Should senior citizens start dropping acid? Some new studies say “yes”

Hippie_acid_shutterstock_1121041799Recent studies by leading organizations are finding psilocybin mushrooms lower rates of psychological distress, help overcome alcoholism, and show lasting beneficial effects to ease anxiety in cancer and/or terminal patients. Who knew??

Three leading organizations — Johns Hopkins University, New York University, and Harvard Medical School have recently researched the effects of LSD to ease anxiety in cancer and/or terminal patients.

Results show a LASTING beneficial effect — when taking the drug with a qualified therapist to guide the “trip.” (See this excellent article on results from the Huffington Post.)

The New York University and Johns Hopkins University study showed that a single treatment with psilocybin (the active ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms) reduced anxiety and depression in 80% of cancer patients (see writeup here).

A trip best taken with a “guide”

The editor of Time Goes By (a very popular blog on aging) wrote recently on using a guided trip on “magic mushrooms” to ease her anxiety attacks caused by a terminal cancer diagnosis. She described the trip and the debrief the next morning in detail, and also described a peace that stayed with her in the weeks afterwards. Unfortunately, I can’t find that post on her site anymore, and wonder if she deleted it.

However, she just added some information on the subject in the second half of her post here, including that 53% of the U.S. (2018 study by YouGov) supports research into the beneficial effects of psychedelics, while 69% of those with a graduate degree support it.

Help for alcoholics

A 2012 study by Krebs and Johansen found that use of LSD, when administered to patients being treated for alcoholism, proved helpful. Patients given a dose of LSD were less likely to relapse into misusing alcohol.

Less psychological distress

Later Krebs and Johansen analyzed data from the 2001-2004 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.  They noted the incidence of general psychological distress in the 130,000 randomly selected people — both users and non-users of psychedelic drugs.

“The researchers found that lifetime use of psilocybin or mescaline and past-year use of LSD might be linked to lower rates of serious psychological distress. Lifetime use of LSD was linked to fewer psychiatric medicine prescriptions and lower frequency of outpatient treatment for issues of mental health.”

Studies on other psychedelics

YouGov reports that another controlled trial showed that on average, after three doses of MDMA, patients experienced a 56% decrease in severity of PTSD symptoms. More importantly, 66% no longer met the criteria for PTSD by the end of the trial.

Studies at Yale, Mount Sinai and the National Institute of Mental Health suggest that ketamine relieves depression within six hours, especially in patients who were resistant to conventional antidepressant medicine.

What’s in the future?

Apparently the states of Oregon and California have ballot initiatives in the works to legalize some form of psychedelics. A GOP lawmaker in Iowa has introduced a bill to do the same. The city of Denver is voting on May 7, 2019, on legalizing psychedelic psilocybin mushrooms.

If you are facing one of the above scenarios where research shows psilocybin may help, you might talk to your doctor to find out if there are research studies you could join.

Author bio
Jen008_smallMarlene Jensen is a 71-year-old full-time marketing professor. Previously she was a VP at CBS and ABC and spent decades as an entrepreneur and pricing author/consultant. Sadly, none of these prepared her for the onslaught of marketers who now think her daily interests/needs consist solely of hearing aids, wheel chairs, adult diapers, medi-alert buttons, medications, and bath tubs you walk into.

One thought on “Should senior citizens start dropping acid? Some new studies say “yes”

  1. I read about Ronni’s experience with great interest. You may also enjoy Michael Pollen’s book, “How to Change Your Mind.” I’ve never tried psychedelics, but I believe they have viable uses. Under the right conditions, I’d probably give it a go.

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