After being reviled in the 1960s, we are now seeing a renaissance in the creation of psychedelic drugs to help treat depression and mental health issues.

Psychedelic psychotropics are attracting more and more attention. What was once classified as an illicit drug, with serious legal ramifications, is now becoming an accepted part of psychiatric and medical treatment for a range of conditions, including depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Psychedelics are a class of hallucinogenic drugs whose primary effect is to trigger states of consciousness, commonly known as “trips” or psychedelic experiences. Use creates psychological, visual and auditory changes, and often an altered state of consciousness.

Over the past two decades, there has been a growing renaissance in research into psychedelics, the pharmacological class of compounds that includes psilocybin, an ingredient found in so-called magic mushrooms. According to National Institute on Drug Abuse, psilocybin can produce perceptual changes, altering a person’s awareness of their surroundings and their thoughts and feelings. Psilocybin therapy has shown promise in research to treat a range of mental health conditions and addictions.

The global pandemic has exacerbated mental health issues due, in part, to relentless stress, anxiety, fear of the unknown, fears of losing jobs, catching and spreading the virus. The World Health Organization report that nearly one billion people worldwide suffer from mental health problems. In light of this mental health crisis, there is a growing demand for new approaches to treating depression and anxiety.

Mindset Pharma Inc. is a Canadian drug discovery and development company focused on creating optimized, patentable next-generation psychedelic drugs to treat neurological and psychiatric disorders. “Mindset is developing an array of next-generation differentiated medical psychedelics with the goal of improving several factors over first-generation psychedelic drugs,” said James Lanthier, CEO of Mindset.

Joseph Araujo, chief scientific officer and co-founder of Mindset Pharma, in an extensive interview, said that his company is actively working on the development of several new families of next-generation psychedelic compounds. He said Mindset had filed multiple patent applications in an effort to build a portfolio of psychedelic-inspired drugs.

He explained that psychedelics are a class of drugs that affect the brain’s serotonin receptors. It triggers changes in sight, hearing and thinking. These types of drugs are commonly referred to as LSD (acid), psilocybin (psychedelic mushrooms), MDMA (ecstasy), and DMT (dimethyltryptamine).

There has been a growing interest in the use of psychedelics. A new generation is excited to explore the possibilities of psilocybin, LSD, ayahuasca and MDMA. MDMA-assisted psychotherapy received Breakthrough Therapy designation from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration for the treatment of PTSD, then was approved for expanded access in 2019, and is currently in Phase 3 clinical trials.

Psilocybin has received breakthrough therapy designation for treatment-resistant depression and major depressive disorder. Psilocybin is being evaluated for smoking cessation, treatment of depression, and reduction of fear of death in people with terminal illness. Ayahuasca, containing DMT, is being evaluated for its ability to fight depression.

Ketamine is now prescribed to treat psychiatric disorders. Psilocybin, the psychedelic found in “magic mushrooms”, is the subject of research by Johns Hopkins, New York University, Massachusetts General Hospitaland University of CaliforniaLos Angeles, as a possible remedy for psychiatric symptoms.

the BBC previously reported that people in Silicon Valley were taking “magic mushrooms,” which are actually a dose of the LSD-like drug psilocybin. For example, $2,000 a month will get you your very own psychedelic travel guru. It will guide you through your mind-altering journey.

Taking mushrooms is a siren song that draws professionals into the fast lane to boost their creativity and dramatically improve their job performance. It’s like asking your doctor for a prescription for Adderall. White-collar professionals and students cite their attention deficit disorder to get prescribed medication that boosts their adrenaline, sharpens their focus, and helps people work better and faster.

Steve Jobs was said to have used psychedelics and mocked rival Bill Gates as “unimaginative” and suggested he drop LSD. Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert comic, YouTube and Periscope expert and resident of Northern California, claims he took mushrooms once and it was the best day of his life and he felt no limits to his life anymore and his professional success.

Psychedelic drugs, a category that includes psilocybin or magic mushrooms, LSD, DMT, MDMA and other psychoactive substances, are classified as Schedule I drugs by the United States Drug Enforcement Agency, which which means they have “no currently accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. The substances gained this status due to growing government fears of “bad trips” and distrust of the counter-cultural hippie movement, severely limiting any research into their effects and uses.

The newspaper Nature published the results of a Phase III clinical trial study of MDMA-assisted therapy. After three MDMA-assisted sessions, more than two-thirds of patients with severe PTSD had their symptoms reduced to the point where their condition no longer met diagnostic criteria.

In 2020, the state of Oregon legalized psilocybin, the psychoactive compound in psychedelic mushrooms. Other cities across the country have also decriminalized psilocybin. In February 2021, Cambridge decriminalized all entheogenic plants containing the psychedelics psilocybin, ayahuasca and ibogaine, joining Somerville and two other Massachusetts towns.

According to Daily Science“Previous studies have shown that psychedelic treatment with psilocybin relieved symptoms of major depressive disorder in adults for up to a month. Now, in a follow-up study of these participants, researchers are reporting that the antidepressant effects Substantial portions of psilocybin-assisted therapy, given with supportive psychotherapy, can last at least a year for some patients.

Yes Mindset Pharma and others working on these new drugs are successful, it will positively change the lives of many people. They could find a job and have a better quality of life. There will be an urgent need for more doctors, health practitioners, researchers and scientists to build on the foundation of what is happening now.

Margie D. Carlisle