Therapeutic use of psychedelics: two new advances

The therapeutic use of psychedelics is making a slow but steady comeback. Recent findings look to cement this trend despite resistance by the usual suspects. For many researchers the past 40 years have been a lost era. When LSD and psilocybin were prohibited in the 1960s the therapeutic potential of psychedelics was already well-known. Prohibition had no scientific base and was solely geared at the societal change psychedelics were producing. The same thing of course happened with MDMA during the second psychedelic wave of the late 1980s.

Magic mushrooms and depression

Every psychonaut probably knows the story of the death of writer/philosopher Aldous Huxley. On his deathbed, dying from cancer, Huxley requested to be given LSD. After the dose started to work he died with a peaceful smile. No doubt many of us must have thought about this moment when news outlets presented stories about the new studies on the benefits of magic mushrooms in battling anxiety and depression. In this case helping cancer patients overcome their fear of death. The findings have been published in the Journal of Psychopathology. No doubt many more studies will follow, hopefully changing society’s views on psychedelics.

MDMA and PTSD

Post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD) has been a growing problem, especially in the United States where a large number of veterans have to deal with the aftermath of traumatic incidents during oversea wars. The track record of regular therapy is not that great with many patients being susceptible to suicide and budget cuts always loom. Legal sessions with the use of MDMA to battle PTSD have shown remarkable results. To be approved a substance has to go through a number of phases. Recently the non-profit organization Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) was given the green light by the Food and Drug Adminstration for the final Phase 3 trials. These trails are expensive and MAPS can use funds to buy the MDMA for Phase 3. You can help MAPS achieve their goals by donating (also anonymously). So let’s make MDMA a legal medicine by 2021 (and hopefully the E.U. won’t let the United States do all the hard work.)