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Ted Health: The Future of Psychedelic Medicines

Updated: Jan 17

Release Date:11/8/22

Podcast Duration: 38:19

5 Key Takeaways

  1. Emotional traumas can alter epigenetics (inherited traits) that are passed down to children

  2. Mental health directly correlates to the health of the physical body

  3. Psychedelics increase neural plasticity (the ability of the nervous system to use new pathways)

  4. Health insurance doesn't adequately cover mental health disorders

  5. Happiness is achieved when people are able to live in the present which can be achieved through psychedelics

This episode begins with Dr. Shashana Ungerleider introducing a panel of physicians that are experts in research and the practical application of psychedelic drugs for treating mental health conditions.

History of Psychedelics in the United States

  1. Doctors began studying psychedelic drugs like LSD in 1938

  2. William Richards did a large clinical study at Johns Hopkins in 1960

  3. Yielded incredible results for things like PTSD and depression

  4. During the same time period recreational use of these substances spread rapidly across America

  5. Very popular among youth subcultures such as Hippies in the 1960's and 1970's

  6. In 1973 the government declared psychedelics as a scheduled 1 substance making them illegal

  7. Research was then discontinued

  8. Research did not start again in the united states until the early 2000's

What are Psychedelics?

  1. "Psyche" means mind

  2. "Delic" means to show

  3. These are substances that heighten awareness (psychedelic state)

  4. Allow the brain to access different levels of consciousness

  5. Psychedelic states can be accessed several ways:

  6. Non Medicine

  7. Meditation

  8. Breath work (holotropic)

  9. Yoga

  10. Exercise

  11. Medicine

  12. Psilocybin

  13. Ayahuasca

  14. LSD

  15. DMT

  16. Ketamine

Stigma Behind Psychedelics

  1. In the 1990's the war on drugs began

  2. D.A.R.E (drug abuse resistance education) began teaching students about the dangers of drug use

  3. Showed images of "our brain on psychedelics"

  4. Compared it to frying the brain like an egg on a pan

  5. Told stories about people jumping off buildings "thinking they could fly"

  6. None of the information was backed by quality research

Psychedelics Today

  1. Huge investments are being made in psychedelic research

  2. Public perception of psychedelics is changing quickly

  3. Shifting away from the idea that these drugs cause harm and suicidal tendencies

  4. Psychedelics are among the lowest risk for damaging health

  5. Far less than cocaine, meth, heroine, opioids, prescription drugs

  6. Psychedelic churches are starting to emerge

  7. Religious entities that promote use of these substances

  8. Lots of lobbying to advocate for use in medical settings

  9. Medical use is known as "Psychedelic-assisted Psychotherapy"

  10. These Substances have become decriminalized in some states

  11. Experts think that psychedelics will follow a similar path as marijuana in society

  12. Psilocybin (mushrooms) and MDMA (molly/ecstasy) are likely to be approved by FDA in 2023 to treat mental illness

  13. Psychiatry is undergoing a Renaissance

  14. The research is starting to back up the claims

Psychedelics in Healing

  1. Use these drugs as a tool to transform consciousness

  2. Eliminate mental blocks from past emotional trauma

  3. Increases neural plasticity (the ability of the nervous system to use new pathways)

  4. Changes or inhibits negative pathways

  5. Shifts harmful and self destructive behaviors

  6. Doctors believe that we will be able to treat diseases that are rooted in the mind

  7. Studies done at Hopkins showed that even 1 dose of psilocybin (magic mushrooms) could dramatically diminish emotion distress linked to chronic illness

  8. A clinical trail through the FDA is studying psilocybin to treat depression and "burnout" of doctors and nurses who worked front lines during the pandemic

  9. Subjects are experiencing new patterns of thought and strategies of coping

  10. Need better insurance coverage for mental health vs physical health

  11. Physical and mental health are entirely the same

  12. If the mind is sick the body will suffer

  13. If the body is ill the mind cannot function properly

New Research

  1. New sciences allows us to examine genes, how they are turned on and off

  2. Starting to interface with ancient medicine ideology

  3. Studies show that passing of environmental stressors and traumas can change genetic makeup from one generation to the next

  4. Trauma can actually alter genetic expression that will be passed down to the next generation

  5. Neural connections are built around environmental experiences

  6. Research shows that by healing the mind epigenetics can change and healthy gene expression takes over

Psychedelics and Terminal Illness

  1. In the United States we have a different outlook on death

  2. American societies fear death, whereas other cultures embrace it as another process in the life cycle

  3. Fearing uncontrollable variables such as death requires a large amount of cognitive burden

  4. Psychedelics are being used to treat the mind when people are diagnosed with terminal illness

  5. People with terminal or life threatening illness are terrified of dying

  6. Very helpful for loved ones and caregivers of the terminally ill

  7. Need FDA approval to treat two people at the same time

  8. It appears that group assisted Psychotherapy can be very helpful

  9. Happiness is achieved when people are able to live in the present which can be facilitated through psychedelics

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