Psychedelics could treat depression, PTSD, addiction

Could future treatment of depression, addiction, and PTSD include psychedelics - like LSD?

It might sound as crazy as a whacked-out trip, but scientists and doctors are taking more interest in the drugs, amid emerging research, as I discussed on the show in May of 2018.

This week, Vox.com published a lengthy piece on the topic:

Although the most recent studies are still preliminary and the sample sizes fairly small, the results so far are compelling. In one 2014 Johns Hopkins study,  80 percent of the smokers who participated in psilocybin-assisted  therapy remained fully abstinent six months after the trial. By way of  comparison, smoking cessation trials using varenicline (a prescription medication for smoking addiction) has success rates around 35 percent. 

In a separate 2016 study  of cancer-related depression or anxiety, 83 percent of 51 participants  reported significant increases in well-being or satisfaction six months  after a single dose of psilocybin. (Sixty-seven percent said it was one  of the most meaningful experiences of their lives.) 

A typical psilocybin session lasts somewhere between four  and six hours (compared with 12 hours with LSD), yet it produces  enduring decreases in depression and anxiety for patients. Which is why  researchers like Roland Griffiths  at Johns Hopkins believe psychedelics represents an entirely new model  for treating major psychiatric conditions. Conventional treatments like antidepressants don’t work for a lot of patients and can come with a host of side effects. 

This is a big reason why many researchers believe that  psychedelics will eventually be rescheduled by the FDA (more on this  below) and legalized for medical use — though the timeline on this is far from clear. 

Meanwhile, a petition effort is underway to have Denver residents vote in May on whether to decriminalize "magic mushrooms."



Pete's Prep Sheet: Friday, Jan. 11, 2019


Pete Kaliner

Pete Kaliner

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