Recent studies have suggested that just a single dose of psilocybin or MDMA combined with therapy helps patients with PTSD and other mental illnesses. The results have been significant enough that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has designated such treatments as breakthrough therapies. Last year, researchers at the University of Michigan published a study that shows psychedelics have the potential as an alternative treatment option for patients struggling with PTSD.
“There is a lot of buzz around these compounds because of some of the early studies with these compounds have shown promising results,” said Dr. Avinash Hosanagar of the University of Michigan. “We are realizing that they have profound effects on human consciousness and they can have a profound effect on mental health conditions.”
Doctors say that while the risk of addiction or overdose is considered low with psychedelics, especially under medical supervision, experts caution that there are serious psychological risks, especially for people with certain forms of mental illness or a family history of conditions like schizophrenia or bipolar disorder.
“We are being very careful in terms of how we do these studies. They’re done in highly controlled environments and patients are under the supervision of trained mental health professionals,” Hosanagar said.