One Psychedelic Drug Trip Could Change Your Personality for Years

According some new study reviews that have been posted online in the publication Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, the answer should probably be no to more drugs, dude. Scientists have discovered that people who took just one single dose of psychedelic drugs such as “magic” mushrooms, LSD or ayahuasca could very well have prolonged changes to their personality that might last many weeks, months or perhaps even years — but often times, such changes were actually for the better.

Several Studies Were Reviewed

drug tripIn this brand new meta-analysis, researchers from Brazil and Spain examined the results from some 18 earlier studies that were published between the years of 1985 and 2016, which link psychedelic drug usage and changes in personality. These researchers placed their focus on those papers that specifically looked at serotonergic drugs, or drugs having a structure that is similar to those found on the neurotransmitter serotonin, which assists in regulating mood, appetite and other various functions. These substances tend to bind with serotonin receptors (referred to as 5-HT receptors), which increases activities found in visual regions of the brain, and causes dream like hallucinations and, for a few users, feelings of transcendence.

The drugs that were examined in these brand new meta-analysis mostly included LSD (known as lysergic acid diethylamide), psilocybin (the psychedelic compound that exists organically in hundreds of “magic” mushrooms species) and ayahuasca (a psychedelic tea derived from plants that are grown in the Amazon, are traditionally ingested for rituals or for religious purposes).

Several studies of all three of these drug types were found to cause many long-term (perhaps even permanent) changes of personality in those who were given psychedelic drugs compared to people who were not. In particular, people who ingested small doses of these psychedelic drugs in clinical settings got higher scores for the openness personality trait — which is the psychological term that refers to the affection for new experiences — after their drug trips than the nonusers did. In some of these studies, the personality changes produced therapeutic, antidepressant effects, which existed for a year or more. (Research for these studies that were included took place in the United States, Spain, United Kingdom, Brazil, and Germany.)

“This type of research may offer new evidence to the classic discussion on whether personality is or isn’t a constant and stable psychological trait,” claimed the study’s researchers.

The question as to whether or not psychedelic drugs could cause long-term changes in someone’s personality has been examined since the 1950s, when the United States government famously (and often illegally) tested LSD to see if it could be used for the mind control of humans. Research that links drug us and personality picked up dramatic momentum during the mid-1980s, the research authors noted in this new review, and the tests used for personality taking are much more accurate as well.

Considerably more research that has bigger sample sizes are definitely needed prior to drawing any permanent conclusions about the link between these drugs and personality, the researchers noted. When you consider that most of the drugs used are currently illegal in the United States, there the kind of analysis needed is still several years away.