What comes to mind when you think of psychedelic mushrooms? Laser light shows, college experimentation, The Grateful Dead? That’s normally what I think of. So in a way, I owe a debt to the compelling and insightful documentary Dosed, which brings to light a perhaps not-so-widely known use for psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms: therapy for depression, anxiety, and a host of other mental afflictions.
Adrianne, the film’s subject, is a well-spoken and well-educated (at one point she wanted to go to law school) young woman who comes from a loving two-parent home in Vancouver. Adrianne is also a heavy heroin user. By her own admission, she is no different than your garden-variety, back-alley junkie. She is depressed, strung out, and experiences crippling anxiety. Adrianne has done the rounds on the detox circuit, pumped her body full of a strenuous menu of antidepressants, methadone, suboxone, and long-acting morphine…all to no avail.
“After relapsing and going through another round of detox, she is introduced to something called Ibogaine…”
Adrianne’s concerned friend (and the documentarian behind Dosed) Tyler Chandler introduces her to the concept of microdosing, ingesting small amounts of psychedelic mushrooms as a form of alternative therapy. The intended result of hallucinogenic therapy is similar to the expected results of many other types of therapy: to access past, potentially traumatic events in one’s life in an attempt to confront them, reconcile with them, and eventually regain control of one’s life.
But microdosing doesn’t seem to be helping Adrianne either. After relapsing and going through another round of detox, she is introduced to something called Ibogaine—another alternative therapy. It’s considered a hallucinogenic, but much more effective than psilocybin providing a more drastic and effective cancellation of opioid cravings.
"…to create an experience that is not unlike what I would imagine a “spiritual journey” might be."