Microdosing psychedelics is a growing trend among people seeking alternative treatments and therapy for various health conditions. Microdosing is the practice of consuming small, sub-perceptual doses of psychedelics, such as LSD, psilocybin, or mescaline. Psychedelic compounds activate serotonin receptors in the brain, reducing the energy needed to switch between different states of activity on its own. While scientists, doctors, and patients alike are all becoming increasingly aware of the health benefits microdosing psychedelics can provide, it is clear that the use of psychedelics can help many patients struggling with a number of ailments.
Microdosing Psychedelics for Reduced Anxiety and Depression
One of the most significant benefits of microdosing therapy is the reduction of anxiety and depression symptoms. The practice is recognized in the medical field for its whopping efficiency in reducing depression and even eliminating it altogether in patients. In a study conducted by John Hopkins Medicine, practicing microdosing psychedelics found that “The magnitude of the effect (observed) was about four times larger than what clinical trials have shown for traditional antidepressants on the market.” Typically, standard depression medications prescribed by doctors take years, months, or weeks at best to work. However, this particular study consisted of only two doses given in a two week period wherein each treatment period lasted only five hours. After the study was completed, researchers found 67% of participants showed a 50% or more reduction in depression symptoms after only one week based on a standard depression assessment scale. At the four week follow up, 71% of patients reported more than 50% reduction in their symptoms. This study included patients with depression caused by terminal diseases such as cancer and also included a broader group of people struggling with depression for differing reasons. Microdosing psychedelics as a form of therapy was also was found to reduce symptoms of anxiety, which shares many symptoms of depression. Often, people who suffer from depression also suffer from anxiety and vice versa. Therefore, this is a promising treatment for both mental health conditions alike.
Increased Productivity in Patients with ADHD
Another potential benefit of microdosing psychedelics is increased creativity and productivity. Microdosing psychedelics may also offer benefits as a holistic alternative for people with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). A study conducted in 2020 by the Journal of Attention Disorders found that microdosing psychedelics using LSD improved cognitive performance and attention in participants with ADHD. Patients report that taking small doses of psychedelics can help them enter a state of “flow,” where they are more focused and productive. This can help directly with symptoms of ADHD such as difficulty concentrating on tasks, excessive talking, and fidgeting constantly and uncontrollably. Therefore, microdosing can directly help with real-life challenges ADHD patients face such as being able to be productive in the workplace, problems with supervisors, and even keeping a job altogether. A study conducted by the National Library of Medicine found both people suffering from ADHD symptoms and people diagnosed with ADHD alike have more challenges in their workplace with productivity-based challenges compared to the control group. Since scientists link microdosing psychedelics with relieving symptoms that cause these challenges, the practice can be an efficient treatment resulting in increased productivity and overall satisfaction for people suffering from ADHD in the workplace.
Reduced Addiction and Substance Abuse
Microdosing psychedelics has been praised as a “breakthrough” in treatment for people struggling with addiction and substance abuse. Oftentimes, substance abuse starts when doctors prescribe traditional medicines, resulting in prescription abuse that may eventually lead to the patient seeking drugs by other means to satisfy their addiction. After over 100,000 deaths by overdose of opioids in the year 2021 alone, it is clear that this is a crucial issue with lasting effects that microdosing psychedelics can help with. To combat both these cases and also other forms of addiction and substance abuse, microdosing psychedelics has been to be efficient. A study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found that microdosing psychedelics using the compound psilocybin reduced alcohol and tobacco use in participants. Additionally, a small pilot study found that microdosing LSD reduced cravings for cocaine in participants who were in treatment for cocaine addiction. The New York Times refers to microdosing psychedelic therapy as “the next big addiction treatment,” and go on to praise it as the most effective.
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