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Up to 9% of LSD and psilocybin users report flashbacks

by Team Inc.

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New research published in the journal Psychopharmacology examined the occurrence of flashback phenomena. Effects that recur after using hallucinogens. The results of six placebo-controlled studies revealed that flashbacks occurred in up to 9,2% of participants after exposure to LSD or psilocybin.

Have in recent years psychedelic drugs such as LSD and psilocybin have received more attention for their potential therapeutic effects. These psychoactive substances are considered relatively safe and non-addictive. A notable side effect is the spontaneous occurrence of experiences after the effects of the drugs have worn off.

Disorder after taking LSD or psilocybin

These recurring effects and experiences are called flashbacks, and symptoms include vision changes, mood changes, and derealization/depersonalization. If these flashbacks persist and cause anxiety or impairment, they may be referred to as hallucinogen-persistent perception disorder (HPPD), a condition listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-V).

Research author Felix Müller and his team say that scientific knowledge of flashbacks is limited and that the existing data is based on case reports and naturalistic studies. The researchers sought to better describe flashback phenomena and HPPD by analyzing data from multiple clinical trials.

The researchers collected data from six double-blind, placebo-controlled studies involving a total of 142 participants between the ages of 25 and 65. During the studies, 90 participants received LSD, 24 received psilocybin, and 28 received both drugs. Doses varied by trial, with participants receiving between 1 and 5 doses of LSD ranging from 0,025 to 0,2 mg, and/or between 1 and 2 doses of psilocybin ranging from 15 to 30 mg.

The majority of participants (76,9%) reported that these flashbacks were neutral or positive experiences. Two subjects found them unpleasant, one of whom described a single distressing episode occurring 17 days after taking 25 mg of psilocybin. The other participant who reported unpleasant flashbacks said the experiences occurred four days after taking 0,2 mg of LSD. In both cases, the flashbacks had no impact on the participants' daily lives and disappeared spontaneously.

Overall, these findings suggest that flashback experiences are relatively common in LSD and psilocybin studies, with approximately 9% of participants reporting such effects. Only 1,4% of the participants required treatment.

Source: Psypost.org (EN)

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