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HALLUCINOGENS AND CANCER

ANCHOR LEAD:  CAN THE HALLUCINOGENIC DRUG PSILOCYBIN HELP PEOPLE WITH CANCER COPE?  ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS

The hallucinogenic drug psilocybin can help people with cancer deal with the multitude of issues surrounding their illness.  That’s the hypothesis of a study being conducted at Johns Hopkins and several other centers nationally and worldwide.  William Nelson, director of the Kimmel Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins, explains.

NELSON: The idea here is to help people who have cancer cope with their illness in some way as they near the end of their life and what we’ve recognized over the years is these people have a number of difficulties.  Symptoms, pain, worry about loss of autonomy, worry about suffering with discomfort in the future, and this creates anxiety, it creates a sense of reflecting on one’s life, what’s the meaning of life.  And what this group is trying to use is use a tool, in this case a hallucinogenic substance, in a monitored and very carefully crafted episode, to try and help with this process.   :35

Early results suggest the use of psilocybin can be very helpful.  At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.


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