Psychedelics have come a long way over the past few years, especially when being used for depression. What used to be a taboo subject and a category of dangerous, hard drugs is now a popular substance with many purported benefits and potential applications.
Visit a city like Austin, Texas, and good luck not bumping into someone that knows someone that has tried ayahuasca. Give it a few years, and the psychedelic might just be as popular as the BBQ in ATX. And that is in a city smack in the middle of what has historically been a very conservative state.
In more liberal states like Oregon, psychedelic mushrooms have already been decriminalized, setting a precedent for other states to follow suit. The question of decriminalizing psychedelics is actually on the Colorado ballot today.
In California, psychedelics are pretty much a right of passage for tech company founders. How can you possibly come up with the next Uber or Meta without first going through a proper vision quest and a trip to burning man? Even NFL quarterback, Aaron Rodgers, has openly talked about his ayahuasca experience. While the psychedelic journey doesn’t seem to have helped his performance on the field, he is just another example of a public figure opening up about their psychedelic use.
Jokes aside, the rise in popularity of psychedelics has paved the way for promising research into medical applications for these compounds. Just last week, the largest clinical study of its type ever conducted found that psilocybin, the hallucinogen in magic mushrooms, can significantly reduce symptoms of severe depression.
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In the study, varying amounts of psilocybin were given to participants who had previously tried at least two pharmaceutical antidepressants without success. At the end of the study, researchers found that patients given 25mg of the hallucinogen experienced mental health improvements immediately and for up to three months.
This is just the latest of several studies showing promising results for treating anxiety and depression with psychedelic compounds. Given that almost 20 million U.S. adults experience at least one episode of major depression per year, we must continue to investigate effective ways to combat this condition and move away from solely relying on pharmaceutical antidepressants that often do not work.
The key takeaway? This latest study reinforces previous research supporting the potential of using psychedelics to treat severe depression. We need to urge government officials to revisit how these substances are legally classified and open the door for more research and real-life applications to help people suffering from mental health conditions like severe depression.
Maybe whoever wins their elections today can champion making psychedelics the standard treatment option for severe depression moving forward. Maybe they can have the courage to confront Big Pharma and push forward positive change in our healthcare system, even if those changes hurt the bottom line of big corporations.
Fingers crossed. One can hope.
Mental health means the world to us. We’ve partnered with BetterHelp in an effort to bring virtual mental health support further into the mainstream. If you sign up for their therapy services through any of our links, 247Health may earn a commission.
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