To change the mentalities : Psychedelics are making their way into the mainstream. And in modern medicine. Can they cure America’s mental health crisis?
“Mums Who Mushrooms.” “Can MDMA save a marriage?” “LSD Capitalism.” If it seems like psychedelics are everywhere, don’t worry, you’re not hallucinating. Substances like psilocybin (aka mushrooms), ketamine, MDMA and LSD are having a moment.
Tell me more.
Americans were anxious, depressed and heavily medicated before the pandemic. Now, the country’s mental health crisis is even worse. But the medical field is opening up to alternatives, especially for treatment-resistant depression or PTSD. There are currently over 70 studies on shrooms, examining its effects on everything from eating disorders to opioid addiction. For the first time in decades, the FDA has given the green light to a major trial of LSD for anxiety. He approved esketamine (a derivative of ketamine) for treatment-resistant depression a few years ago. And could then give the green light to MDMA-assisted therapy.
When can we get a script for these?
Not to be depressing, but it can take time. Even though the FDA has conducted accelerated studies on some psychedelics, the government still classifies most of them as Schedule 1 substances. This means there is no “currently accepted medical use” and that they have “a high potential for abuse”. This may explain why funding for studies has been difficult to find. Or why recommended treatment plans can be so intense and expensive.
Wait, step back. Is all this even legal?
Yes, but only in clinical research. Which doesn’t include your friends who are microdosing. Unless you live in Oregon, which decriminalized all drugs and voted to legalize psilocybin in a therapeutic setting. (The state is still working out the details.) Or, if you were prescribed ketamine. It’s an FDA-approved anesthetic, but it’s increasingly being used off-label as a mental health treatment.
Psychedelics are still illegal in most of the United States. But some are also called breakthrough therapies for mental health. It’s probably too early to tell if they’ll ever be as mainstream as Prozac or Zoloft. But it is clear that some Americans are saying “it is high time” to find new solutions.
The weekend means more time to do the things you love. For many of us, it’s reading. But we can’t browse everything for you. So instead, we’re giving you an overview of the readings we’ve recorded, texted, and emailed to our friends…
The Karen who cried abduction…how a California couple went to the craft store – and were framed for a crime that never happened.
The Fortune of Mackenzie Scott…an unlikely journey to become one of the world’s most powerful (and philanthropic) women.
Behind the Grammy-winning South Asian folk and jazz mixes…meet musician Arooj Aftab, who sang a different tune – and made history.
Downtime doesn’t have to mean doing nothing. Here is an idea to make the most of your weekend.
There’s no better time to take it out. Today the National Park Service is waiving its entry fee for kickoff National Parks Week. This means that more than 400 forests, monuments, seashores and canyons – from Acadia to Yosemite – are free. Fun fact: this also includes some ships and submarines that are considered National Historic Landmarks.
If you can’t do it today, don’t worry, you’ll have a better chance this year. (Plan ahead with road trip must-haves.) Or bring the great outdoors inside with the new Netflix series, “Our Great National Parks“, narrated by former President Barack Obama. The best thing to do after a real walk in the park.
Skimmed by Rasheeda Campbell, Xian Chiang-Waren, Melissa Goldberg and Clem Robineau