Recently, psychedelic drugs have been experimented with as tools to illuminate the workings of the brain and treat depression. Substances such as psilocybin, LSD, and MDMA may be of the few drugs considered as a form of treatment for fighting substance addiction. So far, they have been looked at to treat most controlled substances such as alcohol, cocaine, and cigarettes.
It is not entirely clear how these drugs work but appears that the experience itself is helping people in a series of ways to change their behaviors and perspective. The use of these drugs has begun after a long history of difficulty in treating addiction. A frustration with the lack of existing options has influenced many doctors to look elsewhere in order to help their patients.
Psychedelics right now are appearing in many clinical trials and as a single shot at treating substance dependence. It is seen as a new paradigm for psychiatry that differs from a regular long-term form of treatment.
Research done nearly 50 years ago focused on using LSD to treat alcohol and narcotic addictions. The results concluded that previous psychedelic use was a good predictor of completing the program drug-free. From there more trials were organized to dispense psilocybin to patients followed by several therapy sessions.
While, the direct results of psilocybin are unclear it appears to have an effect on the individuals mindfulness. The trips these drugs deliver often report changes in the person’s observation of themselves. An individual after taking psychedelics will often gain a better understanding of their motivations and behaviors detached from judgment and other hindrances.
Despite lack of information on how the drugs actually operate in the brain, it appears that they are making a difference. In psychiatry it is not common to treat for the outcome without knowing the mechanisms behind the process. Trials to come will prove if the effects are truly beneficial and everlasting! If so, psychedelics may change the way we think about treating addiction.