Mushrooms Prescribed by Doctors to Treat Anxiety

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By Karla Danica Figuerres | April 28, 2014 10:39 AM EST

A research team from New York University is utilising hallucinogenic knowledge to relieve patients' idea of death.

The first analysis on Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) used in drug therapy were made public a month ago, giving information about the curing capability of psychedelics substances used in aiding patients with anxiety.

A report from The Atlantic said that the same probe is being handled at New York University, where researchers tend to examine psilocybin mushrooms as a means of curing anxious cancer patients. The same with LSD, these psilocybin mushrooms are also known to be Schedule I substances managed under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970, focusing tight regulation on the scientific study. However, after undertaking through all the necessary provision on their work, scientists are noticing that some patients benefit from the treatment - particularly those with fatal illness. Although the information is still being studied, it already gives an assurance of a good future for the medical world using hallucinogens.

"Some of the things I'm about to say might not make sense. I was outside of my body, looking at myself. My body was lying on a stretcher in front of a hospital. I felt an incredible anxiety - the same anxiety I had felt every day since my diagnosis. Then, like a switch that went on, I went from being anxious to analysing my anxiety from the outside. I realised that nothing was actually happening to me objectively. It was real because I let it become real. And, right when I had that thought, I saw a cloud of black smoke come out of my body and float away," said O.M., a 22 year old cancer survivor. He is an athletic first-year medical student. He is also one of the 32 members in a New York University study testing the hallucinogen psilocybin as an aid for cancer-related anxiety. At the age of 21 he was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma.

"I'm pretty domineering," he laughed. "I told the nurses, 'I can't have this right now.' I thought I could negotiate with cancer." That overbearing spirit brought O.M. over six rounds of chemotherapy. He endured the killing side-effects of cancer. 

"When I first met him, he had calluses all over his neck," said research manager Gabrielle Agin-Liebes. "He would constantly feel his lymph nodes as a habit, to see if they had grown. Even as he was talking to you, his hand would be up there feeling his neck. Ironically, that would make the lymph nodes swell up even more." Gabrielle resumed. To qualify for the study you only need an eight. The day after his first dosing session, he dropped to zero, and for seven months he's stayed there. Zero anxiety."

With the promising results of a number of studies, the hallucinogen-aided therapy is quickly a growing field.

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