Medicinal Psychedelics: A Potential Pathway to Treating Mental Health Conditions

Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Source: Phillips Lytle

By Kyle W. Mack, J.D., Pharm.D.
Phillips Lytle LLP

A seismic shift in how we discuss mental health has occurred over the past few years. A willingness to engage in the topic beyond mere lip service at home, in our communities, and in our places of work is a testament to the profound progress that has been made in reducing the stigma associated with these conditions in a relatively short amount of time. Equally as profound are efforts by clinicians, researchers, and state and federal legislators to find and implement new treatment options for mental health conditions. These efforts have been focused on an area of pharmacology that one might think strange or even absurd at first blush: psychedelics. 

Psilocybin (“magic mushrooms”), MDMA (“ecstasy,” “molly”), LSD (“acid”), and dimethyltryptamine (“DMT”) are all being researched as medications to treat a wide variety of mental health and substance use disorders. Why? Because clinical research has shown – and is continuing to show – that these compounds may have superior efficacy compared to existing FDA-approved medications when combined with psychotherapy.

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