Psilocybin used to reduce depression and anxiety in sickly Cancer patients

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Researchers at New York University and Johns Hopkins University both have published studies in the Journal of Psychopharmacology on Thursday. They point out evidence where hallucinogenic drugs in patients struggling emotionally and mentally from cancer treatment find ease.

The studies reported that patients that were tested on with the hallucinogenic drugs showed improvement in emotional and mental health even long after the drug effects wore off. Both studies found that patients had elevated emotions for up to 6 months. “If larger clinical trials prove successful, then we could ultimately have available a safe, effective and inexpensive medication – dispensed under strict control – to alleviate the distress that increases suicide rates among cancer patients,” said Stephen Ross, an author of the NYU study.

“Psilocybin” is an active ingredient in “shrooms”, patients were treated two times, five weeks apart. The John Hopkins study stated, “When administered under psychologically supportive, double blind conditions, a single dose of psilocybin produced substantial and enduring decreases in depressed mood and anxiety along with increases in quality of life and decreases in death anxiety in patients with a life-threatening cancer diagnosis.”

If the illegal drug is approved for use in clinical settings, it may be an important tool doctors can use to treat pain and stress of serious and terminal diseases.

“A life-threatening cancer diagnosis can be psychologically challenging, with anxiety and depression as very common symptoms,” professor of behavioral biology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Roland Griffiths said. “People with this kind of existential anxiety often feel hopeless and are worried about the meaning of life and what happens upon death.”

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