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How psychedelic science is changing life and death



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Psychedelic drugs, often considered a mind-altering staple of 1960’s counterculture, are making their way back into the science lab.

Currently being studied by researchers inside some of the country’s foremost medical institutions, scientists are discovering groundbreaking potential for treating issues like depression and addiction while enabling radical self-acceptance.

From cancer patients who say magic mushrooms helped them overcome a fear of death to how microdosing acid can work as an effective, non-addictive method of pain relief, new therapies are instigating immediate breakthroughs that some psychiatrists say typically take years to develop.

No longer relegated to music festivals, raves, and college dorm rooms, psychedelics are making a comeback. Slowly changing our minds … about the science of changing our minds.

In this episode of The Abstract, we discuss how magic mushrooms and LSD could transform the way we treat cancer patients’ crushing mental health symptoms and people’s chronic pain.

Our first story is about new research demonstrating that a single dose of psilocybin, a compound found in magic mushrooms, can provide long-term relief for cancer patients’ anxiety and depression. Based on these remarkable findings, researchers believe psilocybin therapy could one day revolutionize the way we live and die.

Our second story scientists find that a microdose of LSD can significantly increase human pain tolerance. Using doses low enough to avoid a hallucinogenic experience, researchers hope the drug could eventually serve as an alternative pain treatment to opioids and continue to look for new ways it can fundamentally alter human sensations.

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Right now, facts and science matter more than ever. That’s part of the reason for The Abstract, this all-new podcast from the Inverse staff that focuses exclusively on science and innovation. Three new episodes are released a week, and each covers one theme via two related stories. Each features audio of original Inverse reporting, where the facts and context take center stage. It’s hosted by the Tanya Bustos of WSJ Podcasts. Because we’re Inverse, it’s all true but slightly off-kilter. It’s made for people who want to know the whole story. Nick Lucchesi, executive editor, Inverse

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