Psychedelics produce changes in perception, mood and cognitive processes. Therefore, psychedelics are also known as hallucinogens. Hallucinogens specifically disturb the neurotransmitters and can cause disturbances in mood, memory, perception, sleep, appetite and body temperature, muscle control, pain perception, environmental responses, emotions, learning and memory. As a result, sports persons and athletes encounter much stress, making them vulnerable to mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, burnout, etc. Dr L. Sudarshan Reddy, Sr. Consultant Physician, Yashoda Hospitals, Hyderabad,explains psychoactive agents are chemical substances that alter brain function, resulting in mood, cognition, and consciousness alteration, which are common in sports.
Commonly used psychedelics are LSD, psilocybin, MDMA, dimethyltryptamine, etc.
Nowadays, micro-dosing with these is evaluated with good results in depression, emotional well-being, and anxiety disorder. Still, high doses will cause hallucinations, increased heart rate, temperature, and other side effects. Unfortunately, most of the studies lack controls.
Athletes commonly use medicines, stimulants, anxiolytic agents and antidepressants. So attention is being placed on psychedelics, with early research suggesting protective effects for the role of psychedelics in managing a broad range of mental health disorders.
Much research is ongoing, and few documented roles of psychedelics in managing the major depressive disorder, anxiety, and OCD as adjunctive psychotherapy and many other investigations are needed.
Therapeutic Effects Of Psychedelics
The pharmacological, perceptual and therapeutic effects that psychedelics induce depend on the preparation, the type of psychedelic, the route of administration, and the set, and also psychedelics are receiving increased research and developing field of research examining their role in the management of mental health and well-being of sports persons and athletes, to manage not only mental condition in the athletic population but also sports specific stressors including burnout retirement and life transitions and sporting failure.
Challenges And Benefits
There are a lot of challenges and benefits to the micro-dosing of psychedelics.
Microdosing benefits are improved focus, cognitive benefits, social benefits, improvement in creativity and mood, reduced anxiety, and physiological enhancement and self-efficacy. Microdosing challenges are illegality, sometimes bad mood, increased stress, and social and self-interference.
Drug development experts say more data from ongoing trials were required to prove efficacy, although preliminary findings were encouraging. According to the scientist, the treatment pathway operates entirely from how antidepressant does.
The psychological effect of psychedelics depends on the interaction between the drug and the user's mind and environmental setting. Therefore, psychosis is discouraged from experimenting with psychedelics.
Psychedelics have to be used in conjunction with psychotherapy. Local legal and social issues must be considered in finalizing psychedelic treatment. However, psychedelic drugs in sports must still be evaluated before deducing it as the mainstay of treatment.