Psychedelic Mushrooms May Help Treat Drug Addiction; Somebody Call the Irony Police
Congratulations drug addicts -- doctors hope to prove that the cure for your addiction is the actual cause of your affliction: More drugs!
Doctors from around the globe are meeting in San Jose, California, this week to revisit the topic of hallucinogenic drugs used to treat stuff such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and -- of all things -- addiction to drugs and alcohol.
Way to fight fire with fire.
The hallucinogen in question isn't your 1960s-variety, Timothy Leary acid -- it's psilocybin (the stuff that makes you trip out when you eat hallucinogenic mushrooms).
According to a New York Times report, doctors at several universities across the world, including the University of Arizona, have been researching the effects of using the chemical as a way to treat a variety of different ailments, and patients are responding positively.
One of the test subjects, retired physician Clark Martin, suffers from depression, but after treatment with psilocybin during an experiment at Johns Hopkins Medical Center, the 65-year-old Martin says things magically got better.
"All of a sudden, everything familiar started evaporating," he tells the Times. "Imagine you fall off a boat out in the open ocean, and you turn around, and the boat is gone. And then the water's gone. And then you're gone."
After about eight hours, cool stuff like that stops happening, but Martin says the long-term effects of the treatment -- in his case -- have been positive.
Dr. Charles Grob has been researching the drug at UCLA. and calls it a form of "existential medicine" that helps dying people overcome panic, fear, and depression.
"Under the influences of hallucinogens," Dr. Grob writes in his study, "individuals transcend their primary identification with their bodies and experience ego-free states before the time of their actual physical demise, and return with a new perspective and profound acceptance of the life constant: change."
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you'll never miss Phoenix New Times' biggest stories.