Taking LSD or magic mushrooms can cause long-term changes to your personality and make you want to try new experiences.
Researchers have concluded that psychedelic drugs can alter how someone acts years after they first take the illegal substances.
Individuals who took mushrooms, LSD or ayahuasca – a hallucinogenic Amazonian brew, were found to have higher rates of ‘openness’.
Scientists define this term as someone’s willingness to try new things and entertain new ideas and beliefs.
Researchers have concluded that psychedelic drugs can alter how someone acts years after they first take the illegal substances
The new findings, by Brazilian and Spanish experts, come from a review of 18 trials where hundreds of patients were given psychedelics.
Scores reported therapeutic benefits from the drugs, which scientists declared worked in a similar way to antidepressants for some.
In comparison to those who weren’t given the drugs, researchers uncovered a stark difference in personalities.
And in some of the studies the personality changes were noted a year or more after the participant was given the psychedelic.
The review incorporated studies that had taken place in the US, UK, Spain, Brazil and Germany, reports LiveScience.
WHAT IS LSD?
Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) emerged when Swiss scientist Albert Hofmann first accidentally synthesized and dosed LSD to report its effects in 1938.
Although LSD is illegal in the US and UK, it remains a popular recreational drug and not just for its most potent effects.
Some people – most notably technology developers in Silicon Valley and elsewhere – report ‘microdosing’ LSD to boost creativity, relieve stress, and help them solve problems, while avoiding its hallucinogenic effects.
One in 10 people in the United States – tens of millions of people – have reported using LSD at least once in their lives. Around one in 200 use the drug in the UK, figures suggest.
Researchers said the findings ‘offer new evidence to whether personality is or isn’t a constant and stable psychological trait’.
The findings, by experts from Universidad Autónoma de Madrid and the University of São Paulo, were published in the journal Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews.
It comes after a separate study today revealed that psychedelics could treat patients with depression by ‘harmonising’ their brain.
Scientists from the Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona, conducted brain scans of 12 participants given either LSD or a placebo.
They found it created a ‘new type of order in the brain’ that help patients to develop a new style of thinking, reports PsyPost.
Those findings, published in Scientific Reports, back-up an array of evidence that suggests LSD could be used to combat the blues.
But anti-drug campaigners warn that giving depressed patients psychedelics is a dangerous experiment that will play with their minds.
There is a growing need for new drugs as figures suggest around one in three cases of depression do not respond well to existing treatments.