Racism victims should take ecstasy or magic mushrooms to lessen the trauma of their experience, suggests a new study.
Scientists found that a single psychedelic trip from mushrooms, acid, or MDMA could help victims overcome the racism they were exposed to.
Psychedelics could also help reduce stress, depression and anxiety in black, indigenous and colored people, whose encounter with racism was found to have caused permanent damage.
In the new study, participants reported that their trauma-related symptoms related to racist acts were reduced in the 30 days after experiencing psilocybin, also known as magic mushrooms, LSD, or MDMA, also known as ecstasy.
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Scientists found that a single psychedelic trip from mushrooms, acid, or MDMA could help victims overcome the racism they were exposed to
“Their experience with psychedelics was so strong that they could remember and report on changes in symptoms from racial trauma that they had experienced in their lives,” said research co-lead author Dr. Alan Davis, an assistant professor at Ohio State University in the US.
“And they remembered that after that, their mental health problems had decreased significantly.”
The more intensely spiritual and insightful the psychedelic journey, the more significant the recalled decrease in trauma-related symptoms was, as the results show.
Growing research suggests that psychedelics have a place in therapy, especially when administered in a controlled environment.
Dr. Davis said, “What previous research on mental health in general has lacked is a focus on people with skin color and treatments that might specifically address the trauma of chronic exposure to racism.”
Co-lead study author Dr. Monnica Williams of the University of Ottawa in Canada said the results show that psychedelics can be important in healing.
She said, “There are currently no empirically supported treatments specifically for racial trauma.
“This study shows that psychedelics can be an important path to healing.”
A growing body of research has shown that psychedelics like psilocybin mushrooms have a place in therapy
The researchers recruited participants in the United States and Canada using Qualtrics survey research panels.
They selected a sample of 313 people who said they had previously taken a dose of a psychedelic that they believed helped “alleviate the challenging effects of racial discrimination.”
The sample included adults identified as black, Asian, Hispanic, Native American, or indigenous Canadian, Hawaiian, and Pacific islanders.
Upon enrollment, participants completed questionnaires collecting information about their previous experiences with racial trauma, psychedelic use, and mental health symptoms.
You have been asked to recall an unforgettable psychedelic experience and its short-term and longer-term effects.
These had only occurred a few months before the study and at least ten years earlier.
Dr. Williams said, “The discrimination they encountered included unfair treatment by neighbors, teachers and bosses, false accusations of unethical behavior and physical violence.
“The most common problems reported were feelings of intense anger about being exposed to a racist act and trying to” scold “someone for racist behavior but say nothing instead.”
The researchers asked participants to remember the severity of symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress associated with exposure to racial injustice in the 30 days before and after using psychedelics.
Given the likelihood that racism is a lifelong problem rather than a single event, the researchers also assessed whether people suffered from discriminatory post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Dr. Davis, who is also an associate faculty member at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Studies, said, “Not everyone experiences racial trauma in all forms.
“But people of color certainly experience many of these different types of discrimination on a regular basis.
“In addition to depression and anxiety, we asked if the participants had symptoms of race-related PTSD.”
Participants were also asked to share the intensity of three common types of experiences people have had while under the influence of psychedelics – mystical, insightful, or challenging.
Dr. Davis added, “A mystical experience can feel like a spiritual connection to the divine. An insightful experience increases people’s awareness and understanding of themselves.
“And a challenging experience relates to emotional and physical responses such as anxiety or difficulty breathing.”
Participants in the study completed questionnaires and gathered information about their previous experiences with racial trauma, psychedelic use, and psychological symptoms
All participants remembered their symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress after the memorable psychedelic experience was less than before the drug use.
The extent of the positive effects of the psychedelics influenced their reduction in symptoms.
Dr. Davis said, “This analysis has shown that a more intense mystical and insightful experience, as well as a less intense challenging experience, are related to mental health benefits.”
The researchers found that the study had limitations because the results were based on recall from participants and the entire sample of recruited volunteers reported benefits they associated with their psychedelic experience.
This means that psychedelics cannot be assumed to help all people of color with racial trauma.
Researchers are currently working on proposals for clinical trials to further examine the effects of psychedelics on mental health symptoms in certain populations, including blacks, indigenous peoples, and blacks.
Dr. Davis added, “This was really the first step in examining whether people of color benefit from psychedelics, and in particular to examine a relevant trait of their mental health, namely their experience of racial trauma.
“This study helps start that conversation with this emerging treatment paradigm.”
The results were published online by the journal Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy.
Half of the depression patients who were given only TWO doses of magic mushroom compound were symptom-free a month later
According to a new small study, ingesting just two doses of a compound found in magic mushrooms can reduce feelings of depression.
The researchers found that two-thirds of patients saw a 71 percent reduction in symptoms such as sadness, pessimism, and self-criticality.
In addition, four weeks after treatment, more than half of the participants were classified as remitted, meaning they were no longer classified as depressed.
The Johns Hopkins Medicine team says the results provide evidence that magic mushrooms could be a treatment for mental health problems and even help drive legalization of the drug.
A study by Johns Hopkins Medicine found that half of depression patients who took two doses of psilocybin compound found in magic mushrooms (above) were considered to be in remission
In a 2016 study, the team found that psilocybin relieved anxiety and depression in people with life-threatening cancer diagnoses.
They say these results suggest the compound could be effective in a much larger population of patients.
“The magnitude of the effect we saw was about four times greater than what clinical studies have shown for traditional antidepressants on the market,” said Dr. Alan Davis, an Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
“Since most other depression treatments take weeks or months to complete and can have undesirable effects, this could mean a change if these results are sustained in future gold-standard placebo-controlled clinical trials.”