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Study finds "Magic Mushrooms" To Have Lasting Effects On Self-Confidence and Optimism

By Panthers007, Jul 1, 2008 | Updated: Jul 1, 2008 | | |
Rating:
5/5,
  1. Panthers007
    And the research continues to expand:
    ==========================================================

    Psychedelic Study Shows Positive Results
    "Magic Mushrooms" Found To Have Lasting Effects On Self-Confidence and Optimism

    NEW YORK, July 1, 2008


    (AP) In 2002, at a Johns Hopkins University laboratory, a business consultant named Dede Osborn took a psychedelic drug as part of a research project.

    She felt like she was taking off. She saw colors. Then it felt like her heart was ripping open.

    I feel more centered in who I am and what I'm doing. I don't seem to have those self-doubts like I used to have. I feel much more grounded (and feel that) we are all connected.
    Dede Osborn, a test subject who took psilocybin as part of a research project at Johns Hopkins University
    But she called the experience joyful as well as painful, and says that it has helped her to this day.

    "I feel more centered in who I am and what I'm doing," said Osborn, now 66, of Providence, R.I. "I don't seem to have those self-doubts like I used to have. I feel much more grounded (and feel that) we are all connected."

    Scientists reported Tuesday that when they surveyed volunteers 14 months after they took the drug, most said they were still feeling and behaving better because of the experience.

    Two-thirds of them also said the drug had produced one of the five most spiritually significant experiences they'd ever had.

    The drug, psilocybin, is found in so-called "magic mushrooms." It's illegal, but it has been used in religious ceremonies for centuries.

    The study involved 36 men and women during an eight-hour lab visit. It's one of the few such studies of a hallucinogen in the past 40 years, since research was largely shut down after widespread recreational abuse of such drugs in the 1960s.

    The project made headlines in 2006 when researchers published their report on how the volunteers felt just two months after taking the drug. The new study followed them up a year after that.

    Experts emphasize that people should not try psilocybin on their own because it could be harmful. Even in the controlled setting of the laboratory, nearly a third of participants felt significant fear under the effects of the drug. Without proper supervision, someone could be harmed, researchers said.

    Osborn, in a telephone interview, recalled a powerful feeling of being out of control during her lab experience. "It was ... like taking off, I'm being lifted up," she said. Then came "brilliant colors and beautiful patterns, just stunningly gorgeous, more intense than normal reality."

    And then, the sensation that her heart was tearing open.

    "It would come in waves," she recalled. "I found myself doing Lamaze-type breathing as the pain came on."

    Yet "it was a joyful, ecstatic thing at the same time, like the joy of being alive," she said. She compared it to birthing pains. "There was this sense of relief and joy and ecstasy when my heart was opened."

    With further research, psilocybin (pronounced SILL-oh-SY-bin) may prove useful in helping to treat alcoholism and drug dependence, and in aiding seriously ill patients as they deal with psychological distress, said study lead author Roland Griffiths of Johns Hopkins.

    Griffiths also said that despite the spiritual characteristics reported for the drug experiences, the study says nothing about whether God exists.

    "Is this God in a pill? Absolutely not," he said.

    The experiment was funded in part by the National Institute on Drug Abuse. The results were published online Tuesday by the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

    Fourteen months after taking the drug, 64 percent of the volunteers said they still felt at least a moderate increase in well-being or life satisfaction, in terms of things like feeling more creative, self-confident, flexible and optimistic. And 61 percent reported at least a moderate behavior change in what they considered positive ways.

    That second question didn't ask for details, but elsewhere the questionnaire answers indicated lasting gains in traits like being more sensitive, tolerant, loving and compassionate.

    Researchers didn't try to corroborate what the participants said about their own behavior. But in the earlier analysis at two months after the drug was given, researchers said family and friends backed up what those in the study said about behavior changes. Griffiths said he has no reason to doubt the answers at 14 months.

    Dr. Charles Grob, a professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, called the new work an important follow-up to the first study.

    He said it is helping to reopen formal study of psychedelic drugs. Grob is on the board of the Heffter Research Institute, which promotes studies of psychedelic substances and helped pay for the new work.



    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2008/07/01/tech/main4221948.shtml

    P.S: Check out the comments. The Rocket has left the pad!

Comments

  1. ThirdEyeFloond
  2. Alfa
    Re: Study finds "Magic Mushrooms" To Have Lasting Effects On Self-Confidence and Opti

    Is there an official press release?
  3. Alfa
    Re: Study finds "Magic Mushrooms" To Have Lasting Effects On Self-Confidence and Opti

    With official press release, I mean a press release by the John Hopkins University.
  4. Panthers007
    Re: Study finds "Magic Mushrooms" To Have Lasting Effects On Self-Confidence and Opti

    See the name John Hopkins? See Google? Try that. Get in touch and bring 'em in.

    Alfa: We are in a position to help these folks find their way through a dark forest of data and, thereby, influence the direction of their studies. We have the data. They are looking for direction. Now play Leader and haul them in here. They may not be able to quote what they find here. But they can get a good idea of what they are playing with.

    Win/Win situation.
  5. Alfa
    Re: Study finds "Magic Mushrooms" To Have Lasting Effects On Self-Confidence and Opti

    Another article:

    Long Trip: Magic Mushrooms' Transcendent Effect Lingers
    Survey shows that profound mental changes induced by psilocybin have lasted for more than a year

    By David Biello

    People who took magic mushrooms were still feeling the love more than a year later, and one might say they were on cloud nine about it, scientists report in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

    "Most of the volunteers looked back on their experience up to 14 months later and rated it as the most, or one of the five most, personally meaningful and spiritually significant of their lives," comparing it with the birth of a child or the death of a parent, says neuroscientist Roland Griffiths of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, who lead the research. "It's one thing to have a dramatic experience you say is impressive. It's another thing to say you consider it as meaningful 14 months later. There's something about the saliency of these experiences that's stunning."

    Griffiths gave 36 specially screened volunteers psilocybin, the active ingredient in so-called magic mushrooms. The compound is believed to affect perception and cognition by acting on the same receptors in the brain that respond to serotonin, a neurotransmitting chemical tied to mood.

    Afterward, about two thirds of the group reported having a "full mystical experience," characterized by a feeling of "oneness" with the universe. When Griffiths asked them how they were doing 14 months later, the same proportion gave the experience high marks for transcendental satisfaction, and credited it with increasing their well-being since then.

    But some scientists noted that this psilocybin study is just the first trip on a long journey of understanding. "We don't know how far we can generalize these results," cautions neuroscientist Charles Schuster of Loyola University Chicago and a former director of the National Institute on Drug Abuse. "To attribute all of this to the drug, I think, is a mistake and to expect the same effects from simply taking the drug without this careful preparation in these kinds of people would be a mistake."

    Herbert Kleber, who directs the division of substance abuse at Columbia University also notes that it is difficult to assess the mushroom's impact without detailed information on how individual lives were changed. For example, it remains unclear from the study whether volunteers really were more altruistic or simply claimed to be.

    But the findings do seem to support reports of recreational users and what LSD guru and 1960s counterculture icon Timothy Leary made famous in his psychedelic lab at Harvard University.

    Griffiths and Schuster are proponents of future research on psilocybin to determine whether it has long-term influence on the brain—and whether the reported mystical effects affect memory alone or stem from other physiological changes. This study is among the first of so-called "shrooms" in four decades, coming after the widespread, illegal use of hallucinogens as recreational drugs in the 1960s, which turned off corporate and academic researchers.

    "I don't think the evidence is sufficiently strong for any beneficial effect in general for us to consider changing the legality of these substances until a great deal more research is done," Schuster says. "But the illegality should not interfere with this research."

    For his part, Griffiths is now recruiting terminally ill cancer patients for a trial that will test whether psilocybin mitigates the existential anxiety that comes with facing death. Strangely enough, he says, it may also be a salve for alcoholism and drug addiction.



    "It does sound counterintuitive," Griffiths says. But, "six of the 12 AA [Alcoholics Anonymous] steps are related to a higher power and surrendering to it. Many people don't engage fully into the 12-step program because they don't have a connection to a higher power. One can't help but wonder whether an experience like this might be useful."

    http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?id=long-trip-magic-mushrooms&page=2
  6. nEone
    Re: Study finds "Magic Mushrooms" To Have Lasting Effects On Self-Confidence and Opti

    And another - same quotes, different journal.

    http://www.physorg.com/news134110402.html
  7. chillinwill
  8. Expat98
    Re: Study finds "Magic Mushrooms" To Have Lasting Effects On Self-Confidence and Opti

    ^^Chillinwill, that Newsweek article is great. Please post that article in its entirety in a separate thread. :thumbsup:
  9. chillinwill
  10. Chemically_Altered
    Re: Study finds "Magic Mushrooms" To Have Lasting Effects On Self-Confidence and Opti

    How can i volunteer to take part in these research projects
  11. Expat98
    Re: Study finds "Magic Mushrooms" To Have Lasting Effects On Self-Confidence and Opti

    Chillinwill, please post the articles themselves, not just the links to them. The reason is that the links often disappear over time. Did you post the Newsweek article yet?
  12. Nargyle
  13. chillinwill
    Re: Study finds "Magic Mushrooms" To Have Lasting Effects On Self-Confidence and Opti

    yeah sorry about that....i wasn't sure if i should write out the whole article since it basically already stated what the OP said....yeaah i posted that one of newsweek in a separate thread
  14. Alfa
    Re: Study finds "Magic Mushrooms" To Have Lasting Effects On Self-Confidence and Opti

    See the video on the home page.
  15. Euphoric
    Re: Study finds "Magic Mushrooms" To Have Lasting Effects On Self-Confidence and Opti

    The video says participants underwent 6-9 months of preparation. Any idea what this would consist of?
  16. Purest
    Re: Study finds "Magic Mushrooms" To Have Lasting Effects On Self-Confidence and Opti

    Most likely the testing would have been to find out if they'd ever taken hallucinogens before, and if they were mentally stable to cope with a possible bad trip.
  17. Euphoric
    Re: Study finds "Magic Mushrooms" To Have Lasting Effects On Self-Confidence and Opti

    But 6 to 9 months prep? Then again it may have been 1 hour, once a month or something.
  18. seeingred
    Re: Study finds "Magic Mushrooms" To Have Lasting Effects On Self-Confidence and Opti

    Maybe this is a good thing, but as long as they aren't engineered like for soldiers as sort of "happy" substitutes. Like, the opiate of the masses thing. Not to try and burst the bubble, never tried them though so can't tell what it's like.
  19. TestDummy
    Re: Study finds "Magic Mushrooms" To Have Lasting Effects On Self-Confidence and Opti

    More so to be legit with the common community. Charlie had a whole 18 years of prep for such terrible, brain expanding mushrooms.
  20. PilL FreaK
    'Magic Mushroom' Effects Last Months

    Science actually proved Drugs are good for something for once :thumbsup:

    Link.
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