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It appears that modern culture is embracing the exploration of generally "outlawed" treatments and brushing aside more commonly prescribed medicines to address certain health issues. On the heels of cannabis being recognized as a more widely accepted medicine, new research is pointing to psychedelics as effective medicine as well. A new groundbreaking documentary has recently been released utilizing much of this research, illustrating how once-abhorred psychedelics can act as a powerful tool to address overwhelming anxiety, depression and other debilitating effects that are prevalent in individuals facing terminal illness.

"A New Understanding: The Science of Psilocybin” is a documentary that takes an extensive look specifically at the drug psilocybin, derived from a variety of mushrooms, and how it shows promise in treating anxiety and depression terminally ill individuals. “My ambition is that the research documented in this film may in some manner help alleviate human suffering,” producer Robert J. Barnhart noted in a statement found on the documentary’s website

The documentary is based on FDA-approved research studies from The Heffter Research Institute at UCLA, New York University, and John's Hopkins University. What’s particularly remarkable about this documentary is the indication that psilocybin is not only effective for a number of people, but it produces results more quickly than more conventional antidepressants. This distinction is especially valuable for people with limited life expectancy, as one terminally ill patient remarked in the documentary that "what we did, it probably would have taken me years of therapy." 

Psychedelics have been recognized throughout history for its therapeutic uses, and countless individuals have used them as pathways to alter and expand consciousness and perception. Extensive research conducted over many years has long indicated varying degrees of support for what humans seem to have been aware of for thousands of years: psychedelics, like psilocybin mushrooms, are much more than a recreational adventure or escape from reality; for some, they serve a multitude of purposes to support overall mental wellbeing.

Recent reports in addition to the information contained in"A New Understanding" represent an encouraging renewal of interest in utilizing psychedelics to treat a plethora of issues related to mental health. A PBS Newshour episode, released in January, explored research into psychedelics as an option to help people suffering from anxiety related to terminal illness as well as PTSD. A Newsweek report, published in December 2016, provided additional insight into psilocybin as a solution for individuals suffering from cancer.

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Studies pointing to psilocybin as a substance that may greatly benefit individuals reaching the end of life parallel similar studies that suggest psilocybin may also benefit individuals who suffer from substance abuse, particularly opioid addiction. A new study, recently published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Journal of Psychopharmacology, noted that its results "suggest that psychedelics are associated with positive psychological characteristics and are consistent with prior reports suggesting efficacy in treatment of substance use disorders."

Once we look at the potentially detrimental effects that psychedelics have on the bottom lines of pharmaceutical companies, it becomes blatantly obvious as to why government, who is beholden to these big pharma special interests, will kidnap and cage you for possessing them.

It remains to be seen whether the government will ease restrictions which would allow the medical community to make even further progress in exploring how psychedelics can ease suffering for people suffering from addiction. However, this newly available research appears to signal an encouraging and growing push for truly revolutionary treatments and solutions.

Watch the trailer, or the entire film below, now:

A New Understanding: The Science of Psilocybin from A New Understanding on Vimeo.