Researchers have found that the same kind of mushroom that makes people hallucinate may also be used to treat alcoholism.
The battle against alcoholism is one that scientists have been working on for quite some time. Research in this area encompasses a wide range of approaches, from conventional therapies to non-traditional medical practices and pharmaceutical interventions. The most recent of these investigations has uncovered evidence that a compound found in magic mushrooms might be the answer.
Psilocybin is the name of the chemical compound often found in magic mushrooms. Recent research suggests that this drug, in combination with oral treatment, may be effective in helping people kick their drinking habit for good.
This research compared two groups of alcoholics, one of which was split into two different treatment programs and published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry on Wednesday. Drugs like psilocybin were given to one group, while Benadryl (which has nothing to do with addiction) was given to another. After then, researchers looked at how each group’s behaviors changed over time.
In addition to talking things out, researchers also tried medication. After completing 4 treatment sessions, individuals received 2 pharmaceutical dosages. Four further treatment sessions were then conducted. After the second round of treatment, individuals took two more medication doses and participated in the last four therapy sessions.
Following the 32 weeks, both groups showed reduced alcohol-related behaviors, although the reduction in the drug user group was much larger. A total of 83% of those given psilocybin reported improvement, compared to just 51% of those given a placebo. People in the first group (n = 48) were more likely to abstain from alcohol totally than those in the placebo group (n = 24).