Microdosing, a practice involving the consumption of tiny amounts of psychedelic substances, has gained attention for its potential therapeutic benefits. Among its intriguing applications, one notable area is its potential to reduce drinking for individuals struggling with Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD).
What is Alcoholism?
Alcoholism, also known as alcohol use disorder (AUD), is a chronic and progressive disease characterized by an individual’s inability to control their alcohol consumption, despite its negative impact on their health, social life, and daily functioning. It is a multifaceted condition influenced by genetic, environmental, and psychological factors.
Alcoholism typically develops over time, with individuals often starting with social or occasional drinking and gradually escalating their intake. This can lead to increased tolerance, physical dependence, and ultimately addiction. Alcoholics may experience intense cravings, withdrawal symptoms when not consuming alcohol and a loss of control over drinking habits.
The consequences of alcoholism are far-reaching and can include physical health issues (e.g., liver disease, heart problems, and brain damage), mental health disorders (e.g., depression, anxiety, and cognitive decline), strained relationships, financial troubles, and increased risk of accidents and injuries.
Warning Signs of Alcohol Use Disorder
Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is characterized by an individual’s inability to control their alcohol use, which can lead to significant impairments in functioning and have devastating impacts on physical and mental health care. Understanding the warning signs of AUD can help individuals identify their own potential for developing problem drinking behavior.
One of the primary symptoms of AUD is repeatedly consuming larger quantities or more frequent amounts of alcohol than originally intended. This continuous pattern of excessive alcohol consumption can interfere with the normal functioning of everyday life and make it difficult to stick to personal responsibilities at home, work, or school.
Additionally, those struggling with AUD may find they are unable to stop drinking or reduce their alcohol intake even if they want to try, and strong cravings for alcohol become apparent soon after stopping drinking or cutting down.
Those suffering from AUD may also spend a significant amount of time acquiring, using, and feeling the effects of alcohol which can further eat away at other important areas in life such as social relationships outside the home.
If you notice any combination of these signs in yourself or others it is important that immediate help be sought out before things progress too far.
Psilocybin Shows Promise For Treating Alcohol Addiction
The study conducted by New York University scientists and published Wednesday in JAMA Psychiatry has been hailed as a major breakthrough for its findings that psilocybin, the psychedelic compound found in magic mushrooms, could be a promising psychedelic treatment for alcohol use disorder.
It was found that those who received it decreased their heavy drinking habits by an impressive 83% compared to just 51% of the placebo group. Heavy drinking was defined as days with four or more drinks for women and five or more drinks for men.
Eight months after the first dose of psilocybin, almost half (48%) had stopped drinking altogether – twice as many compared to those who only received a placebo. The study was double-blinded and larger than most psychedelics studies, with 93 participants.
These results suggest that psilocybin-assisted therapy can have positive effects on reducing heavy drinking and even leading to total abstinence from alcohol for some people.
This could help millions of people around the world struggling with alcohol addiction, especially since there is currently no pharmacological treatment approved by the FDA to tackle this issue aside from behavioral therapies and support groups like Alcoholics Anonymous.
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Ethically Develop Psychedelic Pharmaceuticals With Indigenous Allies
When it comes to developing psychedelic-based pharmaceuticals, it is important to ensure that we not only approach the process with ethical and responsible considerations but also with the support of Indigenous allies.
This was demonstrated in a study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry involving 35 participants with Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD). During this study, participants had 12 psychotherapy sessions over 12 weeks with two daylong sessions under medication – though they were blinded as to what kind.
While the results suggest there is promising potential for microdosing as a treatment for AUD, there are limitations; specifically in terms of understanding how psychotherapy and psilocybin interact or the effects seen among different subgroups such as women or those with psychiatric comorbidities.
Nevertheless, the authors remain excited by the potential of psychedelic-based pharmaceuticals to help those suffering from AUD, so much so that NYU has recently filed a provisional patent application and launched a multisite trial with more than 200 participants expected to start early next year – all depending on successful results.
Therapeutic Use Of Psychedelic Substances May Aid In Addressing Alcohol Addiction
Research conducted by the NYU Grossman School of Medicine suggests that the combination of psilocybin – the active compound found in psychedelic mushrooms – and psychotherapy may provide an effective approach to treating alcohol addiction.
The study, which involved 93 participants with alcohol dependence, showed that two doses of psilocybin reduced heavy drinking by approximately 83 percent. Neither the researchers nor the participants knew which medication they received; some were given psilocybin while others were given a placebo antihistamine as part of a randomized controlled trial.
The findings of this study are incredibly promising for those affected by alcohol addiction and could offer up an alternative to traditional methods such as medication and counseling. If further research continues to confirm these results, then psilocybin therapy could become a viable option for treatment in the near future.
Further studies are necessary to determine if long-term benefits are present and if higher doses of psilocybin could be more effective in treating alcohol addiction than what was seen in this initial investigation.
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Why Might Psilocybin Help Treat Alcohol Addiction?
Psilocybin, the primary active ingredient in “magic mushrooms” is regularly being studied to determine its usefulness in treating psychological illnesses such as depression and anxiety.
The exact mechanisms of how it works remain mysterious, but scientists believe that psilocybin may help boost brain plasticity, allowing our neural networks to build new connections and reassign old ones.
The potential of psilocybin as a therapeutic breakthrough for alcohol addiction is becoming increasingly difficult to ignore. The active ingredient in ‘magic mushrooms,’ psilocybin has long been listed as a schedule 1 drug by the U.S., deemed to have the potential for abuse and no accepted medical uses.
But doctors and scientists are reconsidering, believing that its properties may be able to provide more effective treatments for substance dependency than traditional methods.
The Unique Advantages Of Psilocybin
Psilocybin has a few unique advantages that make it an attractive potential treatment for mental health conditions. Firstly, psilocybin tends to have low addictiveness and can provide lasting effects even with intermittent dosing – meaning people can minimize their risk of side psychedelic effects by taking the drug less frequently than traditional medication.
In addition, research on psilocybin’s potential is still in its infancy. This is because almost all psychedelic research was brought to a pause in the 1960s when the U.S. increased regulation of pharmaceutical studies and criminalized the possession and manufacturing of psychedelics like psilocybin.
Since then, scientists are “reopening the books” on psychedelics to catch up from lost years of study and gain a better understanding of the psychedelic drug’s potential use cases.
With more research being conducted, researchers and scientists will be able to understand how best to utilize psilocybin in the treatment or management of various mental health issues and illnesses. Discover the world of fungi like never before with ThinkMushrooms.ca – your trusted partner in exploring the magic of mushrooms.