According to a recent study, the use of psychedelics can provide an opportunity to overcome drug addiction.
While there is certainly no magic pill to cure addiction and emotional ailments, psychedelics can sometimes put people in the right frame of mind to achieve that lofty goal. And now scientific data supports the idea that psychedelics can reduce opioid dependence.
A new study from the International Journal of Drug Policy — an organization dedicated to research, debate and critical analysis of drug use and drug policy — shows that individuals taking psychedelic substances can significantly reduce the likelihood of daily opioid use.
Based on data between 2006 and 2018 in Vancouver, British Columbia, researchers surveyed a total of 3.813 individuals who reported substance use disorders. Of the group, 1.093 described illicit opioid consumption and 229 said they had been in the past six months psychedelics had used.
Researchers found from the cohort that “Recent psychedelic use was associated with a 55% decreased likelihood of daily opioid use.”
Use of psychedelics against drug addiction
The authors noted that although the study was conducted in a naturalistic setting, as opposed to clinical where data is considered more rigorous, there is a growing body of evidence worldwide that psychedelic use may be associated with detectable reductions in substance use disorders.
For example, studies conducted at the Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research show that psilocybin in clinical settings helps patients facilitate smoking and alcohol cessation.
Anecdotally, there are many examples of people trapped in addiction cycles, riding an endless, revolving door from addiction to rehab and back to addiction, who eventually find solace from drug cravings with the help of psychedelic therapies.
Such was the case with Adrianne of Vancouver, British Columbia, who is the subject of the documentary “DOSED“. The film follows the 34-year-old through a living nightmare as she tries to kick the habit of a 10-year-old opiate addiction. She tells how her drug use started at age 15, with alcohol being her gateway drug, eventually leading to harder substances such as cocaine and heroin.
Through the use of psilocybin, Adrianne begins to discover the usefulness of psychedelics in getting to the root of her problems. After continuously relapsing into an addiction, she seeks help with the powerful psychoactive ibogaine, a drug derived from the African root iboga. She eventually finds comfort through a harrowing experience.
Several years after her drug addiction, Adrianne writes that psychedelics offer her a chance to deal with her problems.
“I feel like psychedelics have connected me more with myself and I have a better connection with what's going on inside me,” she says. “Whereas before, when I was on harder drugs and not doing any kind of personal development, I just felt in our turmoil. I wouldn't feel well. And I would reach for something to numb it. Now I feel like I'm more connected.”