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  1. Terrapinzflyer
    • * Scientists seek dosage “sweet spot,” find positive effects lasting over a year
      * Former U.S. “Drug Czar” raises policy question
      * Clinical trials now underway

    BALTIMORE, June 15 -- Scientists at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have zeroed in on the dose levels of the “sacred mushroom” chemical capable of yielding positive, life-changing experiences, while minimizing the chance of transient negative reactions in screened volunteers under supportive, carefully monitored conditions.

    The findings, published online this week in the journal Psychopharmacology, come from the latest in a series of rigorous experiments done at Johns Hopkins designed to shed scientific light on psilocybin, a substance found in certain psychoactive mushrooms and used for centuries in various cultures for divinatory, healing, and religious purposes.

    Looking back over a year later, most of the experiment’s 18 volunteers (94 percent) rated a psilocybin session as among the top five most or as the topmost spiritually significant experience of his or her life. Under higher doses, up to a third experienced great fear or anxiety or had delusions, yet those reactions, the researchers report, were managed with gentle reassurance from the study monitors and did not outlast the session or harm the volunteers.

    Most volunteers (89 percent) also reported positive changes in their behaviors, and those reports were corroborated by family members or others, the researchers say. The behavior changes most frequently cited were improved relationships with family and others, increased physical and psychological self-care, and increased devotion to spiritual practice.

    In the experiment, volunteers were given preparatory guidance and five sessions each a month apart, four with different doses of psilocybin and one with placebo (no dose). While the positive effects of psilocybin increased with increasing doses, the likelihood of fear or delusions increased sharply at the highest doses. At the second-highest dose given, two-thirds of the volunteers rated the experience as among the five most spiritually significant of their lifetime, and just 5.6 percent reported intervals of "extreme" fear or anxiety during the session. With the highest dose, the percentage of participants having a top-five experience rose modestly, from 67 percent to 78 percent, but the percentage of those having psychological struggle rose sixfold, to 33 percent.

    The researchers also found that participants who received lower psilocybin doses before the higher doses were more likely to have long-lasting positive changes in attitudes, behavior, and remembered mystical-type experiences than those who received the highest dose first.

    The study’s lead scientist, Roland Griffiths, Ph.D., a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences and neuroscience at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, explained that “in cultures before ours, the spiritual guide or healer had to discern how much of what type of mushroom to use for what purposes, because the strength of psychoactive mushrooms varies from species to species and even from specimen to specimen. In our laboratory, we’re working with the pure chemical psilocybin, which we can measure out precisely. We wanted to take a methodical look at how its effects change with dosage. We seem to have found levels of the substance and particular conditions for its use that give a high probability of a profound and beneficial experience, a low enough probability of psychological struggle, and very little risk of any actual harm.”

    Two Practical Questions
    Commenting on the findings, Jerome Jaffe, M.D., of the University of Maryland School of Medicine, who served as the first White House “Drug Czar” and has also been a consultant to the World Health Organization on drug issues, remarked, “The Hopkins psilocybin studies clearly demonstrate that this route to the mystical is not to be walked alone. But they have also demonstrated significant and lasting benefits. That raises two questions: Could psilocybin-occasioned experiences prove therapeutically useful, for example in dealing with the psychological distress experienced by some terminal patients? And should properly-informed citizens, not in distress, be allowed to receive psilocybin for its possible spiritual benefits, as we now allow them to pursue other possibly risky activities such as cosmetic surgery and mountain-climbing?”

    Research Underway
    The dose-effect findings published this week help pave the way for research into possible therapeutic uses of psilocybin. One ongoing study at Hopkins is exploring whether psilocybin-induced peak experiences can help alleviate anxiety and fear of death in cancer patients. Another study is testing whether psilocybin can help smokers quit cigarettes.

    A third psilocybin experiment underway at Hopkins is working with healthy volunteers engaged in spiritual exploration. The research examines the outcomes of psilocybin sessions in combination with various spiritual practices such as meditation, awareness training, and dialogue with other study participants.

    In its completed and current studies combined, the Hopkins research team has given more than 210 psilocybin sessions to more than 100 volunteers. Nearly all volunteers have reported that their psilocybin sessions have lead to significant and lasting increases in well-being.

    The report published online in Psychopharmacology, “Psilocybin occasioned mystical-type experiences: immediate and persisting dose-related effects,” was authored by Roland R. Griffiths, Matthew W. Johnson, Una McCann, William A. Richards, Brian D. Richards, and Robert Jesse. The research was supported by grants from the Council on Spiritual Practices, the Heffter Research Institute, the Betsy Gordon Foundation, and the National Institutes of Health.

    SUPPLEMENTAL MATERIAL

    Study Design
    The latest study was conducted with 18 volunteers, ages 29 to 62, screened to include only psychologically and physically healthy individuals. Each volunteer received five carefully monitored, eight-hour sessions a month apart, four with varying amounts of psilocybin and a fifth session with placebo. As in earlier Hopkins psilocybin studies, the sessions took place in an aesthetic, living-room-like setting, and the volunteers were encouraged to recline on a couch, put on eye shades and headphones, and to turn their attention inward as a program of music played. The program, used for all sessions, consisted of classical and world music chosen to complement the arc of the psilocybin action, from onset, through the peak of the effects, and subsiding back to baseline.

    The study was “blind,” meaning neither the volunteers, the monitors, nor the scientists knew how much psilocybin had been given during any session. Most of the research team was also blind to another aspect of the study, namely, that the five sessions would be conducted with either ascending or descending psilocybin amounts administered across consecutive sessions.

    Study Findings
    The new study showed an orderly relationship between the dose of psilocybin and both its transient and persisting effects. Even the lowest dose produced measurable changes during the hours of drug action. However, the effects most likely to be beneficial and long-lived occurred at the higher doses. Notably, between the second-highest and the highest doses given, the likelihood of a “complete” mystical-type experience, resembling those reported by religious mystics from diverse traditions, increased from 44 percent to 56 percent, and the likelihood of a volunteer having what he or she a month later would call “the single most spiritually significant experience of his/her life” increased from 28 percent to 44 percent.

    While the second-highest dose administered was moderately less likely than the highest dose to produce a potentially life-changing experience, it was much less likely to produce fear, anxiety, or delusions during the session. At the second-highest dose, one of the 18 volunteers (5.6 percent) reported “extreme” fear or anxiety during some interval of the session. At the highest dose, that proportion increased to six out of 18 (33 percent). In all instances, the fear or anxiety was managed with gentle reassurance from the monitors and the passage of time, and did not lead to any reported or observed negative consequences after the session.

    One month after sessions, a majority of the volunteers (61 percent) considered their psilocybin experience during either or both of the two highest-dose sessions to have been the single most spiritually significant of their lives, and most (83 percent) rated it as among their top five. When asked at 14-month follow-up, that proportion increased from 83 percent to 94 percent. Additionally, 83 percent said it increased their well-being or life satisfaction moderately or very much, and 89 percent said it lead to moderate, strong, or extreme improvements in their behaviors. Of the 90 total sessions conducted during the study, none were rated as having decreased well-being or life satisfaction.

    Although the ascending or descending order did not alter the transient effects of a single dose, the ascending sequence overall was found to be somewhat more likely to yield long-lasting positive changes in attitudes, behavior, and remembered mystical-type experiences.

    These findings reinforce previous Hopkins research showing that psilocybin, given under well-designed conditions, has a high probability of leading to mystical or spiritual experiences descriptively identical to spontaneous ones mystics have reported across cultures and throughout the ages, while not leading to drug abuse or organ toxicity. Furthermore, the research has shown that the mystical-type experience is often followed by positive changes in attitudes, mood, life satisfaction, and behavior, including altruistic behavior, that persist for more than a year, as described by the subjects and also by observers close to them.

    The results do not necessarily generalize to other populations, such as people less carefully screened or those without a spiritual orientation, nor do they generalize to conditions of use other than the carefully monitored study environment.

    From Insights to Improvements
    The behavior changes most frequently cited were improved relationships with family and others, increased physical and psychological self-care, and increased devotion to spiritual practice. Mary Cosimano, M.S.W., a lead monitor for the study in the Johns Hopkins Behavioral Pharmacology Research Unit, noted, “It’s an incredible privilege to be able to witness and support our participants before, during, and after their psilocybin sessions. In a single day, deep emotions and insights often arise, and sometimes profound peace, clarity, and compassion. More than a few of our participants were able to turn such an experience into real improvements in their ongoing lives.”

    Risk Management
    Matthew Johnson, Ph.D., an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins and lead author of an earlier Hopkins paper on hallucinogen safety, explained that “safety with psilocybin encompasses more than its direct pharmacological effects. We know that psilocybin is remarkably non-toxic to the body’s organ systems. But there are indirect risks: if someone experiences high anxiety, fear, or paranoia during a psilocybin session, it’s not hard to imagine them behaving in ways harmful to themselves or others. We can also imagine the possibility that strong, transient negative emotions could leave someone thrown off course, not knowing what to make of the experience.” Johnson, also an author of the new study, continued, “Both of these risks appear to be minimized when volunteers develop a trusting relationship with a skilled monitor, who remains present with them for the duration of the substance’s primary effects, and who is available afterwards for consultation.”

    Also, the scientists excluded from the study volunteers with certain types of personal or family psychiatric histories or other signs of vulnerabilities that might make psilocybin inadvisable, at least until more is known.

    Previous Johns Hopkins Psilocybin Research
    See www.csp.org/psilocybin

    Volunteer Comments
    Responding to a questionnaire given at the 14-month follow-up, volunteers in the dose-effect study provided written comments about the nature of any behavior changes they attributed to either or both of the two highest dose psilocybin sessions. Here are excerpts:

    • “I have an increased commitment to spiritual practices; I think my heart is more open to all interactions with other people....”

    • “I have a stronger desire for devotion, have increased yoga practice and prayer.... I need less food to make me full. My alcohol use has diminished dramatically.”

    • “I feel that I relate better in my marriage. There is more empathy – a greater understanding of people and understanding their difficulties and less judgment.”

    • “Increased time for meditation. I think I’m even warmer towards people and more accepting. I now believe I have something important to tell people about how the universe works.”

    • “Less concerned with the appearance of ‘spirituality’, while realizing more that everything is sacred. I feel more accommodating and forgiving towards both friends and strangers, and less anxious to label them or convert them to my viewpoint.”


    Released: 6/13/2011 1:50 PM EDT
    Embargo expired: 6/15/2011 12:05 AM EDT
    Source: Council on Spiritual Practices

    http://www.newswise.com/articles/st...sc&search[section]=10&search[has_multimedia]=

Comments

  1. Terrapinzflyer
    Magic Mushrooms can treat depression, anxiety and addiction, study shows

    Researchers have found that the mystical experiences obtained by volunteers under the psychoactive substance found in hallucinogenic mushrooms has lead to a substantial improvement of their lives.

    Although a lot of similar studies have been made showing the beneficial long term effects which come with ingesting psilocybin mushrooms, be it spiritual or physical, this particular research was centered around answering the question of how much of the substance does one need to take such that he can experience the most benefits with the least risks.

    For the study, 18 healthy volunteers received four doses of the drug during separate, eight-hour sessions. Under the second-highest dose given, patients reported they had a “mystical” experience that they felt was significantly personal and spiritual, but few noted any side effects. Positive changes in most participants has been recorded concerning mood, behavior, well being and spirituality. Only 5.6 percent reported experiencing extreme fear or anxiety. At the highest dose, the number experiencing unwanted side effects jumped to 33 percent. However, all side effects were short-lived and did not harm the volunteer

    TRIPPING WITHOUT SUPERVISION IS NOT RECOMMENDED

    Psilocybin provokes a slew of euphoria waves, color baths and, often, religious experiences which stay in the heart and mind of the user for his whole life. It’s an extreme confidence booster and could prove to be the jump starter for people depressed or going passively through life. It’s not without risks, however. Taken in high doses or by individuals with known mental issues, the drug can induce severe paranoia or “bad trips”, as they’re familiarly called, which could lead to trauma or endangerment of one’s self.

    “The model of it would never be, ‘take two of these and call me in the morning,’” said study researcher Matthew Johnson, an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins University. “Someone having an adverse reaction might be so scared they might run across a highway and be hit by a car,” he said. “We wouldn’t encourage anyone to do these things in a non-supervised context.”
    Evidently, he has a serious point, which is why it is probably illegal in the US and most of the other countries in the world, although it’s been used for centuries for ceremonial purposes.


    A BETTER LIFE WITH ‘SHROOMS

    Researchers corresponded with volunteering patients for a year and found that 83 percent said these mystical experiences increased their well-being and life satisfaction moderately or very much. Around 90 percent reported changes in their behavior, including improved relationships with family and increased devotion to spiritual practice.
    Scientists aren’t still sure how the drug works in casting these changes among users, since it’s entirely different from the current psychiatric medications currently on prescription for addiction or depression, but it all seems to be psychological. Having a religious experience which sets soem meaning to one’s life is definitely a catalyst.

    “There’s something very important about the person recognizing fundamental meaning in their life,” Johnson said.

    When you have a terminal illness “That thread of meaning that has carried you through your life…that often evaporates,” said Dr. Charles Grob, of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, Calif, who has conducted research on psilocybin, but was not involved in the new stud. “Having a profound experience seems to be able to re-infuse people with that meaning,” he continues.


    http://www.zmescience.com/medicine/...on-anxiety-and-addiction-study-shows-1243244/
  2. Terrapinzflyer
    Scientists Discover Magic Mushroom ‘Sweet Spot’

    Scientists at Johns Hopkins studying psilocybin (the active ingredient in hallucinogenic “magic mushrooms”) say they’ve figured out the dosage “sweet spot” – the “mama bear” dose at which a hypothetically adventurous Goldilocks would say “just right, man”.

    We’ve known for a while know that shrooms can be effective at treating anxiety and depression. But finding the proper dosage – high enough to produce a “transformative experience” with long-lasting beneficial effects, but low enough to prevent bad trips – is key for the possibility of using mushrooms in a clinical setting.

    Alas, the study’s press release doesn’t specify what, exactly, that sweet spot is, except to say it was the second-highest dosage taken. But the study did find that 94 per cent of participants described their mushroom trips as “one of the top five most spiritually significant experiences of their lifetimes”, and 89 per cent told researchers that they’d noticed “lasting, positive changes in their behaviour”.

    By Max Read on June 16, 2011
    http://www.defamer.com.au/2011/06/scientists-discover-magic-mushroom-sweet-spot/


    NOTE not much info in this story but posting as a hopeful reminder to myself- I'm pretty sure I have the dosage information in my notes from the MAPS conference
  3. Terrapinzflyer
    'Magic Mushrooms' Could Treat Depression & Addiction

    The hallucinogen found in "magic mushrooms" could help treat a variety of psychiatric disorders, including depression, anxiety and even addiction, researchers say.

    A new study provides clues on how much of the substance patients could take to get the greatest benefit with the least risk, researchers say.

    However, use of the substance, called psilocybin, is not without risk. Its side effects include paranoia and delusions.

    Under the second-highest dose given in the study, patients said they had a "mystical" experience that they felt was significantly personal and spiritual, but few noted any side effects. Participants reported improvements in attitude, mood and behavior that were confirmed by their friends and family.

    The study was small and much more research is needed to determine exactly how it's working.

    And even if the drug becomes available for prescription, it should always be given under the supervision of properly trained personnel, the researchers said.

    "The model of it would never be, 'take two of these and call me in the morning,'" said study researcher Matthew Johnson, an assistant professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins University. "Someone having an adverse reaction might be so scared they might run across a highway and be hit by a car," he said. "We wouldn't encourage anyone to do these things in a non-supervised context."

    Magic mushrooms

    Psilocybin is mainly being considered as a treatment for terminally ill patients who experience depression and anxiety, and for those with hard-to-treat addictions, including alcoholism, Johnson said.

    Psychiatric research on hallucinogens, including LSD, was conducted in the 1950s through the 1970s. However, it was stopped after recreational use of these drugs led to cases of drug abuse and the drugs were perceived as a public health concern, said Dr. Charles Grob, of Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, Calif, who has conducted research on psilocybin, but was not involved in the new study.

    It has only been over the last decade that scientists have resumed the research.

    In the new study, 18 healthy volunteers received four doses of the drug during separate, eight-hour sessions.

    At the second-highest dose, two-thirds of the patients reported a "mystical" experience, the type believed to have the greatest long-term psychiatric benefits. Just 5.6 percent reported experiencing extreme fear or anxiety. At the highest dose, the number experiencing unwanted side effects jumped to 33 percent, the researchers said.

    All side effects were short-lived and did not harm the volunteers after the session, the researchers said.

    "They're demonstrating that, under optimal conditions, they can reliably induce mystical-level experiences, which in and of themselves appear to have a therapeutic potential," Grob said.

    One year later, 83 percent said these mystical experiences increased their well-being and life satisfaction moderately or very much, the researchers said. Close to 90 percent reported changes in their behavior, including improved relationships with family and increased devotion to spiritual practice.

    Why does it work?

    Researchers aren't sure how the drug works. The model seems quite different from that of most modern psychiatric medications, which are taken regularly.

    The sessions may change the way people think about themselves and the world around them, and may give their lives more meaning, Johnson said.

    The therapy may work through the same mechanisms, regardless of whether it's being used on a terminally ill patient or one with an addiction to alcohol. "There's something very important about the person recognizing fundamental meaning in their life," Johnson said.

    Grob agreed the benefit seems to come from restoring a sense of purpose.

    When you have a terminal illness "That thread of meaning that has carried you through your life…that often evaporates," Grob said. "Having a profound experience seems to be able to re-infuse people with that meaning."

    Pass it on: Hallucinogenic drugs, given under supervision, may help treat anxiety, depression and addiction.

    This story was provided by MyHealthNewsDaily, sister site to LiveScience.


    Rachael Rettner, MyHealthNewsDailyDate: 15 June 2011
    http://www.livescience.com/14606-magic-mushrooms-treat-depression-addiction.html
  4. Terrapinzflyer
    Do "magic" mushrooms have medicinal value?

    (CBS) Psychedelic mushrooms have long been linked with lava lamps, Volkswagen vans, and an irrational fondness for tie-dye. But scientists at Johns Hopkins University say we shouldn't sell 'shrooming short.

    A new study shows that psilocybin, the active agent in certain mushrooms, can be a potent tool for boosting positive feelings over time - especially when used in the right dosage.

    The study, published in the journal Psychopharmacology, tested the reactions of 18 volunteers, each treated in five 8-hour sessions with four different doses of psilocybin and one placebo.

    Fourteen months after the sessions, 83% of the volunteers given the higher doses of psilocybin said they felt greater well-being, and 89% reported improvements in their behavior. Ninety-four percent of the volunteers ranked the experience as one of the most "spiritually significant" in their lives.

    How many felt worse after dosing on the mushrooms? Not one.

    That was partly the result of the experiment's design, said lead scientist Dr. Roland Griffiths, professor of psychiatry at the university. Before they were allowed to participate in the study, volunteers were screened for physical and emotional problems and were supervised during the mushroom sessions to make sure they didn't get too anxious.

    Does the finding suggest that 'shrooms are something people should groove on all by themselves?

    "There's a very real risk to using psilocybin in a haphazard and recreational setting," Griffiths told CBS News, noting reports of panicked mushroom-users who have run out into traffic or jumped off cliffs. In this follow-up to a study he conducted in 2006, his team examined how much anxiety each dose produced, relative to its positive impact. "We know very clearly that there's a sweet spot" where negative problems are minimized, he said.

    While hallucinogenic mushrooms are illegal in the U.S., Griffiths hopes his research could help persuade the FDA to legalize psilocybin for therapeutic use. He is now studying the compound as a psychological support for cancer patients and as an aid to smoking cessation.

    Richard Boothby, 57, a philosophy professor at Loyola University, volunteered for the current study. He had never tried hallucinogenic drugs, he said, and was skeptical of their potential to prompt spiritual growth.

    His first session on psilocybin changed his mind. "It's like diving into water where you enter and go deep, so deep in fact that you feel like you'll never come back to the surface," he told CBS News. In the midst of that depth, he said, he found "unbelievable clarity."

    Boothby said the sessions helped him cope with the earlier suicide of his son, and gave him a greater openness toward the people he encounters.

    "It was a truly unforgettable and transforming experience," he said. "I would do it again in a heartbeat."


    By Cassi Feldman
    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504763_162-20071312-10391704.html
  5. Shampoo
    The full article in the journal Psychopharmacology can be accessed in our archive, here.
  6. Balzafire
    I hope you are able to find it. This is terrific information that leaves only that one, important tidbit absent.
    Cultures all over the world have for centuries used hallucinogenic substances to promote spiritual growth and wellbeing and I have long thought it sad that these practices have for the most part been made illegal by governments grossly overstepping their intended purpose in society.
  7. Shampoo
    The doses used are listed in the original article- where the actual research was reported.

  8. Balzafire
    Thank you Shampoo.

    So to calculate (based on their findings) the ideal dose of mushrooms, one would need a good idea (from researching it) of approximately how many mg of psilocyben is contained in a given amount of mushrooms and divide it appropriately to net approximately 20 mg of psilocyben per 70 kilograms (154 pounds) of body weight of that individual.
    That's information a person should find useful.
  9. Shampoo
    Yes, the problem with this is that a "given amount of mushrooms" is bound to vary wildly in potency from one batch to another, or even within batches. An assay was performed by a group of colleagues a few years ago where individual mushrooms of exactly equivalent weight were bioassayed in nearly identical conditions over the course of some time. The conclusion was that, even two mushrooms from the same batch, growing within inches of eachother, can have a huge variability in their potency.

    This has also been shown via laboratory testing, where single mushrooms from a given grow were tested and shown to be half as potent or twice as potent as others.

    As a very, very, very general rule of thumb- there is approximately 1mg of psilocybin per 100mg of dried p. cubensis mushrooms.
  10. Balzafire
    Thanks again. That tells the average user about as much as he could hope to know, then.
    About two grams dried P. Cubensis per 70 kg/155 lb of body weight should be about right.
    No wonder my trips were always so intense!
  11. Terrapinzflyer
    [IMGL="white"]https://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=20846&stc=1&d=1308503231[/IMGL]Geeky Stats About Magic Mushrooms

    Here's something a little offbeat for a Friday morning. A team of researchers at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine has recently documented a safe, long-lasting way of improving both your life and your personal feelings of well-being: shrooms.

    Or, more precisely, psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms. Here's the boring news first: ingesting psilocybin produces a mystical experience that can be quantified. "Noetic quality," for example, increased from 19.4 on a placebo to 70.6 on the highest dose used in the study. "Transcendence of space and time" increased from 18.3 to 78.2. Etc. You probably already knew that.

    Here's the somewhat more interesting news: psilocybin can sometimes produces bad trips full of fear and anxiety, but the researchers have also figured out how to minimize this. Partly this was due to the experimental design: "The study was designed to optimize the potential for positively valued experiences by providing 8 hours of preparation, administering psilocybin in a pleasant, supportive setting, and instructing volunteers to focus explicitly on their subjective or inner experience." They used soothing music, too. But they also tried various dosages of psilocybin on their subjects, and it turns out that nearly all of the episodes of anxiety happened at the highest dose. Crank it down one notch and you're still likely to get most of the benefits but with significantly less chance of a bad experience.

    But now for the most interesting result: psilocybin produces not only mystical experiences, but joy, happiness, and positive social effects. And it does it for a long time: in followup interviews 14 months after the study was completed, nearly all the subjects still reported positive changes in their lives, especially if they received their psilocybin in increasing dosages. (Half the study volunteers got the highest dose first and worked down, and half started with the lowest does and worked up. All volunteers also got a placebo tossed in at some point.) Here are the geeky charts you've been waiting for:
    [​IMG]

    These effects were confirmed by interviews with friends of the volunteers who had been recruited to provide periodic feedback to the research team.

    Notably, 61% of volunteers considered the psilocybin experience during either or both the [highest dosage] sessions to have been the single most spiritually significant of their lives, with 83% rating it in their top five. Consistent with this, 94% and 89% of volunteers, respectively, indicated that the experiences on those same sessions increased their well-being or life satisfaction and positively changed their behavior at least moderately.

    ....One month after sessions at either or both the two highest dose sessions, 94% of volunteers endorsed that the experience increased their sense of well-being or life satisfaction moderately or very much, and 89% rated moderate or higher changes in positive behavior. At the 14-month follow-up, these ratings remained high. The types of behavior change most frequently cited by volunteers were better social relationships with family and others, increased physical and psychological self-care, and increased spiritual practice (Table 6). Ratings by community observers before and after the study as well as ratings by study monitors after the study were consistent with the persisting positive changes in behavior and attitudes claimed by the volunteers.

    So there you have it: a genuine mystical experience with long-lasting positive effects, no reported negative effects, no known medical side effects in healthy people, and with virtually no chance of a bad experience. Does that sound like something you'd like to try? Well, you can't: no matter how safe and beneficial it might be, psilocybin is a Schedule 1 controlled substance and you can't have any. You may thank the War on Drugs whenever you like.

    For a taste of what the volunteers said about their psilocybin experiences, keep reading. A selection of comments from the Hopkins study is below.

    [​IMG]

    — By Kevin Drum
    Fri Jun. 17, 2011

    http://motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2011/06/magic-mushrooms-safe-still-illegal
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