The recent documentary on Netflix called “How to Change Your Mind” has taken the world by storm. It follows the stories of individuals who have used psychedelics to change their lives for the better. Psilocybin and MDMA are two of the most popular psychedelics featured in the film.
The FDA has not yet approved either of these substances for therapeutic use. However, they are both studied in clinical trials.
In this article, we will look at what experts say about psilocybin therapy and what we can expect from the FDA shortly.
MDMA in Therapy: A Quick Overview
MDMA, or 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, is a synthetic drug that alters mood and perception. It is a member of the class of drugs known as amphetamines and shares many of the same effects.
MDMA was initially used in therapy to help patients process difficult emotions. In addition, it showed promise in treating conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, its status as a type 1 drug greatly limits its uses.
In recent years clinical trials began to explore the potential therapeutic benefits of MDMA. There is still more research required. Although, there is reason to believe that MDMA could be an effective treatment for PTSD and other mental health conditions.
Psilocybin in Therapy: A Quick Overview
Psilocybin is a naturally occurring psychedelic compound found in certain mushrooms. Individuals all over the world use it in traditional healing ceremonies. The mushrooms are now studied for their potential therapeutic benefits.
The FDA does not currently approve psilocybin for any therapeutic use. However, a growing body of research suggests that it may be effective in treating various mental health disorders, including:
Several clinical trials are currently underway to investigate the efficacy of psilocybin-based therapies. If these studies prove successful, psilocybin could one day be helpful as a safe treatment for mental illness.
Using Psychedelics in Therapy: What the Studies Show
Several clinical studies have evaluated the safety and efficacy of using psychedelics in therapy. The results of these studies are promising, but more research is needed.
Let’s look at each separately below.
In a study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, MDMA was found to be an effective treatment for PTSD. In addition, the study found that MDMA helped participants feel:
- More comfortable talking about their trauma
- Less anxious
- Less depressed
In another study published in the journal Biological Psychiatry, MDMA was found to be an effective treatment for social anxiety disorder. The study found that MDMA helped participants to feel more relaxed and open during social interactions.
These studies suggest that MDMA could be a helpful tool for treating a variety of mental health conditions. However, it is important to note that MDMA should only be used under the guidance of a qualified mental health professional.
In the documentary “How to Change Your Mind,” we see a woman who describes horrific events, from discovering a murder/suicide to being raped, in her life. Unfortunately, traditional treatments such as anti-depressants and therapy sessions proved unhelpful.
She had PTSD, and each trauma added to the disorder. Finally, at the suggestion of a friend, she decided to try MDMA-assisted therapy.
After just two sessions, she reported feeling better than she had in years. The experience allowed her to process her trauma in a safe and supportive environment, and it helped her to live a more fulfilling life.
Another gentleman, a veteran of the Iraq War, had a similar experience. He suffered from paranoia, nightmares, an inability to be around people, and suicidal thoughts. After years of trying different treatments with no success, he, too, decided to try MDMA-assisted therapy.
Instead of taking his own life, he could take control of it and finally talk about his experiences in the war.
Both individuals suffered from severe PTSD, with symptoms such as:
- Intrusive memories
- Negative mood and thinking
- Physical reactions
- And more
Psilocybin is often associated with psychedelic experiences and “trips.” However, recent studies have shown that the substance can also have therapeutic benefits.
Psilocybin-assisted therapy is now studied as a potential treatment for various conditions. So far, the research looks promising; in one small study, a majority of participants reported significant reductions in depression and anxiety after psilocybin-assisted therapy.
While more research is necessary to confirm these results, experts are optimistic about the potential of psilocybin-assisted therapy. In addition to its potential therapeutic benefits, psilocybin is also studied as a tool for “microdosing.”
Microdosing involves taking small doses of psilocybin regularly to boost mood and cognitive performance. Although research on microdosing psilocybin is still in its early stages, some preliminary studies have shown promising results. Ultimately, psilocybin is a promising tool for therapy and self-improvement.
A famous case of psilocybin use in therapy is Aaron Rodgers. An NFL player who was hearing negative internal voices. As a result, the psilocybin sessions helped him to cope with the problem. Psilocybin has also been used to treat
- Cluster headaches
- End-of-life anxiety
- Alcohol dependence
The FDA’s Take on Psilocybin and MDMA: An Overview
Both psilocybin and MDMA have shown promise in treating mental health conditions. However, it is important to note that these substances should only be used under the guidance of a qualified mental health professional.
While more research is necessary to confirm the efficacy of these treatments, the FDA is hopeful about their potential.
In 1985, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) classified MDMA as a Schedule I drug, meaning that it has a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use. This classification puts strict limitations on research into MDMA’s potential therapeutic benefits.
However, recent studies have shown that MDMA may effectively treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). As a result, there is growing pressure on the FDA to reconsider its classification of MDMA.
The FDA acknowledged the promising results of these studies and is currently reviewing the available data. While it is still too early to say whether MDMA will see approval for medical use, the FDA’s review is an important step in the right direction.
The FDA has also taken an interest in the potential therapeutic benefits of psilocybin. The FDA’s involvement in psilocybin research is a positive sign that the agency is open to exploring innovative new treatments for mental health conditions.
However, it is important to remember that psilocybin is not yet approved for any medical use. It should only be used under the supervision of a qualified healthcare professional.
The Future of MDMA and Microdosing Psilocybin in Arizona: What’s Next?
In 2017, the FDA granted the Breakthrough Therapy Designation for the use of MDMA for therapeutic purposes. And some states are set to legalize the use of psilocybin altogether.
Now that there is some progress, what can we expect next?
We can expect that more people will begin to use MDMA and psilocybin for therapeutic purposes. Clinical studies are necessary to assess the safety and efficacy of these substances.
In addition, we need to develop training programs to educate therapists on how to administer psychedelic drugs properly. Ultimately, we believe that the legalization of MDMA and psilocybin will help to improve the mental health of those who live in Arizona.
Why Are MDMA and Psilocybin Considered Type One Substance: The Dangers of the Drug
MDMA, also known as ecstasy, is a popular party drug linked to an increased risk of loss of consciousness. Psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, is another drug classified as a type 1 substance.
Both drugs are considered highly dangerous because they can cause serious health problems and even death. MDMA has been linked to an increased risk of serotonin syndrome, a condition that can cause:
- High blood pressure
- Irregular heartbeat
- Overheating of the body
Psilocybin, meanwhile, can cause psychedelic effects that can lead to panic attacks and paranoia. In addition, both drugs can impair judgment and coordination, increasing the risk of accidents and injuries. Because of the dangers they pose, it is important to consult healthcare professionals when using these substances.