a boom in Silicon Valley, the risks of which are unknown

For some time now, the consumption of microdoses of psychedelics has been on the rise for some time now such as psilocybin (a hallucinogenic substance obtained from mushrooms). They are, as the name suggests, very small doses of psychedelic drugs which, according to those who use them regularly, enhance the productivity and creativity in the workplace. He made them fashionable Silicon Valley (in San Francisco, USA), the ‘mecca’ of technology and creativity. These micro-doses are also being consumed in Spainalthough there is no “reliable picture” of how much, nor is the “magnitude of the phenomenon” known. The US is experiencing a boom.

“Consumers of microdoses say they have effects on productivity. There are people who report many benefits. However, the clinical trials do not find a clear benefit compared to the placebo“, explains Oscar Soto Angonapsychiatrist and researcher at the Vall d’Hebron Research Institute (VHIR) and president of the Spanish Society of Psychedelic Medicinean entity that seeks to bring closer the clinical use of psychedelic substances for therapeutic purposes.

While there are several clinical trials demonstrating the efficacy of certain psychedelic substances (such as psilocybin, LSD or MDMA), always under medical supervisionin a sanitary framework and with the accompaniment of a psychological therapy, in order to treat mental disorders such as depression or post-traumatic stress disorder, there is no scientific evidence on microdoses, which are substances ingested by the users. at their own risk.

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“In microdosing psychedelics, there is a difference between what people report and controlled clinical trials. People report benefits with microdosing. [rinden más en el trabajo, aumenta su creatividad]but the trials say that microdosing has no benefits, including on any given mental health problem. In fact, the reported benefits may be related to the placebo effect,” emphasizes Soto Angona, an idea supported by more psychiatrists consulted by this newspaper.

According to the lawyer of the Brotsabert law firm. Francisco Azorínthe consumption of microdoses is growing “exponentially” because psilocybin is close to being “recognized” as a treatment for depression. In Spain, these microdoses of psilocybin can be purchased on the Internet, at the ‘darknet’as well as in “private homes”. They can also be brought from Netherlandsbut consumption in our country “is not regulated, nor recognized to treat any disease”.

“Ignorance.”

The boom in research (both in the USA and in Spain) on the use of psychedelics, with proven efficacy, to treat mental disorders and the current mental health pandemic are driving the consumption of these microdoses, on an individual basis and without medical supervision and on which, moreover, there are no proven studies.

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Even so, experts believe that their risk is “quite low”, precisely because of the low amount of psilocybin they contain. Even so, they call for caution. “Although they are not substances that may be particularly hazardous, we do not have a good knowledge of their effects. Its long-term effect is not known, but when in doubt it is better to avoid these practices until there is more research,” he says. Antón Gómez-Escolar Sanzmember of Energy Control, psychopharmacologist and author of the ‘Essential Guide to the Psychedelic Renaissance’.

In addition, Gómez-Escolar points out a characteristic of these “illegal substances”: the person. does not know what he or she is taking really. “In the regulated market there is no such risk. A person can be taking a substance that is thought to be LSD and is not. Although everything points to the fact that there are not going to be many safety problems because they are very low doses, there is a lack of research.”

For the psychiatrist of the Hospital Clínic Santiago Maderopsilocybin microdoses are “like the vitamin supplements“, substances with a “very high safety profile” but of which the “long-term” risks are ignored.

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