Big Ideas Article 1

Big Ideas — POSTED BY Brainwaving Admin on August 7, 2009 at 7:20 pm

Psychedelics could be a powerful tool…They provide treatment options for patients with terminal illnesses, and there are positive indications that they could be beneficial for conditions such as obsessive compulsive disorder and eating disorders, which are notoriously difficult to treat effectively. It is a travesty that there has been so little interest in research on their potential therapeutic benefits over the past 35 years. - Dave Nichols, Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Purdue University, USA.

Research exploring the therapeutic potential of psilocybin has greatly benefited from the recent publication of a critically acclaimed study into psilocybin as a means for eliciting mystical experiences. This found that psilocybin, when administered under comfortable, structured, interpersonally supported conditions to volunteers who reported regular participation in religious or spiritual activities, occasioned experiences which had marked similarities to classic mystical experiences and which were rated by the volunteers as having substantial personal meaning and spiritual significance. More than one-third of the volunteers said that their encounter with psilocybin was the single most spiritually significant experience in their lifetime. Furthermore, the volunteers attributed sustained positive changes in attitudes and behaviour to the experience, and these attributions were consistent with changes rated by friends and family. This indicates that psilocybin, when administered under the right circumstances, can bring about lasting positive changes in people’s lives.

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