Psilocybin: Therapeutic use

Last modified: Saturday, 20. June 2009 - 3:00 pm

Psilocybin is an illegal drug with no accepted Therapeutic uses. Before 1968, psilocybin was readily available in natural and synthetic forms in the United States. For over a decade, the drug was used in numerous tests to see if it had therapeutic value. One study was done from 1961-63. Timothy Leary and Ralph Metzner attempted to reform criminals at the Massachusetts Correctional Institute in Concord. The inmates were given two high doses of psilocybin over six weeks, along with several sessions of therapy. It was hoped that in the drug-induced state, inmates would confront their inclinations, gain new personal insights, and choose to leave the life of crime. The real test came when the inmates were released from prison. In the final analysis, the psilocybin-subjected inmates had the same rate of return to prison as the inmates who were not part of the study. In addition, they had more parole violations than the general parolees. In numerous other studies, psilocybin was employed to help people with mental and emotional illnesses. Because psilocybin causes shifts in perception and loosens emotions and thoughts, this drug was used to treat neurotic and psychosomatic disorders.
Numerous studies in the 1960s failed to demonstrate that psilocybin has positive and long-lasting benefits for patients. Abuse of psilocybin by the general population was on the rise. In 1968, psilocybin was made illegal. In 2002, there were psilocybin studies underway to see if the drug can be useful in treating obsessive-compulsive disorder or if it can be used as a truth serum. As there is a worldwide trend for increased use of Psilocybe mushrooms, especially among young adults, several studies are underway in Germany and Switzerland to better understand the effects of psilocybin on the mind and body.
Psilocybe mushrooms are still used by Mexican natives in divinatory psychotherapy, which is therapy that focuses on mental and emotional problems. Manuals written in the 1600s detail the use of Psilocybe mushrooms by native shamans for curing virtually every physical ailment. There is no scientific evidence supporting the effectiveness of this ancient religious tradition in curing disease.

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