What is it?
Psychedelics, also known as hallucinogens, are a class of psychoactive substances that are traditionally used recreationally, to change and enhance sensory perceptions, thought processes, and energy levels. Some are derived from plants, like psilocybin (mushrooms), DMT, peyote, ayahuasca, and ibogaine. Others — including ketamine, MDMA, and LSD — instead are chemical compounds. Psychedelic-assisted therapy entails using a high dose of a psychedelic substance to treat a variety of behavioral and mental health issues such as addiction, mental health conditions like depression and anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Most recently, renewed interest and investment have fueled additional research, much of which is ongoing. Currently, ketamine is the only clinician-prescribed psychedelic medicine available to mental health professionals. Ketamine-assisted psychedelic therapy typically combines the support of psychotherapy with the medicinal effects of ketamine, to alleviate symptoms of severeor treatment resistant depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions.
Other hallucinogens such as MDMA and psilocybin are currently being tested to treat behavioral and mental disorders such as PTSD, suicidal ideation, drug and alcohol dependence, and depressed mood and anxiety. LSD, a long lasting, potent psychedelic is also currently being tested to help treat both alcohol use disorder and anxiety.