In some cases, psychedelics may help autistic people become better socially adjusted. The Canadian biotechnology company Nova Mentis Life Science Corp is evaluating psilocybin’s ability to treat the behavioral symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ADS).
The researchers hope to shed light on “the neural underpinnings of social dysfunctions” in autistic people. This study will focus on serotonin signaling, which has been linked to the psychedelic effects of compounds like psilocybin.
As the webzine Filter notes, this isn’t the first time a psychedelic has been studied for its potential in treating the social anxiety associated with autism: In 2018, a small trial conducted by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies showed that MDMA was extremely helpful in alleviating social anxiety symptoms in autistic adults, to the point of being life-changing.
Inquiry into the potential of psychedelics in treating autism goes back at least as far back as 1959, when researchers began to explore the use of LSD for that purpose. Now that the prohibition on psychedelic research is over, we’re starting to see new studies in this area.
Outside the realm of clinical research, numerous autistic people have claimed that psychedelics have helped them overcome social anxiety. More information on that subject can be found at AutisticPsychedelic.com and at AutismOnAcid.com.