Magic-mushroom

Magic-mushroom

Can the active ingredient in “magic mushrooms” help those with terminal cancer cope with their fate? That was the question asked by researchers, who published the results of their

After all, impending death wreaks havoc on the psyche of not only the terminally ill patient but also their family and friends. More broadly, our society spends so much time avoiding death that it can be well nigh impossible to cope with its reality.

To try and address this, UCLA psychiatrist Charles Grob and his colleagues enlisted 12 cancer patients—11 of them women—between June 2004 and May 2008. All suffered from fatal cancers, ranging from breast cancer to multiple myeloma, as well as “acute stress disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, anxiety disorder due to cancer, or adjustment disorder with anxiety.” All agreed to take a “moderate dose” (0.2 milligrams per kilogram of body weight) of psilocybin (and niacin on another occasion) to see if the psychedelic drug might offer some relief from their fear of death and disease.

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