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Top Psychedelic News Stories: September 2022

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San Francisco votes unanimously on psychedelics bill

Oakland, Arata, and Santa Cruz have already decriminalized or deprioritized psychedelics prosecutions. It was only natural that San Francisco become the fourth California city to follow suit. In July, city officials presented a new measure to reduce non-violent drug offenses. The bill, sponsored by Decriminalize Nature, didn’t explicitly decriminalize entheogens. But it deprioritized psychedelic arrests to the lowest possible level  On September 6, the city’s Board of Supervisors voted unanimously in favor of the resolution. While deprioritizing arrests, resolution 379-22 explicitly states the value of entheogenic plants for substance abuse, addiction, recidivism, trauma, post-traumatic stress, chronic depression, severe anxiety, end-of-life anxiety, grief, diabetes, and headaches. As a result of the bill’s passage, San Franciscans can freely ingest entheogenic plants containing ibogaine, DMT, mescaline, and psilocybin without fear of retribution.

Psilocybin study shows hope for alcohol use disorder

A growing body of evidence suggests psychedelics can help people break free from addiction by forging new neural networks. This brain rewiring process, known as neuroplasticity, can diminish obsessive substance-focused thoughts,  allowing space for healthier choices. Studies have shown promising results, but most have been limited in size and scope. In the most expansive, randomized, controlled trial of its kind, researchers from New York University (NYU) Langone Health Center, the University of Alabama at Birmingham, and the University of New Mexico sought to overcome that limitation. Their multi-site study published in JAMA Psychiatry found that two psilocybin doses, combined with 12 psychotherapy sessions, helped participants significantly reduce alcohol intake. Specifically:

Over 80 percent of those who received psilocybin dramatically reduced alcohol consumption eight months after the study, compared to just over 50 percent in the control group
At the end of the trial, half of those in the psilocybin treatment group had quit drinking altogether, compared to about one-quarter in the control group.

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