Psychedelics & The Future of Mental Health Treatment

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How many people know someone who’s depressed despite the fact that they take anti-depressants? Or have people in your lives affected by addiction – opioid, alcohol, or otherwise?

Well, there’s hope.

The scientific research that continues to come out around the use of psychedelics to treat depression, anxiety, opioid addiction, alcoholism, and a whole host of other mental disorders… is nothing short of amazing.

In two such examples, cited in the video below:

1) [4:10-7:10] In the largest study to-date examining the effect of psilocybin on depression and anxiety in individuals with life threatening cancer diagnosis (people freaking out because they’re going to die), a single high-dose session of so-called magic mushrooms resulted in sustained reduction of depression and anxiety, from clinically-severe levels (23/25, 26/30) to nearly-symptom-free levels (6/25, 7/30) a full 6 months out.

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To put this in perspective: current depression medication (most commonly SSRIs) hasn’t evolved since the 1980’s, requires people to swallow a pill every day, comes with a long-list of side-effects, and does absolutely nothing for the 1/3 of depressed adults with treatment-resistant depression (TRD).

2) [7:10-9:00] In a pilot study examining the effect of psilocybin in the treatment of tobacco addiction (people who want to but cannot quit smoking), three low-doses of mushrooms led to 80% of participants being biologically-confirmed (e.g. breathe samples, urine samples) as smoke-free 6 months out. And these results held up to 60% 2.5 years after their target quit-date.

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Comparatively, the best FDA-approved medication we currently have in treating tobacco addiction is less than half as effective, averaging 35% abstinence 6 months out.

And the best part?

The Imperial College London just announced they’re launching the world’s first Centre for Psychedelic Research (2.5 minute teaser video here) so it appears this is just the beginning.

As someone with a family history of mental illness, who’s had my own fair share of battles with depression, and lost family/friends to the addictions described above… watching this video and reading these studies, I can’t help but feel incredibly hopeful for the future.

The future of mental health treatment is bright.

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