Terminally ill patients are to be treated with doses of psilocybin, the hallucinogen found in magic mushrooms – to cut the anxiety many of us feel at the end of our lives.
Researchers at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne are to give the drug to 30 dying patients from April this year.
The patients will be given a synthetic psilocybin treatment in a supervised setting – and claim that it can give an altered outloook for up to six months.
Previous research has shown that the psychedelic fungi can treat depression in cancer patients – although researchers recommend that the mushrooms are only consumed in a supervised setting.
In 2016, Dr Roland Griffiths said that 92% of patients treated with psilocybin (the active ingredient in ‘shrooms’) saw a reduction in depression and anxiety.
Of those, 79% said the effect lasted six months.
Roland Griffiths of John Hopkins University – who is conducting scientific trials of magic mushrooms, and says that the fungi can help people quit smoking – said that ‘looking inwards’ or ‘tripping’ is perfectly natural.
Previous John Hopkins experiments found that many people find spiritual value in psychedelic journeys – with 67% of Griffiths’ volunteers saying their trips were among the most spiritually significant events of their lives.