Magic Mushroom Trial Wants to Treat Gambling Addiction in the UK

As the public is becoming more critical of gambling companies, and as personal stories of financial ruination, ended relationships and even death spread, so do efforts to tackle gambling addiction.

Psychedelic Clinical Trial May Tackle Gambling Addiction

One study by British scientists is trying to use magic mushrooms to help gambling addicts overcome their problems, with a world-first clinical trial showing some promise. The study is actually backed by the government with test subjects receiving psilocybin, the mind-altering chemical that is contained by the fungi.

The goal here is to come up with a scientifically proven and efficient method that allows doctors to treat gambling addiction. Should the trial succeed, this could become a viable therapy for the National Health System to use when dealing with gambling addiction.

London’s Centre for Psychedelic Research & Neuropsychopharmacology researcher Ryyan Zafar, who leads the study, is excited about the implications of the study and what it could mean for people who are looking to get better. He explained that nobody before had been dosed with psychedelic therapy in order to fight their gambling addiction – at least not in the UK. As Zafar puts it, it’s a pioneering move.

“We’re super excited. We’ve been wanting to do this work for quite a while,” he added. The trial is now set to start in October and build up gradually. There will be five subjects at first, but these numbers will increase depending on the results and the need to calibrate the parameters of the study. Although ground-breaking in the industry, this is not the first time magic mushrooms would have been used to try and treat addictions.

Psilocybin has already been used to treat drug and smoking addictions and there have been promising results that this substance can actually work and succeed. According to Zafar, similar studies in the United States have already been able to help heavy drinkers and alcoholics to significantly lower their intake of brew by two, or even two and a half times.

Even the Government Thinks “Shrooms” Are a Good Idea

Zafar feels very strongly that the same results can be achieved here as well. The researcher is also painfully aware of the rates of gambling addiction in the United Kingdom. He has pointed out that gambling addiction is now a medical diagnosis and should be addressed as one.

However, there is “a massive area of unmet clinical need,” Zafar says, and this is why his therapy and clinic trial is actually very important. To illustrate how important this research is, Zafar notes that psychedelic research in the United Kingdom does not usually receive backing from the government, but in this instance – the importance of the subject matter has led the state to back what seems to be a promising initiative that could significantly cut the number of gambling addicts.

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