A New Approach to Health Through Psychedelic Studies
7 minute read
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Chemical Collective or any associated parties.
Brand new developments in the world of medicinal psychedelics! More evidence that these substances might be just the thing we need to kick some bad habits and improve our mental health.
For example, Johns Hopkins has been awarded a massive $4 million grant to lead a three-year study on the effects of particular psychedelics in helping kick one of the hardest addictions in the world to quit.
Psychedelics could be the key to treating some serious health conditions and improving our well-being. Who knows what other wonders these substances could unlock in the future? Let’s find out what’s been happening these past couple of years. Here are 4 promising medicinal psychedelics studies.
Quitting Smoking With Psilocybin
If there is anything that connects quitting smoking and psychedelic research, it is that both seem to be an uphill battle for anyone involved. Luckily, the two might be on the verge of a great breakthrough!
Johns Hopkins was recently awarded the first federal grant for psychedelic treatment research in more than 50 years, focused on none other than the problem of smoking cessation.
This is a notable step forward in psilocybin research, and it is (in part) thanks to the remarkable findings of a 2014 study conducted at the same Johns Hopkins University. The study delved into a groundbreaking approach and discovered that an astounding 80% of participants were able to break free from smoking after just six months. This success rate far surpasses the typical outcomes observed in smoking-cessation trials, leaving the scientific community in awe.
As a reward for—and affirmation of—their groundbreaking research on psilocybin and its potential therapeutic benefits, Johns Hopkins University has recently been awarded an extraordinary federal grant. This momentous grant, totaling nearly $4 million, has been generously provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, an institute under the esteemed National Institutes of Health.
With this extraordinary funding, Johns Hopkins has been taking the lead in a three-year, multisite study, joining forces with the prestigious institutions of the University of Alabama at Birmingham and New York University. Together, they embarked on a quest to explore the profound impact of psilocybin on tobacco addiction.
The current trial employs a modern approach that includes a double-blind and randomized methodology. This endeavor combines the power of transformative psilocybin sessions with the enlightening principles of cognitive behavioral therapy. We all hope this can help expose and treat negative thought patterns that lurk beneath the surface and contribute to a myriad of behavioral and mental health challenges.
Excitingly, the NIH grant is a monetary boost not only for researchers but participants as well. It enables Johns Hopkins and its partners to offer compensation to study participants, a groundbreaking decision that expands the diversity and inclusivity of the patient pool. Now the real work can begin.
Treating Cluster Headaches with LSD
Cluster headaches are a rare and excruciating form of headache that causes intense pain on one side of the head. They are typically characterized by sudden and severe pain, often described as a burning or stabbing sensation around the eye or temple. Cluster headaches occur in cyclical patterns, with frequent bouts of attacks lasting anywhere from a few weeks to several months, followed by long periods of remission.
Despite being a relatively rare condition, cluster headaches can have a severe impact on a person’s quality of life, often causing significant disruptions to work, social activities, and overall well-being. Unfortunately, current treatments for cluster headaches are not always effective and often fail to provide complete relief. Treatments may include various medications, such as triptans, oxygen therapy, and steroids, but these treatments may not always work or may have unwanted side effects.
Moreover, some people may develop a resistance to these treatments, rendering them ineffective over time. Invasive procedures, such as nerve blocks or deep brain stimulation, may also be used to treat cluster headaches, but they carry significant risks and are not suitable for everyone. As a result, there is a pressing need for more effective and safer treatments to alleviate the debilitating symptoms of cluster headaches and improve the quality of life for those affected.
ncredibly, one unexplored solution to this terrible condition is lysergic acid diethylamide, otherwise known as LSD. A leading neuro-pharmaceutical company, Mind Medicine, is collaborating with the University Hospital Basel’s Liechti Lab on aPhase 2 clinical trial evaluating LSD for the treatment of these cluster headaches.
While the exact mechanism of action is not yet fully understood, LSD is believed to bind to serotonin receptors in the brain, which may help regulate pain perception and reduce inflammation.
Interestingly, the effects of LSD on cluster headaches appear to be long-lasting, with some participants reporting remission from cluster headaches for several months after a single dose. While further research is needed to fully understand the potential benefits and risks of LSD as a treatment for cluster headaches, early studies have shown promising results and suggest that LSD may offer a new avenue of treatment for this debilitating condition.
Alleviating Postpartum Depression with Ketamine
There is a case being made for the effectivenes of Ketamine in assisting women who have recently given birth and are suffering from postpartum depression. Thispilot trial for treating postpartum depression with a single low dose of ketamine is being pursued at the Peking University First Hospital in Beijing, China.
Researchers are attempting to evaluate whether a single low-dose ketamine infusion during cesarean delivery could decrease the depression scores at 2 days postpartum in parturients with prenatal depression, and to evaluate the feasibility of a large randomized trial using this protocol.
Postpartum depression is a type of depression that affects some women after giving birth. It’s normal to feel tired and overwhelmed after having a baby, but postpartum depression is more than just feeling a little down. It is a serious mental health condition that can make it hard to care for your baby and yourself.
There are a few treatments available for postpartum depression, including therapy and medications such as antidepressants. Unfortunately, these treatments don’t always work as well as we would hope. Some women may not respond well to medications or may experience unwanted side effects. Therapy can be helpful, but it can also be difficult to find the time and resources to attend regular sessions, especially when you’re also caring for a newborn.
Ideally, this newfound pathway via ketamine could make the lives of new mothers more of a beautiful experience and less tough of a time.
Tackling Treatment-resistant PTSD with MDMA
A promising new study conducted by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) has shown that MDMA-assisted therapy can be effective in treating patients with treatment-resistant post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This study is significant because:
PTSD is a mental health condition that can occur after experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event. Treatment-resistant PTSD refers to cases where traditional therapy and medications have been ineffective at reducing symptoms of the disorder. This is a particularly challenging condition to treat, and there is a need for improved treatments.
To qualify as a breakthrough treatment, a drug must show preliminary clinical evidence indicating that it may offer a substantial improvement over available therapies. With this further evidence of the benefits of psychedelic-assisted therapy, MAPS hopes to pursue the designation of a breakthrough treatment. These successful trials were conducted at 15 sites in the US, Canada, and Israel.
The MAPS study has shown that MDMA-assisted therapy can lead to significant improvements in PTSD symptoms, including reduced anxiety, depression, and sleep disturbances. The study has also demonstrated the safety of MDMA-assisted therapy, with minimal adverse effects reported. These findings are significant, and further research is underway to expand on this promising new treatment option.
Overall, the promising results of the MAPS study suggest that MDMA-assisted therapy may be an effective treatment option for patients with treatment-resistant PTSD. Psychedelic chemicals should be handled with care so that we can get all the positive benefits and better individuals’ lives.
A New Approach to Health Through Psychedelic Studies
In the realm of medicinal psychedelics, the scientific studies unfolding are nothing short of life-changing for potentially thousands of individuals.
From breaking free from smoking addictions to alleviating the cluster headaches, and even combating postpartum depression, these studies are paving the way for a new frontier in mental health and well-being.
The acceptance of psychedelics for medicinal use encourages a more open and progressive approach to mental health. It challenges the stigma surrounding mental illnesses and promotes a greater understanding of the complex nature of these conditions. Moreover, the exploration of psychedelics for medicinal purposes pushes the boundaries of scientific research and innovation.
By investing in these studies, we expand our knowledge of the human mind, consciousness, and the intricate workings of the brain.
This deeper understanding has the potential to revolutionize not only mental health treatments but also our overall comprehension of human cognition, perception, and consciousness itself. The insights gained from psychedelic research can fuel advancements in various fields, from neuroscience to psychology, paving the way for new and groundbreaking therapies.
By embracing psychedelics for medicinal use, we also promote a more holistic and patient-centered approach to healthcare. Rather than relying solely on pharmaceutical interventions, the integration of psychedelics allows for a more comprehensive understanding of mental health and well-being. It encourages a shift towards personalized treatment plans that consider the individual’s unique experiences, traumas, and needs, ultimately leading to more effective and tailored interventions.
Accepting psychedelics for medicinal purposes opens up a dialogue about drug policy reform and the need to revisit outdated laws and regulations. It prompts a reconsideration of the societal perception of these substances, shifting from a perspective rooted in fear and prohibition to one that acknowledges their potential benefits when used responsibly and under controlled circumstances. This change in mindset can pave the way for a more enlightened and evidence-based approach to drug policies, focusing on harm reduction, education, and public health.
In essence, embracing psychedelics for medicinal purposes brings us into a better, brighter future by offering hope, expanding our scientific knowledge, fostering mental health acceptance, and promoting a more compassionate and progressive approach to healthcare. It challenges societal taboos, encourages innovation, and paves the way for a more enlightened and holistic understanding of human well-being.
By acknowledging that psychedelics can be powerful tools in treating mental health issues, we are fostering a society that values and prioritizes mental well-being, destigmatizes mental illness, and encourages individuals to seek help without fear or judgment.
As we venture further into the realm of psychedelic science, let us handle these powerful chemicals with the utmost care and respect. With diligent research, open minds, and responsible exploration, we have the potential to unlock a world of positive benefits and transform the lives of individuals who desperately need them. By embracing this opportunity, we can improve the lives of countless individuals and shape a more compassionate and resilient society.
Landon Mickelson | Community Blogger at Chemical Collective |
Landon is one of our community bloggers here at Chemical Collective. If you’re interested in joining our blogging team and getting paid to write about subjects you’re passionate about, please reach out to David via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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