In the early 1950s, psychedelics began gaining steam for their numerous therapeutic values.
Early clinical trials showed impressive benefits for helping alcoholics get sober. Other studies found psychedelics could allow repressed memories to more easily come to the surface and result in greater results when used with psychotherapy.
And this isn’t even the true origin story of psychedelics. Across almost every culture for thousands of years, humans have used different hallucinogenic compounds to change their consciousness, from mushrooms to cacti and even secretions from toads.
Unfortunately, the embrace of psychedelics by the counterculture in the 1960s led to a halt in research and a bad reputation for being dangerous by the greater social and political powers.
Now, decades later, psychedelics are getting renewed interest from the medical community.
Advances in technology and molecular biology, together with data from animal studies, have given us new ways to understand their effects and pursue safe clinical testing. From anxiety and depression to addiction and even overcoming fear of death, research is showing psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy has a lot to offer.
If you missed this week’s episode of The Doctor’s Farmacy, I sat down to talk all about the future of psychedelics in medicine with bestselling author Michael Pollan.
Throughout our talk, he shares his intensive research on the subject, the unfortunate stigma and history of this class of drugs, and even his own personal experiences trying various types of psychedelics with the help of guides and therapists. We also talk about the importance of “set and setting” in the latest research, who might benefit, and who might not.
We’ll certainly be hearing a lot more about this type of intervention in the years to come. Join me in learning about the latest research on psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy in this week’s episode of The Doctor’s Farmacy.
Wishing you health and happiness,
Mark Hyman, MD