Recently, there has been renewed interest in psychedelics for treating depression and mental illness. While these were established treatments for mental illness in the mid-1950s, they’ve come a long way since then.
What Happened to Their Medical Use?
While psychedelic drugs were once hailed as the perfect solution for treating a wide range of otherwise-difficult-to-treat disorders, they have not been used to treat anything for quite some time. Research into psychedelic drugs stopped almost entirely in the 1970s due to the backlash against their recreational use. They were labeled as “drugs of abuse” by the federal government, and any medical value was dismissed.
Today, research is finally restarting into the medical use of LSD, psilocybin (the compound in magic mushrooms), MDMA and ayahuasca. If these drugs can pass rigorous rounds of scientific testing, they may become the new standard in mental health treatment. So far, researchers have found that controlled administration of psychedelic drugs can foster an extreme flood of positive emotion and major behavioral changes.
The Potential Impact of Psychedelics
Studies of psychedelics have found that:
- Psilocybin has relieved severe anxiety and treated substance abuse disorders
- MDMA has assisted many people coping with PTSD
- These drugs have been effective in patients with eating disorders, OCD, major depression and adults trying to stop smoking
While there is still a long way to go before psychedelics are readily available as common prescriptions for periods of depression and anxiety, if research continues as it has we may see them available in prescription bottles soon.
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