Hallucinogenic help for cancer patients
A randomized clinical trial at Johns Hopkins is testing whether psilocybin trips can ameliorate depression and give rise to spiritually meaningful experiences in people with life-threatening cancer.
An earlier study that was done in our lab with healthy participants found that psilocybin, given in a comfortable and supportive setting, can provide an experience that is personally and spiritually meaningful for the participant. This study is being done to find out if psilocybin can also produce personally and spiritually meaningful experiences in cancer patients. This could be important because spirituality has been associated with increased psychological coping and decreased depression in serious illness. [text from ClinicalTrials.gov]
Photo: The hallucinogenic mushroom Psilocybe pelliculosa via Wikimedia Commons