A Crash Course On Opportunities In Psychedelic Medicine
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Anyone within shouting distance of psychedelic culture knows that there are big things happening these days in mental health and addiction therapies using psychedelic medicines. After 40 plus years of federal and state clampdown on any ingestible once perceived as having no merit beyond social upheaval and a threshold into irreversible madness, psychedelics are back, baby.
Pardoning outlawed substances
Today’s stone-cold sober research into the benefits of compounds including psilocybin mushrooms, LSD, ibogaine, MDMA, and ketamine is picking up right where it left off, with clinical results many times more successful than any previous medication or therapeutic method.
And it’s being met with great public fanfare: renowned author Michael Pollan’s New York Times bestseller, How to Change your Mind, swept the groundbreaking modern scientific research into the public dialogue. Amazingly, even the feds are backing down from their traditional posture of prohibition. Last year, psilocybin was designated a ‘breakthrough therapy’ for severe depression by the FDA.
This old/new wave of treatment options for depression, anxiety, addiction, PTSD, and other mental health issues could not be materializing at a more opportune time. The coronavirus has triggered spikes in depression and substance abuse across the world, and suicide rates among war veterans and other trauma survivors are apalling and getting worse.
Real hope for the hopeless
Psychedelic medicines offer help in exactly the areas where conventional treatments have most resoundingly failed. Psychedelics are inexpensive to produce, non-addicting, highly effective with treatment-resistant patients, generally require only a few sessions for substantial results, and carry only minuscule potential side effects. Study after study by teams at prestigious institutions like Johns Hopkins University and New York University have demonstrated that something in the deeply impactful and highly personalized therapeutic psychedelic experience just works, even in situations where years or decades of traditional treatments have not.
Recent psilocybin and MDMA trials for PTSD have even been conducted with US combat and law enforcement veterans - not an especially trippy demographic - with remarkable success. Veterans, many struggling with trauma and suicidal thoughts, have also discovered breakthrough positive realignments following therapeutic ayahuasca ceremonies. Broader clinical trials with a range of psychoactive compounds are still forthcoming for cocaine addiction, eating disorders, end of life anxiety, and much more.
Brand new treatment paradigms
The potential these compounds have to upend conventional treatment methods is, on a market level, considered a real challenge to a pharmaceutical industry that relies on long-term patient use of chemical medicines as a cornerstone of its business model. As such, a private industry ecosystem is steadily sprouting up around the psychedelic medicinal sector. Startups and other organizations are entering the space with contributions including medicinal supply, data-driven treatment platforms, legal and legislative work, therapeutic clinics, public education, and much more. Canada-based Novamind, for example, is laying the groundwork for psychedelic treatment clinics across the globe, while Entheon Biomedical focuses on researching and manufacturing psychoactive drugs for treating substance addiction in a therapeutic setting.
Psychedelic-assisted treatments are already changing the lives of individuals the world over, and the only question of full public access is not ‘if’, but ‘when’. The answer is based largely on governmental restrictions, particularly in the United States. Currently, there are many unknowns in how and when the federal government will reschedule these compounds. Of course, the American national apparatus is a bit distracted as of this writing, so the coming federal policies are as yet unknown. Regardless, the medicinal psychedelic movement has enough science, research, and clinical results behind it to be taken seriously by even the most conservative governmental body.
Given the legitimate hype being generated by these exciting medicines, a crucial step in their real-world implementation is connecting the players working on different angles, sharing knowledge, and educating the public. Despite the current pandemic limitations, the industry is generating events and conferences aimed at information sharing and multidisciplinary coordination. One notable gathering, PsyTech’s “Global Dialogue on the Future of Psychedelic Medicine,” is taking place on October 27th. Virtual attendance is free and open to all. PsyTech’s summit will provide an immersive view for anyone interested in this fast-growing and globally significant medicinal movement.
PsyTech’s free virtual summit on October 27th-- “A Global Dialogue on the Future of Psychedelic Medicine” -- is the fastest way to get up-to-date on the current state and potential of the psychedelic industry. Click here to register.