Studies Find That Classic Psychedelics Aren’t Addictive

December 2, 2021 13:35:44

Pharmacologists at the University of Michigan Medical School tested psilocybin’s addiction potential in a study conducted in 2004. The study involved a cohort of rhesus monkeys, one-half of whom were injected with a dose of psilocybin, with the remainder hooked up to levers that injected them with a saline solution when pressed.

In experiments similar to this, monkeys have often pressed levers that inject drugs, including MDMA, cocaine and heroin. For this study, however, the researchers observed that while some monkeys didn’t go for a second dose of the psychedelic compound, others administered the compound until they were intoxicated. In their conclusion, the researchers noted that from their observation, psilocybin wasn’t an addictive substance.

Generally, research has found that addiction has neurological roots. Studies have shown that when individuals are stimulated by rewards, their brains respond to the reward by increasing the concentration of a neurotransmitter known as dopamine, which results in pleasure. Researchers believe that addiction manifests in this pathway, which known as the reward pathway.

Most recreational drugs, such as cocaine, opiates, cannabis, nicotine, alcohol and caffeine, increase the concentration of dopamine in an individual’s brain. On the other hand, classic psychedelics substances operate via a different pathway.

Classic psychedelics refer to a family of drugs that are chemically similar. These psychedelics include mescaline, DMT, LSD and psilocybin. Unlike recreational drugs, these substances mimic another neurotransmitter in the brain called serotonin. They bind themselves to a particular serotonin receptor in the brain that is involved in memory, facial emotion recognition and mood regulation.

Research has also shown that classic psychedelic substances aren’t reliable when it comes to these experiences, as it all depends on the individual. Scientists believe that tolerances for these substances develop even more quickly, with a review published in 2016 noting that administering LSD daily led to loss of sensitivity to the drug’s effects by the fourth day. Separate studies have also found that an individual’s tolerance to one psychedelic, such as LSD, translates to tolerance for mescaline and psilocybin.

Researchers hypothesize that the onset of tolerance, unreliability of the psychedelic trip and the lack of an effect on levels of dopamine all contribute to low addiction potential of these particular psychedelics.

Data from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration shows that in the 2005–2015 period, the percentage of patients who reported that hallucinogens were their main substance of abuse didn’t go over 0.1%, which supports the researchers’ hypothesis.

This data showing classic psychedelics as being nonaddictive portends well for companies such as Mydecine Innovation Group Inc. (NEO: MYCO) (OTC: MYCOF), which are on the hunt for disruptive treatments targeting mental health disorders as well as various addictions.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Mydecine Innovations Group Inc. (NEO: MYCO) (OTC: MYCOF) are available in the company’s newsroom at

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