Should We Give Cancer Patients ‘Magic Mushrooms’?

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ATLANTIC WIRE- According to a new study, psilocybin, the active ingredient in “magic mushrooms” has a beneficial psychological impact on terminal cancer patients. Researchers in Los Angeles found that the hallucinogen reduced anxiety and depression, giving patients peace in their final days.

The experiment involved 12 subjects with advanced-stage cancer between the ages of 36 and 58. While some are skeptical of the pilot study, others are hailing a new era of psilocybin testing.

  • Here’s How They Did the Study, writes Rosemary Black at The New York Daily News: “The patients had two sessions apiece. In one, they received psilocybin and in the other, they got a placebo. The patients and doctors were able to tell which drug was administered about 80% of the time. For the study, which was reported in the Archives of General Psychiatry, the patients got a fairly low dose of the drug. In addition to feeling less anxious, they reported needing fewer narcotic pain relievers.”

  • A Huge Success, writes Claire McCormack at Time: “The results demonstrated a substantial improvement in symptoms of anxiety and at six months recorded a statistically significant improvement on one depression scale. This outcome indicates that the study may be the first step in restoring the drug’s flawed reputation from the 1960s and 1970s when it was widely abused for non-medical reasons.”

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