How ecstasy and psilocybin are shaking up psychiatry

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usual preface warning ->


Quote:See What do we know about the risks of psychedelics? & free documentary What's in My Baggie? There is an incredible danger in thinking you can just find good psychedelics via illegal markets, I can say that from personal experience as I was attacked by a friend who thought LSD could cure his depression.


How ecstasy and psilocybin are shaking up psychiatry

Paul Tullis

Quote:Regulators will soon grapple with how to safely administer powerful psychedelics for treating depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.


Quote:When Rutter returned the next day, one of the researchers handed him two pills containing a synthetic form of psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient found in magic mushrooms. Rutter lay down on the bed and put on headphones and an eye mask. Soon, images of Sanskrit text appeared to him. Later, he saw golden bejewelled structures. Then his mind went to work on his grief.

The Imperial study was one of a spate of clinical trials launched over the past few years using illicit psychedelic drugs such as psilocybin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, also known as molly or ecstasy) to treat mental-health disorders, generally with the close guidance of a psychiatrist or psychotherapist. The idea has been around for decades — or centuries in some cultures — but the momentum has picked up drastically over the past few years as investors and scientists have begun to champion the approach again (see ‘Psychedelics take flight’).



Quote:Once dismissed as the dangerous dalliances of the counterculture, these drugs are gaining mainstream acceptance. Several states and cities in the United States are in the process of legalizing or decriminalizing psilocybin for therapeutic or recreational purposes. And respected institutions such as Imperial; Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland; the University of California, Berkeley; and the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City have opened centres devoted to studying psychedelics. Several small studies suggest the drugs can be safely administered and might have benefits for people with intractable depression and other psychological problems, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). One clinical trial involving MDMA has recently ended, with results expected to be published soon. Regulators will then be considering whether to make the treatment available with a prescription.

Psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy could provide needed options for debilitating mental-health disorders including PTSD, major depressive disorder, alcohol-use disorder, anorexia nervosa and more that kill thousands every year in the United States, and cost billions worldwide in lost productivity.
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