Psychedelic drugs have been in practice for many years to treat several mental illnesses and even addiction. Some years after their use, though, they stopped being popular because of their misuse, abuse, inadequate clinical trials, and lack of research in the field.
Recent studies, however, show that psychedelic drugs can be a lot of help in alleviating symptoms of depression and many other mental health concerns. The use of psychedelics, if done in moderation, can help with suicidal tendencies and in patients who are resistant to any treatment. The use of psychedelic drugs in such therapies is called psychedelic therapy.
What is psychedelic therapy?
The use of plants and substances that can produce hallucinations to treat mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), etc., is known as psychedelic therapy. The substances and compounds used most commonly in treating mental health concerns are LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, and mescaline (peyote).
How exactly do they work?
Researchers studying psychedelic drugs and their effects on the human brain have not yet explained why and how these drugs work. The assumption is that they change neurotransmitter levels in the brain. This causes the brain to be loosely explained as “reset” and have a new perspective with the help of an unusual, mystical experience. Many even say that psychedelic drugs can cause one to be more open to more ideas during therapy.
Many times doctors prescribe this therapy just on its own, and other times it can also be paired with different kinds of treatments. The goal of psychedelic therapy is to aid traditional medicine. Mostly they are also used when traditional methods do not work well for a person.
Here are some health issues that psychedelic drugs can help with:
Terminal illnesses – When a person suffers a terminal illness, it is natural to feel depressed and anxious, and/or both. In such a case, these drugs can be beneficial to ease out the person’s feelings.
Depression and anxiety: These drugs can also help with depression and anxiety as standalone problems. They help reduce the symptoms with the help of mystical experiences and hallucinations. Studies have shown that psychedelic drugs have even helped many open up and discuss their symptoms.
Post-traumatic stress disorder: There have been studies that have shown significant reductions in trauma symptoms amongst users after administering psychedelic drugs. So, they can also be used to help ease out past trauma in users.
Addiction: Addiction and other mental disorders usually occur together, which explains why something that can help one helps with the other as well. It is suspected that by reducing the symptoms of other disorders, the drugs can help one stop abusing substances.
Eating disorders: It has been proven via research that having hallucinations and otherworldly experiences can help one get a new perspective on their body image and steer their mind to healthier thoughts. These have been accounts of people who admitted to having new insights while under the influence of psychedelic drugs.