Can LSD and Mushrooms Help Mental Health?

Before doing any research, I had previously believed Lysergic Acid Diethylamide, LSD and Psilocybin mushrooms, were recreational drugs that were taken by hippies and Grateful Dead fans in the sixties. I believed it was a way for people to escape reality. However, after researching, it was apparent to me that people used this drug for other reasons than just to get “high”. Many people take very small doses of these drugs to benefit their mental health. This procedure is caused micro dosing, and there are many studies that show the positive results of doing this. Two studies done by Megan Webb, James Fadiman, and Sophia Korb tested the effects of micro dosing on a controlled group of people. The results show that micro dosing can benefit mental health in a variety of ways: enhance mood, increase creativity, help depression and anxiety, help people overcome addiction, replace anti-depressants and prescribed stimulants, increase confidence, and help people with mental issues due to physical problems in participants. 

Some participants in Webb’s study reported quitting heroin, opioids, alcohol, and even cigarettes due to micro dosing. One example of this is Marcus who claims, “I’ve been addicted to heroin for the past three years and I’ve also quit heroin completely, since I’ve started micro dosing,”. Another participant with an addiction to cigarettes stated that one of the first things he noticed when he started micro dosing was that he had no inclination to smoke anymore. There are also studies that show how micro dosing LSD and mushrooms can help with emotional symptoms that are a result of physical health issues. Some health issues may include cancer, menstrual cramps, or serious injuries that lead to depression. One participant named Tori in Webb’s experiment experienced a really bad brain injury that left her feeling unlike the person she was before the injury. She said starting to microdose made her feel how she felt before the injury, and that it really benefitted her mental health. Another example is that A participant in Webb’s study was experiencing extreme trauma in their life due to the death of a loved one. Her name is Ashley, and she started micro dosing as a way to help her deal with grief and sadness. Ashley stated, “We had a friend die and it was just a really hard time. I mean a very hard time, it was my husband’s best friend…So I feel like it [micro dosing] helped a lot of things too, not just the goals I did have, but i feel like it made me feel better and pulled me out of a funk I was in.”

There are many common themes and conclusions that can be drawn from micro dosing. Generally, positive experiences make up 80% of micro dosing examples, and negative and neutral experiences make up the other 20%. From performing extensive research, my previous beliefs about Lysergic Acid Diethylamide and Psilocybin mushrooms have changed. When used in a controlled setting, there are shocking positive results. I believe that micro dosing could possibly be revolutionary in the medical field and should be more seriously by people in the medical field.

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