Why We Should Change How We View Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy

Research on psychedelics began long before the substances were made illegal in the 1970s. When they were banned, the promising research on the substances ground to a halt — until recently. The current search for alternative and effective treatments for various mental health conditions has renewed interest in these substances, which have been used by different Indigenous communities for centuries.

Now, more people are opening up to the idea of psychedelic substances being used in combination with psychotherapy to treat mental health disorders. Psychedelic substances, which are sometimes referred to as hallucinogens, cause hallucinations. Examples of these substances include ayahuasca, mescaline, LSD and magic mushrooms.

Some psychedelic substances also induce a feeling of being disconnected or not in control of one’s environment and body. These substances are known as dissociative drugs, and they include salvia, ketamine and PCP. Other types of psychedelics include MDMA, which is an enactogen and ibogaine, or an atypical hallucinogen.

At the moment, not many practitioners are using psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy as a mode of treatment. In itself, psychotherapy’s role is to change dysfunctional thinking patterns by teaching coping skills and strategies. On the other hand, psychedelic substances are used to help patients to be more open to adopting those coping strategies and skills.

As we know, psychedelics change the way an individual processes their behavior, emotions and thoughts or impacts their subjective perspectives. It is this change in awareness and perception that affords psychedelic substances the potential to make psychotherapy even more effective.

An independent agency, CADTH, recently sought to determine whether psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy was effective. It did so by finding systematic reviews on different combinations of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD, substance use disorder, mood disorders and anxiety disorders. CADTH mainly focused on psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy for treatment-resistant depression and MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for post-traumatic stress disorder. In addition, the agency reviewed randomized controlled trials, two of which examined ketamine-assisted psychotherapy for substance dependence or use.

The agency found that both the randomized trials and the systematic reviews came to the conclusion that psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy caused an improvement in outcomes and symptoms. The agency notes that in addition to effectiveness, it looked into the potential risks of using psychedelic substances with psychotherapy. To do so, it reviewed a pair of safety trials that investigated the safety of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for post-traumatic stress disorder and another for alcohol use disorder. CADTJ discovered that the treatment was well tolerated and safe for use.

There is so much compelling evidence for the therapeutic potential of psychedelics that companies such as Tryp Therapeutics Inc. (CSE: TRYP) (OTCQB: TRYPF) are looking beyond mental health and studying the possibilities in treating additional indications, including fibromyalgia.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Tryp Therapeutics Inc. (CSE: TRYP) (OTCQB: TRYPF) available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/TRYPF

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