Why Psilocybin Assisted Therapy for Alcohol use Disorder? Treating more than a chemical dependency is the reason why many addictions are so hard to treat. After the short term withdrawals wear off, people suffering from addiction are often faced with having to function without that stress relief their habit gave them. Those who have a strong desire to quit may be successful for a few weeks, or even Months. However, when stressed or upset, their brain mechanisms will often revert them back to the comforting territory of their addiction.
Along with LSD and mescaline, which are also known as “Classic psychedelics”. Psilocybin activates switches in the brains visual cortex, the Serotonin 5-HT2a receptors, which produce hallucinations. Since the early hay days of psychedelics in the 1950’s-1960’s these drugs were evaluated for treating depression and addiction with results that left positive outlook as well as lots of questions. However, this was put to a halt in the 1970’s due to the passing of the Controlled Substances Act, which placed LSD and Psilocybin as Schedule 1 drug.
Years later in 2000, Roland Griffiths, a psychopharmacologist at Johns Hopkins, received the go ahead from the FDA to study the psychological effects of psilocybin on 30 volunteers. Since than psychedelic research has blossomed as a British study published earlier this year found people with severe alcohol abuse disorder who received ketamine-assisted therapy restrained from drinking 10% more over six months than those who received the placebo along with therapy or education. The potential downfall of ketamine-assisted therapy is studies suggest that its antidepressant effect wears off over time, and patients may need repeated infusions. This in itself could turn into a potential problem as ketamine does have the potential to become a drug of abuse. With psilocybin being a more intense psychedelic therefore making it a longer-lasting therapeutic, one can understand why the future of curing alcoholism might be psilocybin.
As a former alcoholic and founder of the Apollo pact, Jon Kostakopoulos had tried his hand at all avenues before signing up for a pilot study in 2015 for psilocybin. After exhausting all the tools available to quit alcohol Jon turned to something he was always afraid of as in his own words stated “I had zero to lose”. After the first session of the study Jon stopped drinking and has not substituted anything for Alcohol to this day. After having this profound experience Jon created the Apollo pact which is a Non profit for federal research funding for psilocybin.
So, why Psilocybin for Assisted Therapy for Alcohol use Disorder? The consumption of Alcohol beverages is responsible e for 5.3 percent of deaths WORLDWIDE every year. With the potential benefits of Psilocybin showing in recent studies from long lasting effects upon completion of Psilocbyin assisted therapy, to essentially repairing the part of the brain responsible for alcohol cravings. All signs are hinting at a potential new treatment for alcoholism.
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If you or anyone you know might have a problem with Alcohol abuse please reach out to 1-800-662-HELP (4357) also known as the (Treatment Referral Routing Service) or TTY: 1-800-487-4889 is a confidential, free 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance abuse disorders.