How Psychedelic Drugs Might Help Treat Mental Illness


It's hard to think about magic mushrooms without being reminded of that time in college when your friend spent, like, an hour staring at the sidewalk mumbling about how we're all connected. But, as Shannon Coffey finds out in this episode of Report Card, there's a whole lot more to these substances than their groovy reputation (and your college memories).

As therapist Ingmar Gorman, MA, explains in the video, researchers are looking at once-taboo drugs like MDMA, psilocybin (the psychoactive compound in "magic" mushrooms), and LSD to help treat a variety of mental illnesses. Importantly, patients are given these drugs along with intense psychotherapy. The thinking isn't that the drugs are necessarily the treatment, but researchers think they might make the treatment more effective.

In particular, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) has been given FDA approval to test out whether MDMA helps people in therapy for PTSD. So far, results have been pretty encouraging, and MAPS recently got the go-ahead to move on to Phase 3 trials.

Watch the full video above to learn more about psychedelic research. And stay tuned for more episodes of Report Card on RIOT.

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