New research says that going on a bad trip doesn't always lead to bad things. Around 84% of drug users who said that they have experienced a bad trip while using hallucinogenic mushrooms have actually benefitted psychologically from it. In a study published online in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, a team from John Hopkins University looked at 1,993 adults who ingested psilocybin mushrooms.
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Psilocybin mushrooms - also known as magic mushrooms or shrooms - can deliver a strong psychedelic effect that changes the way people view the world. But it doesn't only change what you see - it changes the way you feel. There are two possibilities - heaven or hell - with the latter called a "bad trip."
Roland Griffiths was the leader of the study where they found out that of the participants who said that they had a bad trip, 62% said that it was one of the top 10 most psychologically difficult situations of their lives.
Thirty-four percent said that the bad trip was one of the top five meaningful experiences of their lives, with 31% saying it was among the most spiritually significant. A staggering 76% said that the bad trip resulted in an improved sense of well-being. Even stranger, 46% said that they would be willing to experience that trip all over again.
It turns out that more difficult or extreme experiences led people to have a more beneficial outcome. The longer the trip was, the less beneficial it appeared to be, however.
Still, the study showed some of the more severe consequences of going on a trip, including putting themselves at danger, endangering someone else, or having violent behavior. Those who had longer trips also had a lack of social and physical support.
Very few people ended up seeking medical help. “Three cases appeared associated with onset of enduring and impairing psychotic symptoms and three cases with attempted suicide,” the researchers noted.
The researchers said “it is important to note that risks of dangerous behavior or enduring psychological problems are extremely low in laboratory studies of psilocybin with carefully screened, well-prepared participants who are supported during and after psilocybin administration.”