term, its misuse can cause over-sedation, collapsing and overdose. Longer-term use can lead to physical dependence and severe withdrawal upon reducing or stopping use.

Furthermore, taking any benzodiazepine with alcohol and/or other drugs increases the risk of harm. This is particularly the case when benzodiazepines are mixed with other sedative drugs.

Alprazolam is not available from the NHS, but can be obtained on a private prescription in the UK. Illicit alprazolam, normally in the form of counterfeit Xanax tablets, can be bought from street level drug markets and is also available to purchase from illegal websites and social media apps.

What is being said about alprazolam (Xanax)?

There have been a growing number of personal stories reported in the media, often about young people who have developed problems with alprazolam (Xanax), as well as anecdotal reports that they are self-medicating for anxiety issues.

There have also been discussions around alprazolam in political circles. In January this year, the MP Bambos Charalambous led the first debate in the House of Commons to discuss its misuse.

Sometimes, the use of alprazolam (Xanax) is portrayed in the media as a major epidemic among young people. There is currently no evidence of this, but, as we explain further down, there is some evidence that prevalence is increasing. It is important to understand that patterns of drug use change over time. Some drugs rapidly emerge but then their use quickly declines, other drugs persist and cause significant and sustained harm. It is currently too early to know which category alprazolam will fall into.

What do we know about alprazolam use?

As the media coverage of alprazolam continues, PHE has been asked to comment, particularly on trends. There is some evidence to suggest that use is a growing problem, particularly among young people and young adults. However, the data we have does not give a clear picture of the prevalence of alprazolam use, as some of these data cover all benzodiazepines and not alprazolam specifically, making it more difficult to detect changes in use.

Preliminary hospital admission data in England for 2017 indicates that there has been an increase in the number of people aged under 20 admitted to hospital with benzodiazepine poisoning. Over the same period, enquiries to the National Poisons Information Service about the treatment of alprazolam poisoning have increased substantially. PHE has examined UK police seizures data for drugs that were submitted for forensic analysis, which showed that the number of alprazolam seizures was far greater in 2017 than in previous years, increasing from fewer than ten seizures in 2016 to over 800 in 2017.

Many of the Xanax tablets available on illicit markets are not of pharmaceutical grade, but are in fact counterfeit. This is a major concern because these counterfeit products may contain very variable amounts of alprazolam, making it hard for drug users to decide how much to take. Counterfeit Xanax has also been shown to sometimes contain other drugs and/or potentially dangerous adulterants.

Information we have received from TICTAC, a drug analysis laboratory, has confirmed that samples produced to look like real Xanax tablets actually contained other drugs such as etizolam, which is another benzodiazepine linked to a large number of deaths in Scotland. TICTAC also found that ‘fake’ tablets that did contain alprazolam varied greatly in strength, with some tablets having more than 10 times the normal dose of an authentic Xanax tablet.

The unpredictability of dose can be very dangerous to drug users who will not be able to judge how much alprazolam (or other substituted drugs) the tablets contains until after they have consumed it and are experiencing harmful effects.

What is being done and what should be done?

What PHE is doing

At PHE, we’ve been looking at all national data and other intelligence to try to get a better understanding of alprazolam use in England. We are also talking to experts and others to build a clearer picture.

Our locally based PHE Centre teams are working closely with local authorities, providing them with data, guidance and other bespoke support to help them assess local treatment need, and commission services to meet that need. This may include specific support for those misusing alprazolam depending on the size of the problem in their area.

We are piloting Report Illicit Drug Reactions (RIDR), an online reporting system for harm caused by illicit drugs, particularly new psychoactive substances (NPS). This system also captures the harms caused by misused medications, such as alprazolam.

When new drugs or patterns of use emerge, the particular health consequences associated with them may not always be fully understood at first. For example, the bladder problems caused by ketamine were not originally recognised until different treatment services began to join the dots and find the link between the two. RIDR seeks to speed up the identification of harms, so that health and treatment services can rapidly deliver the most appropriate interventions. PHE encourages frontline staff to use RIDR to report clinical harms they are seeing in their local areas. This helps build a better understanding of the emerging problems and their geographical distribution.

PHE holds a quarterly clinical network meeting with experts on new drugs and emerging drug trends, which provides the opportunity to discuss data from RIDR, the latest NPS-related research, and other sources. After each meeting, we update the RIDR dashboard to log current issues and concerns. Alprazolam has featured on the dashboard since September 2017.

We also update FRANK with relevant new information and this includes a section about alprazolam.

What local authorities and treatment services should do

Some treatment services have responded to this emerging pattern of use by learning more, training their staff, producing information for young people, raising awareness of the problem locally, and offering advice, support and treatment to young people having problems.

Drug Watch, an information network, put together a briefing on alprazolam for professionals and the public.

Local areas should seek to understand their own patterns of drug use; keep informed about emerging trends; ensure that staff working in services in contact with vulnerable groups, such as pupil referral units and children’s social care, are well-informed; and support the development of appropriate responses.

It will be especially important that any local communications to professionals and young people are proportionate so that they raise awareness and knowledge without driving up interest and drug-seeking.

LSD Microdosing Trial Approved in New Zealand

An LSD microdosing trial has just been given the go ahead in New Zealand. This study is a positive step forward in the study of microdosing as it will be using controlled and measured doses consumed by study participants in a naturalistic setting.

“Users report improvements in mood, wellbeing, improved attention and cognition, so those are the things we will be measuring,” said study leader Dr Suresh Muthukumaraswamy. Dr Muthukumaraswamy is an associate professor at the University of Auckland School of Pharmacy, where much of his research focuses on understanding how therapies alter brain activity, and in developing techniques to measure such changes.

Forty men will be carefully screened to participate in the trial, and LSD microdoses will be tested against placebo. Male only participants are being recruited for this particular study as some of the measures being taken are affected by the menstrual cycle.

At the present time, psychedelic microdosing remains scientifically understudied, since it is hard to distinguish actual effects people experience from placebo. At the present time, most evidence in support of microdosing LSD is largely anecdotal. Previous studies have had serious design flaws, such as users bringing in their own drugs of varying quality, and tests being done in an unnatural, clinical lab environment.

“We’ll be giving microdoses on very tightly controlled prescriptions to take at home – it’ll be a more realistic assessment of what microdosing actually does,” said Dr Muthukumaraswamy.

Psychedelic microdosing is very much in vogue. The practice of consuming tiny amounts of sub-perceptual doses of psychedelic substances (most commonly LSD or psilocybin mushrooms) certainly has an expanding fan base. LSD inventor and discover Albert Hofmann was himself an advocate of microdosing, feeling that it could have a positive effect on mental health and physical functioning. Aside from this study, there are ongoing rigorous studies on psychedelic microdosing currently being carried out by Imperial College London and Maastricht University. Together, this research will provide a much clearer picture on the effects of this practice.

Does psychedelic microdosing yield concrete effects in its advocates? Or is it all a placebo effect? This remains to be answered scientifically, but this research will help to provide a clear answer. If the effects are found to be more than placebo, psychedelic microdosing could provide a more user friendly way of using psychedelics that could yield a host of potential therapeutic applications.

Mental Health and Mood Benefits of DMT


Firstly, if you are looking into personal development, personality type, or psychological state management, you need to take a look at our free MP3 designed to ‘tune’ your brainwaves.  To get it, click here. ​

That being said . . . Your mental health affects every aspect of your life and you want to do what you can to enhance and protect it. While if your mental health is affected, there are a number of potential conventional treatments, these do not work for all people. Untreated mental health problems are a major concern throughout most of the world. There are alternative treatments that can be of benefit to a number of people. DMT is one of the alternative treatments that people seek out to aid in improving their overall mental health and mood.

When you are using DMT, you should be cautious and make sure that you are using it properly or else there is a risk for negative effects. The general recommendation is that you work with someone who has experience in using this drug for improved mental health purposes. This ensures that you have the greatest chance at reaping the positive benefits.  That being said, I still recommend that you test this ‘MP3’ designed to ‘train’ your brainwaves to optimal states. This is free through our site when you click here.

Looking at How DMT Improves Mood and Mental Health

Using DMT can do many positive things for your mood when you are using it properly. In fact, one of the most common uses of this drug is to aid in improving your overall mood and mental health. With proper use of DMT under the direction of someone who has experience using this drug, you can expect the following benefits:

  • Enhanced self-confidence
  • Heightened self-esteem
  • A reduction in the negative effects of emotional or physical trauma
  • Reduction in anxiety
  • Decrease in depression and its symptoms
  • Improved body image
  • Enhanced personal empowerment
  • Improved emotional health
  • Better sense of self
  • Improved ability to cope with grief and loss

These benefits tend to come over time as you continue to have DMT experiences. However, after one use, many people report feeling better overall. This drug offers a sense of euphoria that is present immediately after having a DMT experience. How long this lasts depends on the person, but most people report that their mood is improved for several days after a single DMT experience. Talk to someone with experience to get a better idea about what to expect.

How DMT Can Help to Improve Your Mental Health

As long as you are taking DMT properly, it can offer a number of benefits to your mood and mental health. These benefits typically include:

  • Improving your overall self-confidence
  • Enhancing your self-esteem
  • Reducing physical tension and stress
  • Improving your ability to communicate and improving your social skills
  • Allowing you to establish a better connection between your emotions, thoughts and actions
  • Having a positive change in your behavior, clarity and thought patterns
  • Allowing you to better express your emotions

A better mood is typically an immediate side effect of using DMT properly. It helps to reduce negative emotions so that you are less likely to allow them to take over and control you. You will find that you naturally become a more positive person who is more likely to see the good things in life. This is important because when you are not allowing negative emotions to take over, you tend to have a better level of mental health. Being more positive and happy are something that DMT can help with because it allows you to free your mind of worry.

Using DMT Properly to Reap the Most Benefit

The first thing you want to do is find someone who is experienced in using DMT to enhance mood and mental health. They will help you to determine the right dose so that you are most likely to only experience the positive effects of the drug. It is critical that you take the right dose so that you get the effects that you want. They will also help you to set the scene so that you have your DMT experience in the right environment. You need a place that is comfortable and quiet so that you can focus on the benefits.

Now that you have some general information about how DMT can help with your mood and mental health, you want to talk to someone who understands how to properly use DMT. To reap all of the benefits listed above, it is critical that you practice proper use. You need to use DMT in the right setting, using the information above about getting the setting and environment prepared before you have your DMT experience. It also ensures that you are more likely to have the positive effects so that you can improve your mental health over the long-term.

– Rosemary Kitchen


Deep in the heart of the Amazon jungle lives a people who have found a way to create dimethyltryptamine (DMT), the most potent psychedelic drug in the world, in the form of a tea brewed from jungle plants. A DMT trip is said to have intense psychological effects, and, in recent decades, the drug has been the subject of close scientific scrutiny.

So what do you have in common with a tea used in Amazonian tribal rituals?

You and the brew called ayahuasca both may contain the powerful psychedelic drug. At least, according to some research, DMT may be found in the human body, whether it is produced in the body or comes from another source. This molecule occurs naturally in plants and animals and some hypothesize that it may potentially be found in every living organism.

However, the human body naturally suppresses this molecule when it’s ingested. Little is known about DMT in the human body or what function it serves if it naturally occurs within the body or where it comes from if it doesn’t.

Since our bodies suppress DMT when eaten, shamans in the Amazonian rainforest have found a way around our bodies’ reluctance to accept the psychedelic drug. Ayahuasca is a combination of a Banisteriopsis caapi vine and another plant called psychotria viridis.

The resulting brew contains both DMT and a chemical that inhibits an enzyme that would otherwise neutralize the drug if taken orally. This tea is prepared carefully by shamans and accompanied by prayers and rituals or can be used as medicine.

In the US, DMT can be smoked, insufflated, injected, or vaporized for more potent but brief psychological effects. DMT is also known as Dimitri or “the businessman’s trip” because of the short but powerful nature of a DMT trip.


A DMT trip seems to vary in duration and intensity depending on the means of administration. Users that inject the drug intravenously experience short but immediately psychedelic effects while those who drink ayahuasca usually experience longer, less intense effects.

The physical DMT effects are generally mild but can lead to symptoms such as increased heart rate and blood pressure, chest tightness, agitation, dilated pupils, rapid rhythmic eye movements, and dizziness. It can also cause vomiting, nausea, or diarrhea when taken orally.

The psychedelic and hallucinogenic side effects are much more profound and the effects may vary depending on dosage.

  • Low doses cause emotional and some sensory responses with no hallucinogenic responses.
  • Higher doses produce hallucinations involving a feeling of movement, bright colors, and rapidly moving images. Artistic depictions of the DMT trip often have kaleidoscopic qualities.
  • In many cases, high doses produce the feeling that the user is communicating with other life forms that are often referred to as small aliens, dwarves, or elves.
  • Users feel a sense of euphoria, calm, fear, panic, or anxiety.


seeing aliens

Dr. Rick Strassman was the first person in the science community to conduct research on the effects of DMT on humans. In his experiments, he intravenously injected DMT into volunteers and monitored them medically and recorded their experiences. Strassman administered 400 doses of DMT to 60 volunteers over a period of five years between 1990 and 1995. What followed would lead to him writing several books, perform subsequent studies, and even help produce a movie dealing with the strange and powerful nature of DMT.

Half of the volunteers experienced other entities including aliens, other humans, spiders, reptiles, impish creatures, and dwarves.

Many experienced moving images similar to kaleidoscopes resembling Mayan, Islamic, or Aztec geometric patterns. Strassman reported many of these experiences in the book, DMT: The Spirit Molecule, which was later the inspiration for a documentary film of the same name.

Strassman hypothesized that DMT may have something to do with dreaming and may be released into the brain when we die. He also suggested that DMT may come from the pineal gland in the brain, which is responsible for producing melatonin, a serotonin that controls sleep patterns.


Though Strassman’s research marked the beginning of a resurgence of research assessing DMT and psychedelic drugs, no one has more vividly described what happens on a DMT trip as Terence McKenna.

McKenna was an ethnobotanist, lecturer, and author in the 20th century, and also what is called a psychonaut—a person who studies “altered states of consciousness” through meditation or mind-altering substances. During his lifetime he has worked with, studied, and taken a variety of psychedelics including ketamine, LSD, and psilocybin mushrooms. Through McKenna’s extensive experience with the drug, he’s often offered detailed explanations of his typical DMT trip on multiple occasions including in his 1994 lecture titled “Rap Dancing Into the Third Millennium”.

The reports that have been given by DMT users often vary between an intensely emotional and colorful experience to visiting a completely new place with strange entities. According to McKenna, this is because of dosage and how many hits the user takes. After two, colors brighten and images in the room sharpen but the third, “separates the intrepid from the casual,”  he said.

After this barrier, he claimed, users enter another world, which is inhabited by creatures described as “machine elves”.  Similar impish entities have been described by several different DMT users, including the subjects in Strassman’s experiments.

After users come down from the high, McKenna believed they have a few minutes of reflection before some can’t remember the specifics of the experience at all. Because of the way McKenna has experienced the DMT trip fading from memory, he thought DMT might have a role in dreaming. The experience of the DMT trip erasing from memory is reminiscent of the way a dream is harder to remember after you wake up.

Overall, McKenna’s descriptions of his accounts and other’s experiences have been overwhelmingly positive. However, many users experience frightening settings, entities, and events. Like dreams, it seems that a DMT trip can range from being intriguing and unbelievable to becoming a nightmare. The risk of a “bad trip” involving a feeling of loss of control, painful or violent imagery, reliving of traumatic events, and the fear of going insane are significant.


Since Strassman’s hypothesis that DMT may be found or formed in the pineal gland, other studies have pursued this idea. In 2013, Strassman, the Cottonwood Research Foundation, and three other scientists studied DMT and its precursor elements in rat brains. They report finding DMT in rat pineal glands, confirming that Strassman’s hypothesis is correct, at least in some animals. Still, a lot is unknown about the presence of DMT in humans and its function.


Despite DMT’s availability since the mid 20th century and its use for possibly thousands of years in Amazonian cultures, it has not been widely used or abused as a psychedelic drug. In his book, The Archaic Revival, which covers everything from psychedelic mushrooms to UFOs, McKenna offers a possible explanation for this: “…we find DMT to be too much. It is, as they say in Spanish, bastante, it’s enough–so much enough that it’s too much.”

However, since the publication of Dr. Strassman’s book and the subsequent documentary in 2010, DMT use has been on the rise. In 2006, the National Survey on Drug Use and Health found that around 688,000 have used DMT in some form. In 2012, that number had risen to 1,475,000.


Like other psychedelics, there is an extremely low risk of experiencing addiction to DMT. Psychological addiction is possible but still very unlikely, and it should be noted that psychological addiction is possible with anything that triggers your reward center, like anything from mushrooms to love.


According to Strassman, there is also very little risk that users may build a tolerance to the drug. In a study in 1996, he administered intravenous injections of DMT four times at 30-minute intervals, on two separate days and found no evidence of a developed tolerance to the psychedelic effects.

Though the risks of addiction and developing a tolerance are low, there is risk associated with psychedelic drug use of any kind. As with other mind-altering hallucinogens like LSD, or mushrooms, DMT may impair motor functions, reaction time, and coordination. Serious accidents or death may be a risk if users attempt to stand up, move around, operate machinery, or drive.


A study in 2006 by Dr. Robert S. Gable, psychologist and Claremont Graduate University researcher, aimed to assess the risks of ayahuasca as used in rituals. Gable found that the risks of DMT toxicity would require 20 times the average dose and that the risk of adverse psychological reactions was minimal. However, he noted that the potential risk of mixing serotonergic substances (used in antidepressants) with DMT are greater.

Finally, as with any psychedelic drug, there are risks of long-term psychological effects that can occur after prolonged heavy use of DMT. One such risk is persistent psychosis with symptoms that may include:

  • Mood disorders
  • Persistent paranoia
  • Visual disturbances
  • Persistent hallucinations


DMT has no known risk for dangerous overdose. However, users may have an unpleasant experience with the drug when too much is administered at once. According to Strassman, in the documentary, DMT: The Spirit Molecule, a very high dosage can lead to a foggy memory of the DMT trip experiences and vague recollections of unnerving events. “All they really remembered was that something frightening had happened to them and they couldn’t remember the specifics very well.”


Though chemical dependency on psychedelics is rare and unlikely, psychological addictions may occur, especially in those already suffering from mental disorders. Due to the severity of a DMT trip, it is important to seek help immediately.

How Long Does DMT Stay in Your System?

DMT – or N,N-Dimethyltryptamine – is a hallucinogenic and psychoactive drug found in many plants and animals but primarily derived from ayahuasca, a plant native to the jungles of South America. The effects of this intense drug begin quickly but typically end just as quickly. In the United States, DMT is manufactured from ayahuasca into a white powder. The Drug Enforcement Administration States that there is no medical use for this drug, and it is a Schedule I substance.

The length of time DMT spends affecting the brain is influenced by how the drug is consumed; however, it will stay in the body and can be detectable by drug tests for specific amounts of time.

The High from DMT

The High from DMTHallucinations of fairies, conversations with aliens, and the classic “crystalline machine elves” are all commonly reported themes during DMT highs. The drug can be ingested in several ways. It is typically smoked freebase, although more people are traveling to places where they can drink ayahuasca tea. DMT may also be vaped through a pen, bong, or other vaporizer. The powder could be rolled up with tobacco, marijuana, or herbs like parsley and smoked. Some people eat it in various forms; very few people inject the drug, but this method of use does occur occasionally.

Euphoria from DMT sets in within the first five minutes at most. The majority of people who take DMT report that hallucinations begin almost instantly, unlike with other hallucinogenic drugs. The high peaks between three and five minutes, and lasts for 30-45 minutes, which depends more on the size of the dose than on how the drug was ingested.

There is some cross-tolerance between DMT and other hallucinogens like LSD, mescaline, and shrooms. While this means that a person may be able to take more, even a small dose of DMT typically induces visual and auditory hallucinations and sometimes tactile hallucinations.

DMT Side Effects

Once the high from DMT wears off, the person may experience side effects. The comedown may last for one or two days, although psychological side effects are more likely to last longer than physical side effects.

Some of the side effects from DMT include:

  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure
  • Chest pains or tightness
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Cognitive difficulties
  • Headache
  • Reduced physical coordination
  • Muscle weakness

People who are at risk of developing schizophrenia or other forms of psychosis should not take DMT because it could cause these serious mental health conditions to develop. Other mental health conditions like anxiety and depression typically go away once the hangover has ended.

Testing for DMT

The body metabolizes DMT fairly quickly, although different drug tests will show presence of the drug after different amounts of time have passed.

  • Urine tests can detect the presence of DMT for 24 hours; after that, the drug passes through the kidneys and completely out of the body.
  • Saliva tests will show the presence of DMT for between one day and five days after the drug has been consumed. There is no data on whether smoking, snorting, or eating DMT shows up for longer in the saliva.
  • Hair tests can show the presence of any drug for 90 days, including DMT. If a person uses DMT once and is not a habitual user, this one-time experience will show up in their hair for three months.
  • There is no data on whether DMT shows up in blood tests, although it metabolizes out of the body so quickly that this test is unlikely to be more effective than a urine test.

Long-Term Damage from DMT

Long-Term Damage from DMTThere is little information on whether DMT will cause harm to a person long-term, aside from potentially triggering a psychotic break. If people experience a “bad trip” and have frightening hallucinations, they could accidentally harm themselves, which may cause scarring, internal damage, concussion, or other long-lasting injury. If people take DMT routinely for many years, they may cause lasting cardiovascular damage due to elevated heart rate and blood pressure.

DMT is not considered addictive, although some people may regularly abuse it. It does not cause any known withdrawal symptoms, including cravings, although there are some mild comedown effects that are similar to a hangover from alcohol.

There is no known overdose limit or lethal dose from DMT. However, the drug can still lead to situations in which people may take other substances that result in overdose, or cause hallucinations in which people accidentally hurt themselves or others. In order to avoid the risk of these long-term consequences, it is important to avoid all use of DMT and other hallucinogens.

Is MDMA addictive?

Research results vary on whether MDMA is addictive. Experiments have shown that animals will self-administer MDMA—an important indicator of a drug’s abuse potential—although to a lesser degree than some other drugs such as cocaine.

Some people report signs of addiction, including the following withdrawal symptoms:

  • fatigue
  • loss of appetite
  • depression
  • trouble concentrating.


For most people ,a normal dose of MDMA is between 70 and 125mg,HOwever,some people require more to feel thesame effect,while other require less.
Taking a single redose of 1/3 to 1/2 the original dose around the 2 to 3 hour mark can extend the experience a few more hours,Redosing any more than this usually will only increase side effects.

How can people get treatment for addiction to MDMA?

There are no specific medical treatments for MDMA addiction. Some people seeking treatment for MDMA addiction have found behavioral therapy to be helpful. Scientists need more research to determine how effective this treatment option is for addiction to MDMA.

How psilocybin, LSD, and other psychedelic drugs could increase wellness in people without mental illness

When psychologist Martin Seligman became president of the American Psychological Association (APA) in 1998, he did something radical. Over the years, he had grown tired of his fields’ constant focus on the negative (mental illness, trauma, suffering, pain) and felt that more attention should be paid to the other side of the coin: happiness, well-being, and flourishing. He called this “positive psychology,” and made it the theme of his one-year term as APA’s leader. Instead of focusing solely on reducing ill-being, Seligman organized researchers and practitioners around the idea that people should also be given the tools to thrive.

According to experts, psychedelics could be on the way to becoming one of those tools. The past few years have brought a renaissance of research into the role of LSD, psilocybin (aka “magic mushrooms”), MDMA, ayahuasca, and other psychedelic substances in treating depression, PTSD, addiction, and other forms of mental illness. Now, there is a growing interest in bringing the purported benefits of these drugs to “healthy” people — those without diagnosed mental health disorders — in order to help them attain more aspirational levels of well-being.

Psychedelics for Healthy People
mazatapec cubensis

“[Psychedelics] open your mind to a different subjective state of experience, a different way of seeing things, and I don’t see any reason why people should not be allowed to explore that part of their subjective experience if they want to,” says J.W.B Elsey, a PhD candidate in clinical psychology at the University of Amsterdam, who published a review examining existing research into psychedelics for healthy people. “I think it’s totally correct that they should be allowed to be explored in research for therapy, but also that really quite similar arguments apply for [healthy] people using them.”

This idea isn’t new, but it is gaining traction. In the 1990s, researcher Bob Jesse supported the use of psychedelics for what he called the “betterment of well people.” It’s an idea picked up by author Michael Pollan, who wrote the monumental 2018 book “How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence.”

“Who doesn’t sometimes feel stuck in destructive habits of thought? Or couldn’t benefit from the mental reboot that a powerful experience of awe can deliver?” Pollan writes. “One of the lessons of the new [psychedelic] research is that not just mental illness but garden-variety unhappiness may owe something to living under the harsh rule of an ego that, whatever its value, walls us off from our emotions, from other people, and from nature.”

That argument isn’t without pushback. Though attitudes are shifting, psychedelics are still highly stigmatized. Psilocybin, LSD, MDMA, and similar drugs are on the federal government’s list of Schedule 1 substances, which means they are highly restricted, considered to have no currently accepted medical use, and a high potential for abuse. The idea that they can help with serious mental illness is still legally unaccepted and controversial. To think that everyone should be allowed to use them to reach a higher level of well-being? Not on the federal government’s watch.

This hasn’t stopped the biohackers, Silicon Valley personalities, and self-optimization zealots from dabbling in microdosing, ayahuasca ceremonies, and psychedelic tourism. While most of the evidence in support of these claims — improved mood, increased productivity, heightened creativity, deeper insights, and more — has been anecdotal, some researchers have looked into psychedelics’ role in boosting the lives of healthy people and, so far, many of the findings corroborate the claims.

In a 2006 study, for example, healthy volunteers who had never taken psychedelics before were given a dose of psilocybin in a controlled, clinical setting. Afterward, the majority described having a ‘‘complete mystical experience” characterized by self-reported feelings of “unity,” “intuitive knowledge of ultimate reality,” and other measures. Two months later, 58% of those volunteers said the trip was one of the most significant experiences in their lives and 64% reported an increased sense of well-being and life satisfaction following the trip.

While hard to measure, there’s mounting evidence to suggest these things can improve mental health and overall happiness — and that they may be needed now more than ever.

In a 2011 study, a dose of psilocybin given to healthy volunteers lead to a significant increase in openness — a personality trait characterized by imagination and insight — in the majority of the participants, and a 2015 study similarly found that a dose of LSD in healthy subjects led to a subjective increase in well-being, happiness, closeness to others, openness, and trust.

Research has also shown that the claim that psychedelics can unlock creativity could hold up. In a 2012 study, healthy volunteers who participated in several ayahuasca sessions showed a greater capacity for originality in a standardized test of creative thinking, which was similarly shown in a 2016 study. Other research, published last year, also showed that microdosing truffles (a relative to psilocybin) can improve convergent and divergent thinking — two markers of enhanced creativity.

OK, but does access to this altered state of mind brought on by a psychedelic trip really lead to increased wellness in healthy people? It depends on who you ask, and what “wellness” means to them, which makes the debate around psychedelics for healthy people a complicated one without definitive boundaries.

Whereas the presence or absence of depression can be measured on a clinical, APA-approved scale, things like “betterment” and “self-improvement” in healthy people are subjective experiences that are hard to quantify. Wellness in this country is still measured against an absence of disorder rather than markers of self-actualization, and it’s not widely accepted that things like mystical experiencescreativity, and a sense of purpose are necessary for overall well-being. “It’s new territory for us as people measuring psychological effects, and it’s a challenge,” says Harriet de Wit, PhD, founder of the Human Behavioral Pharmacology Laboratory at the University of Chicago.

De Wit recently ran an LSD microdosing study with healthy volunteers. She said the participants didn’t show any improvements in mood, but they did report small boosts in feelings of “oneness,” “awe,” and “connection to a higher power.” While hard to measure, there’s mounting evidence to suggest these things can improve mental health and overall happiness — and that they may be needed now more than ever. Western societies are on the brink of a loneliness epidemic, which some experts blame for the rise of suicide, and the United States does seem to be sliding further into a mass existential crisis caused by a sense of meaninglessness. This type of “garden-variety unhappiness,” as Pollan puts it, is hard to treat. Those advocating for the use of psychedelics for healthy people believe a consciousness-expanding trip could help.

Brad Burge, a spokesman for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), says that the organization believes that the mind-expanding benefits of psychedelics could “facilitate more holistic understandings of the world, and greater compassion for ourselves and for others.”

There’s another open question circling the use of psychedelics: their safety. Scientists still don’t have enough research to prove that these drugs are devoid of negative short- and long-term effects.

This concern has launched a separate line of research into psychedelics for healthy people — one specifically focused on examining safety. Though de Wit’s study used healthy volunteers, one main purpose of the research was to examine the potential risks involved in microdosing LSD as a treatment for depression. (No adverse risks were found). According to Brad Burge, the Beckley Foundation, a psychedelic research and policy organization, is also currently running a safety study to see if there are any potential negative side effects of microdosing LSD (though the researchers will also take measurements around creativity).

Knowing the risks associated with these drugs is a critical first step to considering a future where healthy people take psychedelics in the name of self-improvement. But it’s also foundational to psychedelics’ potential as a clinical intervention.

Researchers are taking a top-down approach to advocating for the use of psychedelics: first proving the drugs’ efficacy as a treatment for mental illness, then showing that their ability to push the human mind to new realms of understanding could be beneficial to all.

“Our long-term mission is to see these substances used in any setting by humans in which they can be used safely and effectively for any purpose,” says Burge. “But in order to do that, we need to work carefully and methodically to follow all the rules and regulations. That’s how we’re going to achieve the goal.”

Psychedelics for Healthy People. Psychedelics for Healthy People. Psychedelics for Healthy People

Psychologists explore potential benefits of hallucinogens for mental health disorders

Can psychedelic drugs heal?

Summary : Many people think of psychedelics as relics from the hippie generation or something taken by ravers and music festival-goers, but they may one day be used to treat disorders ranging from social anxiety to depression, according to research presented at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association.

Can psychedelic drugs heal?
Can psychedelic drugs heal?

“Combined with psychotherapy, some psychedelic drugs like MDMA, psilocybin and ayahuasca may improve symptoms of anxiety, depression and post-traumatic stress disorder,” said Cristina L. Magalhaes, PhD, of Alliant International University Los Angeles, and co-chair of a symposium on psychedelics and psychotherapy. “More research and discussion are needed to understand the possible benefits of these drugs, and psychologists can help navigate the clinical, ethical and cultural issues related to their use.”

Hallucinogens have been studied in the U.S. for their potential healing benefits since the discovery of LSD in the 1940s. However, research has mostly stalled since psychedelics were outlawed in the late 1960s.

A shift may be coming soon though, as MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy, is beginning its third and final phase of clinical trials in an effort to win Food and Drug Administration approval for treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, said Adam Snider, MA, of Alliant International University Los Angeles, and co-chair of the symposium.

Findings from one study presented at the symposium suggested that symptoms of social anxiety in autistic adults may be treatable with a combination of psychotherapy and MDMA. Twelve autistic adults with moderate to severe social anxiety were given two treatments of pure MDMA plus ongoing therapy and showed significant and long-lasting reductions in their symptoms, the research found.

“Social anxiety is prevalent in autistic adults and few treatment options have been shown to be effective,” said Alicia Danforth, PhD, of the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at the Harbor UCLA Medical Center, who conducted the study. “The positive effects of using MDMA and therapy lasted months, or even years, for most of the research volunteers.”

Research discussed also explored how LSD, psilocybin (known colloquially as “magic mushrooms”) and ayahuasca (a brew used by indigenous people of the Amazon for spiritual ceremonies) may benefit people with anxiety, depression and eating disorders.

Adele Lafrance, PhD, of Laurentian University, highlighted a study of 159 participants who reported on their past use of hallucinogens, level of spirituality and relationship with their emotions.

Using hallucinogens was related to greater levels of spirituality, which led to improved emotional stability and fewer symptoms of anxiety, depression and disordered eating, the study found.

“This study reinforces the need for the psychological field to consider a larger role for spirituality in the context of mainstream treatment because spiritual growth and a connection to something greater than the self can be fostered,” said Lafrance.

Other research presented suggested that ayahuasca may help alleviate depression and addiction, as well as assist people in coping with trauma.

“We found that ayahuasca also fostered an increase in generosity, spiritual connection and altruism,” said Clancy Cavnar, PhD, with Núcleo de Estudos Interdisciplinares sobre Psicoativos.

For people suffering from life-threatening cancer, psilocybin may provide significant and lasting decreases in anxiety and distress.

When combined with psychotherapy, psilocybin helped a study’s 13 participants grapple with loss and existential distress. It also helped the participants reconcile their feelings about death as nearly all participants reported that they developed a new understanding of dying, according to Gabby Agin-Liebes, BA, of Palo Alto University, who conducted the research.

“Participants made spiritual or religious interpretations of their experience and the psilocybin treatment helped facilitate a reconnection to life, greater mindfulness and presence, and gave them more confidence when faced with cancer recurrence,” said Agin-Liebes.

Presenters throughout the symposium discussed the need for more research to fully understand the implications of using psychedelics as an adjunct to psychotherapy as well as the ethical and legal issues that need to be considered.

Can psychedelic drugs heal?

Can psychedelic drugs heal?

Can psychedelic drugs heal?

Source : American Psychological Association

WHAT IS PCP and how it afffects us ?

What is PCP?

Phencyclidine (PCP) is a mind-altering drug that may lead to hallucinations (a profound distortion in a person’s perception of reality). It is considered a dissociative drug, leading to a distortion of sights, colors, sounds, self, and one’s environment. PCP was developed in the 1950s as an intravenous anesthetic, but due to the serious neurotoxic side effects, its development for human medical use was discontinued. Ketamine (Ketalar), an anesthetic used for surgery and painful procedures was developed instead and is structurally similar to PCP.

In its purest form, PCP is a white crystalline powder that readily dissolves in water or alcohol and has a distinctive bitter chemical taste. On the illicit drug market, PCP contains a number of contaminants causing the color to range from a light to darker brown with a powdery to a gummy mass consistency. you can buy pcp online at buy pcp online

What are PCP’s effects on the brain?

Pharmacologically, PCP is a noncompetitive NMDA (N-methyl-D-aspartate) receptor antagonist and glutamate receptor antagonist, but also interacts with other receptor sites, and may have effects with dopamine, opioid and nicotinic receptors.

How is PCP used?

PCP is available in a variety of tablets, capsules, and colored powders, which are either smoked, taken orally or by the intranasal route (“snorted”).

Smoking is the most common route when used recreationally. The liquid form of PCP is actually PCP base often dissolved in ether, a highly flammable solvent. For smoking, PCP is typically sprayed onto leafy material such as mint, parsley, oregano, or marijuana. PCP may also be injected. The effects of PCP can last for 4 to 6 hours.

What are the effects of recreational PCP use?

Many believe PCP to be one of the most dangerous drugs of abuse. A moderate amount of PCP often causes users to feel detached, distant, and estranged from their surroundings.

  • Numbness of the extremities, slurred speech, and loss of coordination may be accompanied by a sense of strength and invulnerability.
  • A blank stare, rapid and involuntary eye movements, and an exaggerated gait are among the more observable effects.
  • Auditory hallucinations, image distortion, severe mood disorders, and amnesia may also occur.
  • Acute anxiety and a feeling of impending doom, paranoia, violent hostility, a psychoses indistinguishable from schizophrenia.BUY PCP ONLINE

Physiological effects of low to moderate doses of PCP include:

  • slight increase in breathing rate
  • rise in blood pressure and pulse rate
  • shallow respiration
  • flushing and profuse sweating occurs.
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