Mental health treatment has evolved over the last three decades and micro dosing has become a controversial topic for the behavioral health community. Whether it’s ketamine, marijuana, or psilocybin mushrooms, there is a growing concern for young adults who are using low doses of mood-altering drugs for depression, acuity performance, and more. At the same time, big pharma is investing in research and development of MDMA compounds, among others. And, since mental health is mostly trial and error, patients respond differently to clinical trials and traditional medications alike. The point is people suffering from mental health problems find themselves feeling desperate to feel better. whether that is working out, meditating, talk therapy, prescription medications or a combination of all.
However, in the last five years, there is a growing movement for the use of hallucinogens, to improve mental health symptoms. People micro dosing use tiny (or micro) amounts of these drugs to improve mood, motivation, and behaviors.
Micro dosing is gaining popularity. And it’s more prevalent as a recreational drug activity than those seeking relief for their disorder. It’s gone from something done behind closed doors—to mainstream, with many experimenting with psychoactive substances with the expectation of increasing performance, problem solving skills, clarity and well-being. None of this is endorsed or recommended by the FDA, AMA or any other U.S. Government medical agency.
What is Micro Dosing?
Simply stated, it is using tiny amounts of what is believed a therapeutic dose to draw a positive experience or reaction. This means taking about 10% of what is a commonly accepted dose.
When a person takes small doses, the goal is to welcome some of the desired effects without getting “high.” Sounds straightforward? Advocates profess that this regimen can not only enhance performance, it can also correct mood and mental health disorders like anxiety and depression. Unfortunately, there isn’t enough long-term research to accurately establish this conclusion, which is why the medical community is a bit leery. In fact, the preponderance of research is anecdotal from individuals and NOT clinically approved FDA trials.
Popular Micro Dose Drugs
From psychedelics, THC, to stimulants, most of drugs used are illicit or scheduled substances, such as:
- psilocybin mushrooms
- MDMA (molly, ecstasy)
Use of these substances is not only illegal in most states, but they may be unsafe without any regulatory oversight of production. Remember, we live in the age of fentanyl being substituted into counterfeit pills making anything procured on the streets suspect. While emergency room data is mostly anecdotal, adverse effects from micro dosing can include headaches, gastrointestinal issues, increased anxiety, or risk of self-harm. Most severely, cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome (CHS) can cause uncontrolled, protracted vomiting sending most people to hospitals for medical care.
While micro dosing may well be part of the future of mental health care, there is simply not enough long-term research to conclude it’s safety and overall efficacy.
About Samba Recovery
Samba Recovery provides PHP, IOP, and outpatient addiction programs for the entire Atlanta Metro area. We have a special environment of clinicians and peers who will help you to create an individualized treatment plan for your goals. We accept most major health insurance. Call us today at 888.505.8279.