When you hear about MDMA, magic mushrooms, LSD, or ketamine, chances are it’s not life-saving medical breakthroughs that come to mind but rather wild-eyed party kids, or folks on a “journey.” This all-too-common association continues to inhibit research into the potential of each of these substances to treat crippling mental health afflictions. Luckily, despite the stigma, enough evidence has amassed to shift the view of regulatory bodies and the results are, frankly, mind-blowing…but not in that way.
In 2019, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) followed counterpart organizations in Germany, Austria, Denmark, and Finland—among other European nations—in approving esketamine to treat severe mental health disorders. Delivered as either a nasal spray, esketamine arrives as a rapid-acting, breakthrough medication for the treatment of major depressive disorder (MDD) with accompanying suicidal ideation.
Though esketamine, which is similar to ketamine in composition, is the first psychedelic drug to receive regulatory approval in the US, it is far from the only substance with proven potential to provide relief from mental health afflictions.
In 2020, the FDA granted application to the non-profit Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) for an Expanded Access Program for MDMA-assisted psychotherapy to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This designation provides early access to investigational therapies for those facing life-threatening conditions, among which PTSD is included.
Similarly, the evidence-based potential of psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms) in treating anxiety and treatment-resistant depression has led the European Medicines Agency to approve the substance for a phase 3 study into potential medical benefits. The trial should readout in 2020 and, if the results are positive, psilocybin will likely be approved for clinical practice soon afterward.
Finally, Mind Medicine Inc. recently launched Project Lucy, a commercial drug development program wherein a Phase 2b human efficacy trial will explore the potential of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) for the treatment of anxiety disorders.
Ground-breaking research of this nature is of true life-saving potential for those who have failed to find relief from their mental health struggles. If this is you, don’t hesitate to reach out to our clinic. We would be happy to discuss any of the studies mentioned above and explore presently available treatment options—such as ketamine infusions—that promise to assist in allowing you to attend to that which matters most: living life carefree.
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