An article in The Psychologist, the official publication of the British Psychological Society, covers recent work on the use of psilocybin to treat emotional distress in cancer patients. “Experiences of hallucinogen treatment”–published in the magazine’s September, 2014 issue–focuses on studies by Heffter researchers Charles Grob and Roland Griffiths. Their results indicate that psilocybin shows great promise as a treatment for the psychological problems that often accompany advanced stage cancer.
“The recent studies affirm that therapy with psilocybin is well tolerated and for some patients remarkably effective. It entails just one or two sessions and correspondingly low cost. Psilocybin has no known tissue toxicity. The reported incidences of adverse reactions, such as severe disorientation, anxiety and panic, are very low; and such side-effects can be managed using familiar doses of anxiolytics and neuroleptics. The experiences patients describe are not intoxication, but rather a sense of clarity, expanded context and a reframing of their worldview and sense of the future that persists long after any pharmacologic effect of the drugs.”