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Trading Psychedelics for Prescriptions: Improving Mental Health

Psychedelics eye image

People who suffer from mental health conditions, such as depression and anxiety, are always looking for a solution to improve the quality of life. From prescription medicine to yoga, the therapeutic remedies seem to help maintain stability, but only for the short-term. Microdosing psychedelics is a recent trend and has powerful claims to treat symptoms of mental illness.

You read that right; you’re not hallucinating. People are microdosing, which is the act of taking tiny amounts of psychedelic drugs to obtain a brain boost, to help battle mental health conditions.

In this post, you will discover the power of microdosing, and whether or not it’s useful for improving mental health.

A Trippy Alternative to Prescription Drugs

As of now, there are dozens of mental health medications on the market. You may be familiar with some of the popular ones like Xanax, Zoloft, and Prozac. While these medications are effective, they have a long list of adverse side effects, such as insomnia and memory loss. Not to mention, the physical dependency some of these drugs produce after chronic use.

With that in mind, it’s no surprise that patients who suffer from mental health problems are after a safe and more effective treatment. Psychedelics aren’t the first “natural” alternative to prescription drugs for mental health. Cannabidiol or CBD oil has been a go-to for people with high amounts of stress and anxiety.

A large amount of people who microdose claim it helps them with their mental health conditions. There have been links that small amounts of LSD and mushrooms can make you more optimistic and give you a “big picture” view on life.

Many doctors and psychiatrists believe psychedelics are a viable alternative to prescription drugs for mental health.

Magic Mushrooms and Depression

Psilocybin, or socially known as magic mushrooms, is a group of psychedelic fungi that naturally grow worldwide. Psilocybin mushrooms are illegal in most places because of their hallucinogenic effects.

When you think of magic mushrooms, a few things may come to mind. Hippies in San Francisco, endless streams of vibrant colors, or perhaps flying a dragon through Candyland. However, these effects are quite the opposite of what magic mushrooms do in small doses.

Of course, eating a large dose of magic mushrooms might make you lose your grip on reality. But people who are microdosing these funky fungi have a different story.

Avid microdosers claim that small amounts of psilocybin make them more focused and in touch with their inner self. People with depression may have greater self-worth due to the optimism the drug brings.

Researcher James Fadiman claims that microdosing magic mushrooms are the perfect productivity hack. However, as of now, these are just claims. Needless to say, that those suffering from depression may find microdosing psilocybin a useful way to live with their condition.

What About LSD?

LSD (Lysergic Acid Diethylamide) is another psychedelic drug that can thoroughly alter your consciousness. Similar to magic mushrooms, LSD has a hallucinogenic effect when taken in full-dose.

People who microdose LSD claim it gives them a slight boost in energy and creativity. Since LSD is psychoactive, it’s no surprise that it has effects on the brain. Coffee and alcohol are also psychoactive drugs but have a much weaker impact on your mental state than LSD or psilocybin.

There haven’t been enough noteworthy studies to link LSD and improved cognitive function directly. As of now, all the data we can rely on comes from shared experience among internet users. The main issue is that the data may not be credible due to certain biases with psychedelics.

Some users online claim that ever since they started microdosing LSD, they’ve had less dependency on other drugs such as nicotine and alcohol. Others claim the drug makes them more friendly, open-minded, and less prone to self-harm.

Minimal LSD Research Available

Before the War On Drugs, many scientists were studying the potential benefits of LSD as a treatment for both mental health and alcohol dependency. However, research came to a standstill due to the US government’s firm stance against psychedelics and other illegal substances.

One study reviewed by Biomed Central claims that people who microdose LSD had less neurotic and dysfunctional behavior than those who don’t. 

Unfortunately, these benefits are only hearsay until researchers have enough sufficient data. With that in mind, many scientists and mental health professionals are digging deeper into the potential application of psychedelics for mental health patients.

Are There Any Risks?

At this point, you might be thinking microdosing is the do-all end-all answer for improving mental health. However, one question is probably lingering in your mind: is it safe?

To clearly state whether or not microdosing is safe depends solely on the person. With that in mind, overdosing on psychedelics is quite tricky. For someone to overdose on LSD, they would have to take 100-200 times the full-dose amount.

However, it’s easy for someone to take too much LSD or magic mushrooms and have a “bad trip.” That’s why it’s essential to always be careful about the dosage before taking psychedelics.

Other than that, psychedelics are surprisingly safer than most other recreational drugs. There are a few side effects that might arise after microdosing, such as:

  • Nausea
  • Upset stomach
  • Weird dreams
  • Abstract thoughts
  • Loss of appetite
  • Insomnia
  • General discomfort

Also, psychedelics are illegal in most countries. Although microdosing is slowly becoming socially acceptable practice, doing psychedelics could put you at risk of losing your job, or getting into trouble with the law. However, both the general public and lawmakers around the country have shown increased interest in loosening these laws.

Final Thoughts

Microdosing is, without a doubt, an unorthodox approach to improve mental health. A few decades ago, you would have been labeled an outcast for even considering taking hallucinogenic drugs, especially for medical use.

Although the evidence of microdosing as an alternative to prescription drugs still has many grey areas, studies are promising. As soon as researchers have enough reliable data to conclude their studies, the world of microdosing is bound to help many people.

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