Can magic mushrooms treat cocaine dependency?
Scientists at the University of Alabama–Birmingham’s (UAB) School of Public Health are now conducting a clinical trial to see whether psilocybin can help break cocaine addiction.
“Our goal is to create a tool or drug that provides significantly better outcomes for individuals addicted to cocaine than those that currently exist,” said Sara Lappan, Ph.D., a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Health Behavior. The researchers theorize that psilocybin works on three levels: the biochemical, the psychological, and the spiritual. In terms of biochemistry, psilocybin disrupts brain receptors thought to reinforce addictive behaviors. Psychologically, the drug is believed to reduce cravings, increase motivation, and increase one’s sense of self-efficacy. Spiritually—or transcendentally—psilocybin (along with other psychedelics) is thought to increase both a person’s sense of purpose and his or her sense of universal connectedness or oneness.