Psilocybin use has been around for literally thousands of years. However, for most of that time, psilocybin was used primarily for spiritual purposes. Then, in the last century, specifically in the 1960s and 70s, psilocybin use took on a much different use; a recreational one. Now, there is yet another discussion surrounding another use for psilocybin. That is the use of psilocybin assisted therapy treatment.
What is Psilocybin Assisted Therapy Treatment?
Over the last few years, there has been a lot of discussion surrounding the efficacy of psilocybin as a treatment modality. Primarily, this discussion has surrounded the potential for psilocybin to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other issues of trauma.
Now, while there have been some promising results and interesting studies coming out of this therapeutic work with psilocybin, it has also created a minimization of psilocybin use and many myths surrounding the drug. Moreover, yes, psilocybin is a drug.
That is perhaps the primary myth that permeates the discussion of psilocybin. The myth is that, because it is natural, it is not a drug. This is false, and there are other falsehoods to consider as well.
The Myths of Psilocybin as a Treatment Modality
Many myths currently surround the use of psilocybin. However, there are four myths and misunderstandings that seem to come up in conversations more frequently than others.
#1. Psilocybin Is an Evidence-Based Approved Treatment Modality
Yes, psilocybin treatments are currently happening both in the United States and other countries around the world. These studies have actually been going on since the mid-to-late 20th century, and there have been positive results over the years.
However, regardless of how long these studies have been going on, it is crucial to understand that psilocybin as a treatment modality is still considered experimental. Experimental therapies cannot be considered evidence-based and thus have yet to obtain full approval from both governmental and clinical agencies.
Perhaps one day psilocybin therapy will be considered an evidence-based treatment modality. However, as of right now, it is not.
#2. Magic Mushrooms and Psilocybin Are Safe for Recreational Use
Another myth that surrounds psilocybin treatment is that because it is being tested as a treatment modality, it is safe for recreational use. Again, this is false. Psilocybin is still an illicit drug when considered in a recreational context.
Another way to think of this is to compare it with other pharmacological treatments. For example, certain anxiety drugs, such as Valium or Xanax, can be highly useful to those struggling with an anxiety disorder. However, when used recreationally these drugs can have disastrous consequences. The same can happen with psilocybin.
#3. Psilocybin Is Now Legal
Just because psilocybin is being tested in therapeutic settings does not mean it is legal everywhere. While there are indeed a couple of states and a few countries that have decriminalized as well as legalized the use of psilocybin, it is still illegal in most places.
Also, it is important to remember that just because a substance is legal does not mean it is harmless. Consider alcohol use, for example. Alcohol is legal for most populations. Yet, it is still the leading cause of substance use disorder (SUD) in the U.S. and abroad. Also, just because a substance is legal does not mean that it is not addictive. Although alcohol is a prime example of this, so is psilocybin.
#4. Magic Mushrooms and Psilocybin Are Not Addictive
Many people believe the myth that psilocybin is not addictive, because it is not physically addictive. While this is generally true, psilocybin can still be addictive. This is because psilocybin can be “psychologically addictive.”
Psychological addiction is when the body doesn’t physically crave a substance, but without it, an individual will begin to go through emotional withdrawals. Those with a psilocybin addiction can start to feel anxious, nervous, and depressed when they are not using psilocybin, which can ultimately lead to more co-occurring problems down the road.
The Addiction Recovery Mission at The Phoenix Recovery Center
Our goal is not just to “fix” the behaviors of addiction in the short-term, rather our goal is to get to the underlying emotions that cause those behaviors in the first place. This method can help avoid relapse and ensure long-term recovery.
Here at The Phoenix Recovery Center, we empower our clients to go out and live the life that addiction tried to rob them of. We have countless alumni that continue to embody this empowerment, and we know there are many more people whom we will empower to go out and join them.
If you feel like you or a loved one are struggling with issues of mental health, there are currently many evidence-based treatments available. For more information, reach out to The Phoenix Recovery Center at (801) 438-3185.