Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Can Psychedelics Cure?

I was half expecting a Michael Pollan How to Change Your Mind psychonaut or microdosing storyline here. That's not what this is. This episode delves into research into the careful use of psychedelics to treat alcoholism, depression, and PTSD.

These are not happy topics, and this episode of PBS's NOVA gets a content warning. It has a few rough moments, but it's working with treatments for difficult diagnoses. 

As an educator, I was part of a culture that cast anything that could be considered a recreational drug as public enemy number one. Just as Richard Nixon labeled them when he was president. The closest I've come to illicit drug use has been breathing the air at rock concerts, where the air can grow thick with marijuana smoke.

In any case, Can Psychedelics Cure? presents anecdotes and data suggesting that psychedelics have curative properties when administered appropriately. The FDA will have the final say. Here's where the FDA stood as of June, 2023.

Hallucinogenic drugs—popularly called psychedelics—have been used by human societies for thousands of years. Today, scientists are taking a second look at many of these mind-altering substances–both natural and synthetic–and discovering that they can have profoundly positive clinical impacts, helping patients struggling with a range of afflictions from addiction to depression and PTSD.

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