A Promising Treatment for
Substance Use Disorders
Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD) is amongst the most prevalent and distressing substance use disorders worldwide.
Existing therapies do not provide adequate efficacy.
of individuals with AUD relapse within the first year after ending traditional treatment programs
Source: Griffiths R., Johnson M., et al, Journal of Psychopharmacology. May 2019
AUD, characterized by excessive drinking causes distress with:
Children experience neglect, physical and mental abuse from intoxicated parents
Early childhood exposure to alcohol may increase risk of future alcohol abuse
Excessive prenatal exposure to alcohol increases the risk for a range of physical, cognitive and mental development issues
Continuing to drink even when it causes problems with friends and family is part of the diagnosis of AUD
AUD often causes personality changes that include withdrawn affect, loss of interest in socialization, and violence
Financial burden due to excessive drinking in the US alone costs:
– The impact of alcohol use disorders on family life: A review of the empirical literature. ndarc.med.unsw.edu.au
– Alcohol.org: How Are Friends & Family Affected by the Actions of an Alcoholic Loved-One? Alcohol.org
– CDC Alcohol and Public Health, 2010 data cdc.gov
Scientific and clinical research has produced promising key findings in the treatment of alcohol abuse with Psilocybin
- Generally well-tolerated
- Produces rapid and sustained clinical effects in anxiety and depression
- Increases alcohol abstinence and reductions in drinking
Source: Psilocybin-assisted treatment for alcohol dependence: A proof-of-concept study, M. Bogenschutz, 2015. Researchgate.net
Recent Research Sheds Light on the
Underlying Mechanism of the Brain:
Psychedelics Promote Structural and Functional Neuroplasticity
- Synaptic growth, or “rewiring” of the brain, referred to as neuroplasticity, is a key determinant of learning and forgetting. Normally, this growth is impaired in psychiatric disorders.
- Psychedelics disrupt connections responsible for psychiatric-disorder-associated hub failures.
- Psilocybin breaks the negative and unhealthy thought patterns and promotes the formation of more useful ones.
Calvin Ly, David E. Olson, et al., 2018.
Nichols, Johnson, and Nichols, 2017, Psilocybin-Assisted Therapy: A Review of a Novel Treatment for Psychiatric Disorders”, Journal of Psychoactive Drugs
Psilocybin Promotes Increased
Integration Between Cortical Regions of the Brain
Communication between brain networks in people given psilocybin (right) or a non-psychedelic compound (left)