Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Shrooms make people behave better?

In an article 'Shroom' Study Reveals Lasting Effects scientists reported Tuesday that when they surveyed volunteers 14 months after they took a psychedelic drug as part of a research project, most said they were still feeling and behaving better because of the experience.

I find it interesting that they started to study the effects of magic mushrooms again. I wonder what drug company wants to harvest them and make them into a magic cure all? Yes there is potential use for psilocybin, the hallucinogen drug found in shrooms. This may help people feel better, that is how they work. So it is quite possible to try and turn it into a new anti-depression drug, or something to help addicts of both drugs and alcohol. I do not doubt that there are medicinal properties to be found in psilocybin. It is finding it, legalizing it for medical use and then packaging it and marketing it that is going to take a little time.

What I found even more interesting is that some of the people in the study still feel that the one time use of the psilocybin is still having an affect on their lives. What would happen to someone who uses this on a regular basses? Would they become the typical hippy stereotype; relaxed, happy, and no real ambition but to get the next high and some snacks?

Are there more studies planned? If so, what type of person would volunteer? Could it be that a certain type of person is drawn to a test study like this, a controlled environment in which to get high? Could this be affecting their results? What would happen if they took a random sample of people off the street and did the same study? Would there be a difference in the results? Could it also be that the people in the study were looking for a life changing experience and therefore were more open to change, this just gave them a catalyst for the change. Could the side effects just be in their minds because they wanted to change or was there an actual physical change in their brains? If so how do you test for that? Can you do a before and after mapping of the brain?

For me this study gives me more questions then answers. Yes they already knew that psilocybin would give people an out of this world or psyco-delic experience, that’s why people use shrooms in the first place. So some of the people feel better 16 months after participating in the study. However it was based on a survey, no real scientific reading or testing was done. If something has changed for these people, what is it? I can see it now, drugies all over the world claiming they use shrooms because it makes them a better person. That is great, but can you prove it? Drunken people think they are better lovers and drivers and everyone knows the truth about that, what they think and what they do are completely different.

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