When I first heard about the use of psychedelics (like ketamine and psilocybin) for treatment of mental illness, I was skeptical. It just seemed too ripe for abuse.
But, there is a growing body of credible academic work suggesting that psychedelics when dosed properly and used in conjunction with therapy / other drugs can be a gamechanger — especially for treatment-resistant depression and suicidality — and that is incredibly exciting.
At the same time, as a former telemedicine startup operator, this makes me more alarmed by the numerous companies working to commercialize these. In the bid for venture-style growth, it’s all too easy to lose track of the “when dosed properly and used in conjunction with therapy / other drugs” part.
In any event, this article from Medicine at Michigan is a good overview of the recent research highlights in the field and why so many clinicians and scientists are excited.
“Ketamine has properties that make you stop thinking of suicide,” Parikh says. “We now have this potential of treating someone who’s been suffering a while in acute suicidal risk, and within 1.5 hours of being in the emergency room, they are no longer suicidal.”
Serious about psychedelics
Katie Whitney | Medicine at Michigan