A group of researchers at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) are enrolling volunteers for a clinical trial that could set precedence for using psilocybin, a psychedelic compound extracted from “magic mushrooms,” to pry the obsessive desire for cocaine away from addicts. Unlike pharmaceutical industry drugs that turn out to be trading one potentially dangerous drug for another, psilocybin is not a replacement drug at all. It’s not something taken daily nor should it be abused recreationally. Often, a serious spiritual event or profound life-changing insight from the addict, not from firm external pressures or forced abstinence, is what it takes for a cocaine addict to effectively break the bondage to that addiction. In this century, psychologists, MD psychiatrists, and others have observed psilocybin’s ability to induce those events without extended counseling, shown in clinical studies by Johns Hopkins, Imperial College London, New York University, University of California-San Francisco, Yale, and now UAB.

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