Far from just a few hours of psychedelia, a trip on magic mushrooms could stay with you your whole life - in a good way, according to Roland Griffiths, a neuroscientist at Johns Hopkins University. Two thirds* of the 36 men and women who took carefully measured doses of the active trippy ingredient psilocybin reported that even 14 months after the experiment, they still rated it one of the most significant spiritual experiences of their lives. Griffiths believes the outcome shows psilocybin should be, um, 'studied' further, possibly as a treatment for serious mental stress and for help kicking alcohol and drug habits. Wait, what?
According to Scientific American's article on the study, taking psilocybin may help addicts get over their dependencies:
"It does sound counterintuitive," Griffiths says. But, "six of the 12 AA [Alcoholics Anonymous] steps are related to a higher power and surrendering to it. Many people don't engage fully into the 12-step program because they don't have a connection to a higher power. One can't help but wonder whether an experience like this might be useful."
Griffiths admits a lot more study is needed before alcoholics start dropping tabs, but he's hoping his research will help lift the taboo on what is still an illegal drug.
*Of course the other third experienced "significant fear" according to Griffiths, which we can take to mean they thought they were oranges and tried to peel their own skin off.