A Review on the Use of LSD and Psilocybin as a Form of Treatment
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Interest surrounding the potential benefits of psychedelics has increased in recent years. This literature review will discuss the potential benefits of psychedelics and review research examining how they may be used to help those suffering from depression, substance abuse, obsessive-compulsive disorder, or end-of-life anxiety (a syndrome that usually occurs near the end of one’s life in which an individual may experience anxiety, restlessness, and agitation). Thus far, psilocybin has been used to treat alcohol dependence with abstinence noted after psilocybin administration accompanied by some form of therapy (Bogenschutz et al., 2015). Additionally, abstinence from tobacco usage has been reported following psilocybin treatment up to six months after the first dosage (Johnson et al., 2014; Johnson et al., 2017). There have been promising effects of psychedelic (LSD and psilocybin) treatment on major depressive disorder and end-of-life anxiety with significant reductions of symptoms reported in multiple studies (Carhart-Harris et al., 2018; Gasser et al., 2014; Griffiths et al., 2016; Grob et al., 2011; Ross et al., 2016). Current challenges in psychedelic research are present in the variance of dosage amount (micro-dosing- intaking small sub-behavioral doses in which the individual does not experience psychotropic effects, and what is considered a moderate, large, and mild dose), dosage schedule, and adverse effects reported in research studies. However, regardless of unanswered questions, psychedelics demonstrate potential in treating ailments of the mind and serotonin-related disorders.