Psychedelic drugs are now being used for medical purposes

Illustration+of+the+experience+of+using+psychedelic+substances.

Modified Getty Image, hopkinsmedicine.org

Illustration of the experience of using psychedelic substances.

Around the world, researchers are investigating the possible benefits of using psychedelic substances to treat psychological conditions such as anxiety, depression, and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Certain psychedelics are already being used to treat patients as the research indicates a variety of benefits.

Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), methylenedioxy-methylamphetamine (MDMA), ketamine, psychedelic mushrooms, dimethyltryptamine (DMT), and ayahuasca brew all fit into the class of psychedelics that are under investigation. Many advocates for this treatment claim that these substances are misunderstood, and they have the potential for doing good.

Microdoses in controlled settings have been used since the 1950s, specifically in psychiatric establishments, but the practice was halted in the early 1970s when psychedelic substances were named “drugs of addiction”. However, in recent years, many patients have experienced immense relief from their psychiatric conditions through psychedelics.

Treatment-resistant major depressive disorder has been effectively treated with ketamine microdoses combined with traditional talk therapy as the substance assists in bringing light to the patient’s subconscious.

While these drugs can be highly addictive in an uncontrolled setting due to the euphoria they induce, the microdoses are proven to be quite safe and effective. Many patients have described their experience with microdoses of psychedelics as life changing and extremely beneficial to unpack their mystical experiences to improve their emotions.

The reported benefits, even after the drugs have worn off, are feeling more socially connected and better moods. These benefits have been observed in recreational use of psychedelic substances, and they have served as the basis for reopening clinical research on the drugs.

Despite the observable benefits, there are some questions of accuracy with the way the studies are being conducted. As all data is self-reported by participants, it is largely unreliable in the eyes of some clinical researchers. Still, the self-reported data matches the lab work, suggesting that this questionable data is accurate. Now the patient’s experience is quite predictable based on their lab work as the consistency in the data continues.

As more and more research is conducted on the use of psychedelic substances to treat psychiatric conditions, the practice is gaining some popularity and trust. With few known side effects, this treatment is likely to improve the lives of many people.