Remember all those anti-drug PSA's where a seedy drug dealer offers a teengager drugs then claims "all the cool kids do it"?
Turns out that seedy drug dealer was onto something! As long as he's selling psychedelics, at least.
Scientists working with the hallucinogen psilocybin — the active ingredient found in "magic mushrooms" — have found a single "moderate to high" dose of the drug prompted a long lasting and positive personality change in almost 60% of the 51 patients tested.
In short, one trip and you have a 60% chance to be an infinitely cooler person for the rest of your life!
Study author Roland R. Griffiths, a professor in the departments of psychiatry and neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, said:
"Now this finding is really quite fascinating and that is because personality is considered a stable characteristic of the psychology of people. It's been thought to be relatively immutable, and stable across the lifespan. But, remarkably, this study shows that psilocybin actually changes one domain of personality that is strongly related to traits such as imagination, feeling, abstract ideas and aesthetics, and is considered a core construct underlying creativity in general and the changes we see appear to be long-term."
His goal isn't to give teenagers ANOTHER reason to experiment with drugs, but to discover therapeutic uses of the drug. For instance, using the hallucinogen to help cancer patients cope with the depression and anxiety or possibly help smokers quit the habit.
Although he observed "positive" personality changes, there are PLENTY of risks associated with psychedelic drug use! He warned "do not try this at home", explaining:
"We certainly don't want to imply that there's not risk associated with these compounds and we wouldn't want to be a reason for an uptick for non-medical, uncontrolled use of this sort of thing."
We're sure this research will cause lots of controversy for the conservative crowd, but the clinical director of the NYU Langone Center of Excellence on Addiction surprisingly called the work "landmark", explaining:
"I say this because we think of personality as being cemented in your 20s, certainly by your 30s. So the fact that openness was increased, seemingly permanently, after a single experience of psilocybin is quite remarkable, but, of course, as interesting as the implications for future therapies from this might be, the message should be that people should not try this at home or in any kind of uncontrolled environment."
Amen! PLEASE do not put your sanity at risk and let the experts handle it!
[Image via WENN.]