En español
NIDA

Menu

Messages From the Director

Statement by NIDA Director Nora D. Volkow, M.D., in response to a study published in the Journal Psychopharmacology on July 11, 2006. Study authors: R.R. Griffiths, et al. Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

NIDA Director Nora Volkow

July 2006

As the nation's preeminent drug abuse research organization, NIDA's mission is to support research and provide information on the addictive and adverse health consequences of drugs of abuse. Therefore, NIDA discourages the use of hallucinogens, in order to promote the continuing downward trend in use of this class of drugs.

Although there is no evidence that psilocybin is addictive, its adverse effects are well known. Similar to the more commonly known hallucinogen LSD, psilocybin acts on serotonin receptors in the brain to profoundly distort a person's perceptions of reality. Psilocybin can trigger psychosis in susceptible individuals and cause other deleterious psychological effects, such as paranoia and extreme anxiety.

A recent study entitled "Psilocybin can occasion mystical-type experiences having substantial and sustained personal meaning and spiritual significance" evaluated the subjective effects of psilocybin after acute administration and the recall of these subjective effects 2 months after its administration. While the investigators receiving the grant supporting this research did not initially propose to evaluate the effects of psilocybin, grantees maintain the scientific independence necessary to follow up on new areas of research.

Sincerely,

Nora D. Volkow, M.D.
Director

This page was last updated July 2006

Messages from the Director

Mar 2013

Feb 2013

Jan 2013

Dec 2012

Nov 2012

Mar 2012

Feb 2012

Nov 2011

Sep 2011

Aug 2011

Jun 2011

May 2011

Feb 2011

Jan 2011

Dec 2010

Oct 2010

Apr 2010

Dec 2009

May 2009

Feb 2009

Dec 2008

Sep 2008

Aug 2008

Jan 2008

May 2007

Feb 2007

Jul 2006

Jun 2006

Oct 2005

Sep 2005

Aug 2005

Apr 2005

Mar 2005

Apr 2004

Mar 2004