Tripping Out: Scientists Study Mystical Effects of Mushrooms

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"After each administration of the drug, they gave people the same set of questionnaires. As you ask people these questions each time, you are also directing them to focus that way... so it is suggesting," Rhodes said. "You are encouraging people to close their eyes, to concentrate, and you are not just doing this to regular people but to people who are religiously inclined. They are suggesting that this is what you are going to get from the drug, so they find a great deal of that sort of response, particularly to the drug psilocybin."

However, these things shouldn't necessarily limit the further study of previously shunned illegal drugs, said Dr. Scott Basinger, a drug researcher, and associate dean of the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

"I am in a city where Andrea Yates is being retried. ... All of the [psychiatric] testimony says that she has been in a profound depression for many years that she could not get out of," he said. "I am not saying that psilocybin would have helped Andrea Yates and she would not have killed her kids... I am saying that it is sad that in an age where we have so much pharmacological advancement we still have people that we cannot help."

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