By ANDREW FRATTAROLI
“Magic mushrooms” are frequently considered to be a staple of counterculture because of their mind-altering potential. Now, researchers at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine believe that it could be a huge breakthrough in the fight to combat mental illnesses like depression and anxiety.
In an article for The New York Times, Laura M. Holson reports on the effort to get psilocybin, which is the psychedelic element in hallucinogenic mushrooms, changed from a schedule I drug to a schedule IV drug, a process that goes through the Federal Drug Administration. A schedule I drug is one that has no medical value, while a schedule IV drug does have medical value, like sleeping pills, which is the example Holson uses in her article.
This article did a good job trying to buckle down the key talking points on an issue that can be confusing and very controversial for a lot of people. Of course, there is more to this issue that can be discussed. One of the things that I wish Holson did a better job of explaining was how exactly that this drug can help cure anxiety and depression. The reason is that it gives the user a chance to introspectively evaluate their life in a very deep and meaningful way, which she does not mention.
The other thing I wish she wrote more about is how the research is done and how they exactly monitor the results. Do they see an increase in serotonin afterwards, or something along that line?
Overall, Holson did a very good job discussing a subject that I am sure will be discussed much more in the future.