By Gabriel García March 22, 2023
Psychedelic mushrooms are a substance that has generated a lot of interest in recent years for their potential therapeutic benefits in treating various mental health conditions. In this article, we tell you how Oregon has become the first state in the United States to legalize the use of psilocybin, the active ingredient in these mushrooms, and what this breakthrough means for science and society.
What is psilocybin and how does it work?
Psilocybin is a molecule found in more than 200 species of hallucinogenic mushrooms. When ingested, it is transformed into psilocin, which is the substance responsible for the psychedelic effects. Psilocin acts on serotonin receptors in the brain, resulting in alterations in perception, thinking, mood and consciousness.
The effects of psilocybin can vary depending on the dose, context and personal characteristics of the user. Some common effects are:
- Visual or auditory hallucinations.
- Feeling of euphoria or well-being
- Increased creativity or introspection
- Changes in sense of time or space
- Feelings of connection with self, others or nature.
However, adverse effects may also occur, such as:
- Anxiety or panic
- Confusion or disorientation
- Nausea or vomiting
- Paranoia or delusions
- Alterations in heart rate or blood pressure.
Therefore, it is important to consume this substance under medical supervision and with proper monitoring.
What are the therapeutic benefits of psilocybin?
Several scientific studies have shown that psilocybin can have positive effects in treating various mental health conditions such as:
- Major depression: psilocybin can reduce depressive symptoms by facilitating deep and meaningful emotional experiences that help change negative beliefs about oneself and the world.
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder: Psilocybin may decrease obsessions and compulsions by modulating brain activity in regions involved in cognitive and emotional control.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder: Psilocybin may facilitate fear extinction by allowing reliving traumatic memories from a different and safer perspective.
- Existential anxiety: Psilocybin can alleviate the distress associated with terminal illness by inducing mystical or spiritual experiences that generate a sense of transcendence and purpose.
These benefits can last for weeks or months after a single session with a moderate to high dose of psilocybin. In addition, these effects have been observed to be related to the degree of change in personality toward greater openness and flexibility of mind.
How does Oregon’s legal program work?
In November 2020, Oregon voters approved a landmark initiative to legalize the therapeutic use of psilocybin under professional supervision. This initiative establishes a regulatory framework to create licensed centers where this substance can be administered to people over the age of 21 who meet certain medical and psychological requirements.
The program also provides for the training and certification of facilitators who can accompany users throughout the process. These facilitators must be knowledgeable about the pharmacological effects, potential risks and techniques for handling difficult situations during psilocybin sessions.
The objective of the program is to offer a safe and effective alternative for those who have not found relief with other conventional treatments or who are seeking to improve their quality of life.
Most of this pharmacology can be seen in Psychedelics and Mental Health, by Irene de Caso and Your Brain on Psychedelics, by Genís Oña, where you will learn the keys to the effects of psychedelics, capable of producing significant changes in the processes of perception, thought and consciousness. The book also includes a prologue written by one of the greatest eminences in this field, José Carlos Bouso, scientific director of ICEERS.
These books are now available on Amazon in physical and eBook format, as well as Apple Books. In addition, all titles are available in Spanish version on GuiasdelPsiconauta.com
Source of the original text: https://pharmacy.unc.edu/directory/denichol/
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