Psychedelic therapy is a therapeutic method involving the administration of a psychedelic drug in a clinical setting. Clinical research shows that ingesting a psychedelic drug in a controlled setting with a trained professional can induce an experience that is medically safe and that provokes profound, durable psychological and behavioral change.
Recent research shows psychedelic therapy can benefit people suffering from a wide array of challenges. The psychedelic drug psilocybin, when administered in a controlled setting, has been shown to significantly reduce anxiety and depression in cancer patients struggling with an end-of-life diagnosis. Additionally, a variety of psychedelic drugs have shown promise in reducing, and even eliminating, addictive behavior.
Psilocybin works differently than pharmaceuticals, which need to be taken daily and often come with an array of adverse side effects. Preliminary research shows that psilocybin therapy can be effective and has an excellent safety track record. In a small number of psilocybin sessions with a trained facilitator, patients have found lasting relief from various forms of depression and anxiety.
Patient outcomes have been so promising that in 2019, the FDA granted psilocybin therapy a “breakthrough therapy” designation. This is done when research demonstrates a new treatment method is more effective than current standards of care.
Pioneering rigorous studies at leading medical research institutions such as Johns Hopkins, UCLA, and NYU show that psilocybin therapy works. It appears to be uniquely effective in treating depression, end-of-life anxiety, and addiction. A recent study from NYU showed that psilocybin therapy reduced depression and anxiety with cancer patients with 80 percent of patients, with few side effects. More studies have followed and medical psilocybin appears to be on track to get FDA approval in the coming years.