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Just one psychedelic trip can have life-long benefits

A new study says that LSD, mushrooms, DMT, and other psychedelics can trigger ‘god’ experiences and positive life changes

A new study released this month highlights the profound, life-affirming effects of psychedelic trips, with drugs such as psilocybin mushrooms, LSD, and DMT. The reactions of participants reflect long-term beneficial effects and general life satisfaction from tripping out at least once.

As reported by Psychology Today, the findings come from John Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore’s ‘Survey of Subjective ‘God encounter experiences’: comparisons among naturally occurring experiences and those occasioned by the classic psychedelics psilocybin, LSD, ayahuasca, or DMT’, published in PLOS ONE.

People tapped for the survey report having experiences with an “ultimate reality”, or God, despite many beginning as atheists. Two-thirds (66 per cent) reported after their trip that they no longer identified as atheist, and reported long-term positive life changes they believe were triggered by the trips.

The majority of those who reported having positive experiences rook psilocybin (1,184), then LSD (1,251), DMT (606), and ayahuasca (435). 809 people said they had these ‘ultimate reality’ and ‘god’ encounter experiences without drugs.

“Experiences that people describe as encounters with God or a representative of God have been reported for thousands of years, and they likely form the basis of many of the world's religions,” Roland Griffiths, professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Neurosciences at the Johns Hopkins and the study’s lead researcher, said. “Although modern Western medicine doesn't typically consider ‘spiritual’ or ‘religious’ experiences as one of the tools in the arsenal against sickness, our findings suggest that these encounters often lead to improvements in mental health.” 

The new study claims to be the first to “systematically and rigorously” compare an contrast psychedelic trip experiences with those without.

Last year, Dazed reported on the Lucia N°03 Hypnagogic Light Machine, a product that flashes white lights at different frequencies to mimic the effects of LSD and DMT to promote mental wellbeing, with users getting ‘high on light’. In recent months, groundbreaking new studies have found drugs like MDMA help with social anxiety, and ketamine has been used to treat depression.

Read more about the study here.