Special K, Ecstasy, Molly and magic mushrooms are known to most as club drugs, but could these psychedelics be mainstream medicine one day? A growing body of research suggests this may be the case.
As a physician who worked in a busy emergency department for more than a decade, I can tell you, our mental health crisis needs an overhaul. This is not exactly news to most, as mental health problems have grown to epidemic proportions in our country. Our shortcomings in treating mental health have gone on for far too long. It’s time for change.
A recent article in the New York Times chronicled the history of psychedelics, and talks about how they took a major step forward last month when the widely respected journal, Nature Medicine, published the results of Dr. Doblin’s lab study on MDMA (known in the club world as Ecstasy and Molly). It was the first phase 3 clinical trial conducted with psychedelic-assisted therapy, and found that when paired with counseling, MDMA was successful in treating patients with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Ketamine (Special K) paved the way
In 2019, I opened Innovative Ketamine to provide an additional treatment option to patients grappling with severe depression. Ketamine, an age-old anesthetic, has proven to be a game-changer for treating mood disorders. With a 75 percent success rate, patients are seeing life-changing results. Ketamine is now paving the way for other psychedelics to enter mainstream medicine.
When might we see MDMA and Magic Mushrooms in Medicine?
The latest research on MDMA, coupled with another recent study on psilocybin (magic mushrooms), leads experts to think FDA approval for these drugs may not be far in the future. This would be a huge step forward for the treatment of mental health disorders, giving patients options beyond traditional pharmaceuticals and therapy. I anticipate MDMA to be approved first, likely in the next couple of years, with psilocybin not far behind. In the meantime, more research is needed to determine all possible side effects.
The mental health crisis in our country has gone on far too long.
With the opioid epidemic at an all time high, physicians are eager to see progress with new therapies. Patients deserve options that can help them process trauma and work through mental health challenges that impact their quality of life. At Innovative Ketamine, we’ve seen tremendous success. Patients, some of whom were once suicidal, are now thriving and have achieved a quality of life they thought was impossible. I am eager to see new treatment options become available. When this happens, Innovative Ketamine will be among the first to offer these therapies in Chicago.