How Can Psilocybin Therapy Help Get to the Root/Core Causes of Addiction?

Addiction Recovery Publishing Nutrition January 12, 2024

How Can Psilocybin Therapy Help Get to the Root/Core Causes of Addiction?

Many people are unaware of how complex addiction actually is. There is this misconception that addiction is all about someone’s dependence on a substance, and while yes, of course, that is a big part of it, it is only a part. One of the biggest components of addiction is the underlying emotions related to it. This leads many people in the recovery realm to refer to alcohol and substance use as “but a symptom” of the deeper root/core causes of addiction. One of the more recent, more effective ways of getting to these root/core causes of addiction has been psilocybin therapy.

The Importance of Comprehensive Recovery for Healing at the Cellular Level

Whether it includes psilocybin therapy or not, a recovery plan must be comprehensive if it is going to be effective at the cellular level. This is why many people are having trouble recovering at certain treatment centers; they only offer one type of recovery plan for all of their clients. Here at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab, we have found that “one-size-fits-all” “solo-modality” recovery plans rarely work.

This is why it is critical to create comprehensive recovery plans that address specific mental health and addiction needs on a whole-body basis. These plans should include therapies that address all of the mental, physical, and spiritual maladies that an individual may be struggling with. Also, these therapies work in tandem with one another to ensure that the efficacy of one is happening at its most optimal levels.

For example, if someone is engaged in both psilocybin therapy and a type of psychotherapy like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) or dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), they can use one to help them open up for the other. Psilocybin therapy often unlocks within someone the ability to be more open and honest about the types of underlying root/core issues that they are dealing with. Once these are unlocked, a psychotherapist will be better able to address and break down these issues.

The Importance of Individualized Addiction Care For Healing at the Cellular Level

Alongside the importance of comprehensive care, individualized mental health and addiction care is also crucial. Not everyone has the same addiction story, so why then would they benefit from the same type of recovery? The answer is they wouldn’t, and they don’t.

Here at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab, we believe in the importance of taking into account all of the details of a client’s life that have brought them up to this point in their life. This relies heavily on their backstory, which is often disregarded in other types of treatment centers. Once we have a better understanding of where one is coming from, we can better deduce what types of treatments may work best for them. For many of our clients, one of these treatments is psilocybin therapy.

What Exactly Is Psilocybin Therapy?

The use of psilocybin has been used both spiritually and culturally for thousands of years. Yes, it has also been used in recent years as a form of recreational euphoria. However, that should not take away from the benefits that psilocybin has been showing when it is used in a therapeutic setting.

According to the peer-reviewed article, Analysis of Psilocybin-Assisted Therapy in Medicine: A Narrative Review, “A group of compounds that have recently sparked interest for their treatment potential is psychedelic drugs including psilocybin, dimethyltryptamine (DMT), mescaline, and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), among others. These drugs are currently controversial for their hallucinogenic effects and recreational use; however, their resemblance to tryptophan enables them to act as serotonin agonists and activate 5HT receptors, mainly the 5HT-2A receptor. This effect makes them promising candidates in the treatment of substance abuse disorders as well as mood disorders.” Now, this is because these psychedelic therapies can help get to the root/core causes of addiction.

How Can Psilocybin Therapy Help Get to the Root/Core Causes of Addiction?

According to the 2021 article, The Therapeutic Potential of Psilocybin, “Mental health and substance-use disorders such as depression, anxiety-related disorders, bipolar disorder, autism, psychoses such as schizophrenia, and substance-dependence disorders are of significant global burden. Up to 2020, it is estimated that 1 billion people may be affected by a mental health or substance disorder.” It is now coming to light that treatments like psilocybin therapy can help with many of these issues by getting to the root/core causes of them.

The Therapeutic Potential of Psilocybin continues, “With the increase in the rate of mental disorders globally, now exacerbated by COVID-19, psychedelic-assisted psychotherapies, particularly psilocybin-assisted psychotherapies, may alleviate some of the challenges that face conventional psychiatric medicine. In addition to having the potential to treat mood and anxiety disorders, psilocybin has also demonstrated analgesic effects as evidenced by numerous clinical studies on the treatment of cluster (“suicide”) headaches, intractable phantom-limb pain (PLP), and chronic pain.” Also, more and more benefits of psilocybin therapy are being discovered every day.

What Are the Benefits of Psilocybin Therapy?

The reality of psilocybin therapy is that it primarily shows more benefits than it does negative side effects. Also, the side effects are rarely long-term and primarily reside in the realm of being unsatisfied with the result. This is a big difference from the potential side effects that “traditional” pharmaceutical mental health medications may manifest.

The benefits of psilocybin therapy can be hard to quantify because there still remains much study to be done. However, based on the studies that have been done, the benefits appear to be rather vast. 

According to the 2022 article, The Efficacy of Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy in Managing Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): A New Frontier?, “Psilocybin has been studied to treat depression, anxiety, tobacco, and alcohol addiction. They may also play a therapeutic role in the management of PTSD by virtue of other acute effects, such as higher levels of emotional empathy, increased insightfulness, improvements in acceptance, and emotive transformational events, which has shown to be a key mediator in the long-term psychological change in other mental disorders.” As one can see, these benefits are rather promising.

However, the article does point out that there are some side effects. The article explains that “Classical psychedelics can occasionally cause brief episodes of nausea, vomiting, and discomfort in the body. They also cause mentally challenging experiences, such as anxiety and confusion. Some patients may exhibit emotional vulnerability in the days after the therapy, which emphasizes the significance of receiving psychological assistance.” That last aspect is key; one should never engage in psilocybin therapy without the assistance of a qualified and licensed psilocybin therapeutic specialist.

Utilizing Psilocybin Therapy in Tandem With Other Modalities

Now, because psilocybin therapy has more upsides than down, it can be a very effective modality to be used in tandem with other treatments. This is because it doesn’t have the types of side effects that might threaten the efficacy of another form of treatment.

One of the most beneficial aspects of psilocybin therapy is that it reduces inhibitions and increases the comfort necessary for effective communication. These two aspects make it very helpful for other therapies to get to the underlying root/core causes of addiction.

However, it should also be noted that psilocybin therapy does not just benefit other types of treatments. Other types of treatments also benefit psilocybin therapy. For example, nutritional therapy ensures that an individual will be fully prepared at the cellular level to engage with psilocybin therapy.

Psilocybin Therapy and Nutritional Therapy

Nutritional therapy is as much about eliminating toxic food as it is about adding healthy ones. According to the article, New Approaches to Nutritional Therapy, “Nutritional Therapy uses food to prevent and reverse diseases that plague most Western societies: diabetes, obesity, heart disease, arthritis, and depression. In order for food to be therapeutic, it must be nutrient-dense, measured in part by the nutrients and anti-nutrients, contained in consumed foods.” At Exclusive Hawaii Rehab, we take our nutrients seriously.

Here at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab, we live by the tenet, “Food is medicine.” This means that we believe that the foods that we eat actually serve to heal us, in addition to nourishing us. It is also why we have both licensed nutritionists and dieticians onsite and on hand to help with any nutrition-related issues or questions. We believe that nutritional therapy helps us to heal at the cellular level, which is also why we focus on growing some of our own food right here on our 30-acre luxury property. Also, we offer our clients an opportunity to engage with this growing process.

Psilocybin Therapy and Horticulture Therapy

Since we believe that “food is medicine” here at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab, we also believe that being as closely involved in the “manufacture” of that medicine is essential. This is why we offer horticulture therapy as one of our unique modalities.

Horticulture therapy is vastly beneficial for healing at the cellular level. According to the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, “First, horticulture could have emotional benefits, such as reducing stress, reducing psychiatric symptoms, stabilizing mood, and increasing the sense of tranquility, spirituality, and enjoyment. Second, it could help people reduce fatigue and restore attention and cognitive ability. Third, it could increase self-efficacy, self-esteem, and quality of life.” Also, there may be no better place to engage in horticulture therapy than on the Hamakua Coast of Hawaii’s Big Island.

When walking onto the property at Exclusive Hawaii rehab, one will find rows and rows of citrus and fruit trees such as orange, lime, tangerine, and longan (which is a local favorite packed with natural antioxidants). There are also boxes upon boxes of vegetable gardens, patches of pineapples, coconut trees, and beautiful guava bushes. Working with these plants is an ideal form of wellness and mindfulness and a great supplement to psilocybin therapy. But, it is not the only form of mindfulness that we offer.

Psilocybin Therapy and Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness is crucial for getting to the root/core causes of addiction. It is the way at which we go inside and discover the issues that truly underlie that which is disturbing us. This is what holistic whole-body healing is all about, and one of the ways to achieve this is via the practice of meditation.

According to the article, Mindfulness Meditation in the Treatment of Substance Use Disorders and Preventing Future Relapse: Neurocognitive Mechanisms and Clinical Implications, “Mindfulness training [mindfulness meditation] is a promising intervention option for SUDs and relapse prevention. Mindfulness can be conceptualized as a state, trait, and practice. The state of mindfulness is cultivated during mindfulness practice and is characterized by non-judgmental, non-reactive, present-centered attention and metacognitive awareness of cognition, emotion, sensation, and perception.” As with psilocybin therapy, mediation helps us to be more present. 

There are many other types of activities that can help us remain present. One of those activities is surf therapy, and it can be utilized to its fullest on Hawaii’s Big Island.

Psilocybin Therapy and Surf Therapy

It is important to understand that surf therapy is much more than simply getting on a surfboard and riding some waves (though that can certainly be beneficial). Surf therapy has many very specific benefits for issues of addiction and mental health.

According to the academic journal Frontiers in Psychology, “There is increasing evidence suggesting that participation in action and adventure sports, such as surfing, is meaningful and life-enhancing. Participating in action and adventure sports is said to create opportunities to foster positive psychological outcomes such as resilience, self-esteem, positive affect, and relatedness.” Also, “A growing body of evidence worldwide has validated the use of surfing as a therapeutic mediator to achieve positive change such as increased well-being.” These are all similar benefits that can be found in psilocybin therapy, which is what makes these such an exciting and complementary pair. 

The same can be said for adding the practice of yoga into a recovery plan with psilocybin therapy. So, the two can be mutually beneficial on many fronts.

Psilocybin Therapy and Yoga

Just like the use of psilocybin, yoga has been used as a means of spiritual enlightenment for thousands of years. Also, just like psilocybin, it is now being used as a means to help people struggling with issues of mental health and addiction get to the root/core causes and heal at the cellular level.

According to the International Journal of Yoga, “Therapeutic yoga is defined as the application of yoga postures and practice to the treatment of health conditions. Yoga therapy involves instruction in yogic practices and teachings to prevent reduce or alleviate structural, physiological, emotional, and spiritual pain, suffering, or limitations. Yogic practices enhance muscular strength and body flexibility, promote and improve respiratory and cardiovascular function, promote recovery from and treatment of addiction, reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and chronic pain, improve sleep patterns, and enhance overall well-being and quality of life.” As one can see, the upsides are many, and like psilocybin therapy, the downsides are minimal.

Also, just like horticulture therapy, meditation, and surf therapy, there is probably no better place to practice yoga than on the Hamakua Coast on Hawaii’s Big Island. It is a special thing to practice yoga under the Hawaiian sunrise as it bounces off of the vast blue Pacific Ocean.

Healing at the Cellular Level With Exclusive Hawaii Rehab

There is a saying that we have on Hawaii’s Big Island. It goes, “‘A’OHE PU’U KI’EKI’E KE HO’A’O ‘IA E PI’I.” What it means is that there is no cliff so tall that it cannot be conquered. Here at Exclusive Hawaii Rehab, we believe this to be true as well with issues of addiction and mental health. 

We know that addiction and mental illness can feel like a cliff that is too tall to climb at times. That is why we are here with the right tools to help you make it to the top.

Psychedelic therapies like psilocybin therapy are still very misunderstood in the public sphere. However, in the realm of mental health and addiction recovery, it is becoming more and more apparent that they can be very effective treatment tools. If you feel like you or a loved one is struggling with issues of mental illness, addiction, or co-occurring disorders, we can help get you on the right path to long-term recovery. You don’t have to struggle or fight with mental illness or addiction anymore. For more information on how psilocybin therapy can help get to the root/core causes of addiction and help you heal at the cellular level, please reach out to Exclusive Hawaii Rehab today at (808) 775-0200.