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“Commentary on: Psilocybin can occasion mystical-type experiences having substantial and sustained personal meaning and spiritual significance by Griffiths et al”.
Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2006 Jul 7.
The study by Griffiths et al. is noteworthy both for the rigorousness of its design and execution, as well as the clarity of its results. It demonstrates that psilocybin can be safely studied in normal human beings who do not have a history of hallucinogenic drug use. As would be expected, during the psilocybin session participants showed perceptual changes and labile mood. It is striking that majority of the participants reported 2 months later that the psilocybin induced experience was personally very meaningful and spiritually significant. Indeed, most of them rated the psilocybin-induced experience as one of the top five most important experiences in their life. It is especially notable that participants reported that the drug produced positive changes in attitudes and behaviors well after the sessions, and these self-observations were consistent with ratings by friends and relatives. These participants were well-prepared for the psilocybin experience by an experienced monitor, who expressly stated that psilocybin might produce increased personal awareness and insight. However, it is clear that the effects of psilocybin were more than expectancy effects because the active drug control condition (40 mg of methylphenidate) did not produce similar effects on ratings of significance or on measures of spirituality, positive attitude, or behavior.
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