New Magic Mushroom Clinical Trial to Treat Addiction

Magic mushrooms are seen in a grow room at the Procare farm in Hazerswoude, central Netherlands, Friday Aug. 3, 2007. Procare is the Netherlands' largest grower of hallucinatory mushrooms, supplying more than half the market, a legal business in The Netherlands as long as they are sold fresh. It's high season for tourists, but for many the emphasis is on the word high. Thousands come specifically to smoke marijuana without fear of getting into trouble with the police. A relatively small number are interested in taking a 'trip' within a trip, using psychedelic mushrooms. (AP Photo/Peter Dejong)

Could magic mushrooms treat addiction? 

Vancouver based company Numinus has announced a new clinical trial of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy to treat substance use disorders. 

Chief Medical Officer Dr. Evan Wood says the drug brings about an altered state of consciousness that he says puts the psychotherapy of mental health treatment on steroids. 

"When it actually comes to psilocybin and the other psychedelics, there's actually no addictive potential with these drugs if you look at the way humans use them or the way that animals do and research experiments where we can kind of define if a substance is addictive or not. Psilocybin in no way, shape, or form is habit forming."

Dr. Wood says this is the first or its kind trial in Canada and trials elsewhere have shown positive results. 

"What's very interesting is how researchers have documented that people will describe these as one of the most profound experiences and positive experiences of their lives."

Wood says mental health treatment currently is focused on symptom management and trials like these represents a profound shift in how mental health is treated. 

The trial is set to begin in the second quarter of next year.