Exploring the Potential of Psychedelics for Autism 

Mary Ekundayo

Posted by Mary Ekundayo on 03/28/2024 in Alternative Medicine

Exploring the Potential of Psychedelics for Autism

Autism Spectrum Disorder is a very serious developmental issue that affects and impairs someone’s ability to communicate and interact. Fortunately, researchers have identified that there might be a positive relationship between psychedelics and autism. 

In order to fully understand this relationship, the Marijuana Doctors team will attempt to examine Autism Spectrum Disorder and how psychedelics can affect it. 

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)? 

According to various research reports, Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a developmental disability that is caused by a difference in the brain. Autism Spectrum Disorder can either be genetic or could be caused by several unknown factors acting together. 

Autism Spectrum Disorder can start manifesting before the age of 3, and most people with ASD often have issues communicating and interacting with people. People with ASD can either have restrictive or repetitive behaviors, and their way of life may be different from those without ASD. 

Psychedelic Effects 

Psychedelics belong to a drug class known as hallucinogenics. These classes of drugs have been saddled with the effect of triggering non-ordinary mental states, which can provide a change in perception, thoughts, emotions, and auditory senses. 

The most common examples of these classes of drugs are LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), psilocybin, and ayahuasca. A lot of research has been done regarding the use of psychedelic substances to aid personal and mental development like anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and the results have been fairly positive. 

Psychedelics and Autism 

Although psychedelic drugs have been used to treat personal and mental illnesses or disorders, their use in treating autism has been limited. However, researchers are trying to branch out fully into this area to extensively realize the connection and safety implications of psychedelics and their effect on autism. 

Benefits Of Psychedelics On Autism Spectrum Disorder 

Based on the limited data on the use of psychedelics on autism, we will be taking you through a few of the most significant benefits of psychedelics on autism. 

It Can Help Modulate Serotonin Receptors in The Brain 

Serotine is a neurotransmitter that actively works in regulating human emotion, mood, cognition, and other physiological functions. Psychedelics have been said to help modulate similar neurotransmitters, such as serotonin receptors, in the brain. 

The interaction of the psychedelic with the serotonin receptors in the brain can help autistic people who have similar symptoms to those of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

Neurochemical Effects 

With the little research available on psychedelics, reports on it have shown that they tend to promote neuroplasticity. This is the ability of the brain to reorganize and form new neural connections on its own. These neural connections can explain the therapeutic feeling gotten from people who have conditions like anxiety, depression, and PTSD. 

This will also have the potential to give this therapeutic effect to people suffering from autism. 

It Helps Increase Brain Connectivity 

The frequent use of psychedelics has been shown to help increase the functional connection between all of the brain regions that seem not to be strongly connected. This may help people with autism experience a more holistic and strong interconnected experience of consciousness. 

Possible Risks and Side Effects of Psychedelics on Autism 

Before anyone decides to use psychedelic substances to treat autism, the first thing that needs to be done is to research possible risks and side effects associated with it. 

Here are some of the possible side effects associated with psychedelics:

Psychological or Mental Distress 

The use of psychedelics can alter or induce one’s emotional and mental health. The drug aims to work on these emotional experiences, and can sometimes intensify their feelings of confusion or anxiety. This might even be more dangerous for people with autism because they tend to be extremely sensitive in these areas. 

It Can Cause a Change in Communication Patterns 

Many people with autism already struggle with speech disorders and sometimes find it difficult to communicate effectively with others. Although one of the benefits of psychedelics on autism is to help improve communication skills, it can also be an issue. 

Psychedelics work differently for everyone. For some, it helps with communication. For others, it can further increase their difficulty in expressing themselves.

Increased Sensory Perception 

The psychedelic effect works to help effectively heighten your sensory organs. This might cause a huge change in auditory and visual perception, which can be pretty overwhelming for people with autism because of their sensitivity to sensory stimuli. 

Due to the limited research on the effects of psychedelics on autism, there’s nothing much we can offer at this point, but it is advisable to approach psychedelics with caution. Additionally, it should be under professional supervision. 

Interactions Between Psychedelics and Other Drugs 

As a person with autism, your first step before using psychedelic substances is to check how well they interact with the drugs that have been earlier prescribed to you by your medical professionals. 

You must visit your doctor to be sure of how well your autism drugs and psychedelic drugs work together, as some interactions might have very negative effects. 

The Future of Psychedelics and Autism 

For now, we are only exposed to limited data on the research of psychedelics and how they particularly affect Autism Spectrum Disorder. However, moving forward, we are hoping that there will be more comprehensive research surrounding this topic. 

This research will further focus on how exactly it works while monitoring their symptoms and the duration it takes to work. While this is important, making sure that these psychedelic treatments are made accessible and affordable to people suffering from autism should be of utmost importance. 

There also needs to be proper sensitization of the public about autism. Providing information about autism, its causes, and how psychedelics have been developed to help tackle it to the public will further help healthcare professionals in their professional capacities. It can assist with how they approach people with autism spectrum disorder moving forward. 

Final Words 

Studies about psychedelics and their effects on autism are still in the early stages. A few reports have shown that there might just be a very positive correlation between them. However, approaching it needs a little caution. While evaluating the potential benefits, you should also take a look at the potential side effects to make sure that you’re on the right path. 

Continuous research on this subject will be beneficial to individuals who have Autism Spectrum Disorder, and this might help improve their way of life making it easier for them to function among other people. 

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