How can psilocybin affect mental health? – Forbes Health

Researchers say psilocybin is one of the safest psychedelic drugs due to its low toxicity, low abuse potential, lack of long-term adverse effects, apparently no physical addiction potential, and rarity of overdose.

Without FDA approval or regulation, there are no widespread dosage recommendations for psilocybin, but it is often taken in 10-50 milligrams. Medical dosage tends to take into account the weight of the individual.

According to recent and ongoing psilocybin and mental health studies, psilocybin is safer when taken under the supervision of licensed health professionals. ‚ÄúLicensed healthcare professionals with clinical experience in mental health care or counseling will understand the subjective effects and subjective experience [of psilocybin therapy] [in] patients with mental illness, “says Ekaterina Malievskaia, MD, Chief Innovation Officer and co-founder of COMPASS Pathways in London.” The role of a therapist is very important in ensuring a safe experience and quality of care. “

Psilocybin treatment is also probably safer in a calm and peaceful environment, often with music playing. ‘Right now, the best practice is for patients not to question themselves, not to read the news, not to watch TV before the session, but to focus more on the inside,’ says Dr Malievskaia. “The session environment should be non-stimulating so that they can embark on their own inner journey without being affected by the environment.” A stimulating environment could become unsettling, disorienting and anxious for an individual, she adds.

Psilocybin side effects, risks and what to know before use

Psilocybin is not recommended for individuals:

  • With (or who are at risk of) psychotic disorders, such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, as psilocybin can be harmful or exacerbating and can interact with some medications
  • With cardiovascular problems, because psilocybin can increase blood pressure and heart rate (a preliminary evaluation by your doctor can help determine if you are a candidate)

Hallucinations are common for a psilocybin session – or “trip / journey” – and while they can open your eyes and welcome a participant, they can also be frightening or disturbing, says Chuck Raison, director of clinical and translational research at Usona Institute in Madison, Wisconsin. These scary hallucinations are also known as a bad trip, in which you may become anxious, agitated, confused and / or panicked. While this can happen at any dose, it’s safer to start with a low dose and see how that affects you before increasing.

Higher doses of 13 milligrams or higher, according to Brown University, can lead to:

  • Facial redness and sweating
  • Slowed sense of time
  • Feeling separate from your body

Signs of a potential psilocybin overdose include:

  • Dizziness
  • Numbness in parts of the mouth
  • Chills or sweats
  • Nausea

Psilocybin use may carry a risk of serious long-term psychiatric conditions, depending on the dosage and underlying conditions, including persistent hallucinogen perception disorder (leads to flashbacks of the psilocybin experience) and psychosis induced by medications (loss of sense of reality).

The risk of these conditions makes it very important to be screened before use by a properly trained / educated professional who can help discern if you are a good candidate for treatment and who will help guide / monitor the process.

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