Mind your body: the shroom shift
Now rigorously designed experiments confirm that while recreational use can be dangerous hallucinogens can actually change people for the better—often permanently.
What’s remarkable about the recent psilocybin experiments is not just their dramatic effects but the time frame. Personality shifts tend to be slow and gradual in adulthood, barring a sudden trauma, says University of Oregon psychologist Sanjay Srivastava. Over the course of years or decades, events like marriage or parenthood can cause subtle alterations. But psychedelics can induce a positive personality shift in a single day—insta-change. “There’s never been a relatively discrete laboratory intervention that’s been shown under experimentally controlled conditions to change a personality dimension,” says psychologist Matthew Johnson of Johns Hopkins, an author of the 2011 study. “That’s pretty dramatic.”