Know the Facts about Microdosing Psychedelics, Including Psilocybin

From Your AFA EAP: Know the Facts about Microdosing Psychedelics, Including Psilocybin

October 27, 2023— Microdosing is a practice where individuals consume very small, sub-perceptual doses of a psychoactive substance, typically a psychedelic compound like psilocybin (found in “magic mushrooms”) or LSD. These doses are much lower than what would be needed to induce a full-blown psychedelic experience. Recently, researchers, doctors and patients alike have been turning to microdosing to evaluate if this practice can have positive effects on mental health, mood and cognition struggle. However, all consumers, especially safety sensitive employees like Flight Attendants, should be aware of the below cautions and concerns.

  1. Legal Issues: In many countries and states, psilocybin is illegal, and possessing or using it, even in small amounts, can lead to legal consequences. Even though some US states have legalized psilocybin, it is still considered a Schedule 1 substance at the federal level (just like marijuana).
  2. Lack of Standardization: Psilocybin content in magic mushrooms can vary significantly between species and even individual mushrooms. This makes it difficult to accurately control dosage, potentially leading to unintended and unpredictable effects. Obtaining a reliable source of psilocybin for microdosing can be challenging. Ensuring the quality and purity of the substance is also crucial to avoid potential contaminants or impurities.
  3. Interactions with Medications: Psilocybin may interact with certain medications, including antidepressants and antipsychotics. These interactions can be unpredictable and potentially dangerous, leading to serious health consequences. Psychological Effects: While the doses in microdosing are sub-perceptual, some individuals may still experience unwanted psychological effects such as anxiety, paranoia, or mood swings.
  4. Dependency and Tolerance: There is a potential for developing a tolerance to psilocybin with regular microdosing, meaning that over time, one might need to increase the dose to achieve the same effects.
  5. Misuse and Self-Medication: Microdosing is often promoted as a remedy for various mental health issues. Using it as a substitute for proper mental health treatment can delay or prevent individuals from seeking necessary help from qualified professionals.
  6. Undesirable Physical Effects: Even though micro-doses are sub-perceptual, there can be mild physical side effects, such as nausea, headaches, and gastrointestinal discomfort.
  7. Individual Variability: Responses to microdosing can vary greatly among individuals. What works well for one person may not have the same effects for another, and some people may experience adverse effects.

If you are struggling with a well-being issue, please reach out to your AFA EAP committee for access to evidence-based treatments. Your local EAP committee can be reached through the AFA Helpline at 800-424-2406, 202-434-0560 or WhatsApp 301-437-0390. Remember, all calls are confidential.

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