There’s a high chance you’ve come across the term “psychedelic” before, and you’ve probably been wondering what exactly this term means. Psychedelic drugs, also known as psychedelics or hallucinogens, are a class of substances observed to have psychoactive effects. This means that they are capable of inducing changes in sensory perception, awareness, and emotions of individuals when ingested. Psychedelic drugs can also cause visual and auditory hallucinations and an altered sense of time.
When most people hear the term “psychedelic drug,” they immediately associate it with something illegal like drug abuse. This is understandable; after all, most of these psychedelic drugs are commonly abused and used as party drugs due to their psychoactive effects. Nevertheless, the fact remains that there is a lot more to psychedelic drugs than just being substances of abuse.
In recent years, there has been increased integration of psychedelics in treating and managing various mental illness conditions like depression, anxiety disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and so on. This increased adoption is because these psychedelics (e.g., ketamine) have been shown to be very effective in promoting relief and recovery from mental disorders, even in treatment-resistant cases.
It is interesting to note that psychedelics have been around for quite some time, and since their discovery, allusions have been made to their therapeutic efficacy. Psychedelics also played prominent roles in various religions and cultures worldwide. In the 1950s, psychedelics were widely used in various psychotherapy approaches, but this use eventually dwindled when they were outlawed. Although the outlawry of psychedelics did little to stem their use, it did affect further research into possible medical applications.
In recent times, however, the use of psychedelics in conjunction with psychotherapy is becoming more common. Psychedelic drugs like ketamine and psilocybin are “enjoying” medical attention due to their discovered efficacy in treating mental disorders. Further research is ongoing on other psychedelic drugs to verify whether they can be used for the treatment and management of mental disorders.
At this point, it should be said that not every substance with a psychoactive effect is used for treating and managing mental disorders. This is largely due to the fact that the use of psychedelics for treating mental disorders is still in its early stages, and not all psychedelics have been ascertained to have beneficial therapeutic effects. However, some have been successfully used to treat different mental illness conditions. They include the following:
Ketamine is the most common psychedelic used in mental disorder treatment. Studies have shown that ketamine has very impressive antidepressant activities, validating its use for treating depression and treatment-resistant depression. Further research on ketamine has led to the development of Esketamine (Spravato), a nasal spray with ketamine as its active ingredient.
If the name “MDMA” doesn’t ring a bell, Ecstasy certainly will. MDMA is one of the most commonly abused psychedelic drugs due to its ability to cause mood elevation and hallucinations. Beyond this, however, MDMA has also been discovered to be very effective for treating mental illness conditions, e.g., PTSD. In fact, it has very strong anti-PTSD effects.
Unlike all of the aforementioned psychedelics, LSD is purely synthetic; it is chemically produced in labs. LSD is very effective in treating anxiety disorders and alcohol use disorders, especially in people with terminal conditions.
Psilocybin, commonly called magic mushrooms, is a quite popular substance of abuse, especially at parties, thanks to its strong hallucinogenic effects. But beyond its use as a party drug, studies have shown that psilocybin is an excellent treatment option for treatment-resistant depression and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
Do you have questions about psychedelic therapy? If you are, then reach out today and get answers to all your questions about psychedelic-assisted therapy. Also, if you’re searching for a treatment center that can offer you quality, comprehensive psychedelic therapy, then PMC Psychedelic and Behavioral Medicine Centers of America is the perfect place for you. Give us a call or leave a message and let’s help you get started on your recovery path.