Blossom has mapped out all areas that psychedelics are being researched for. From the treatment of depression, to how psychedelics can help those with alcoholism. Psychedelics are showing overwhelming positive results in early trials. These trials are now moving into the final phases and multiple psychedelic-assisted therapies will be available before the decade is over.
These topics cover all areas where psychedelics as medicine are being researched for. Each topic is covered by first detailing the issue, the current treatments, and then how psychedelics might help. Finally, we also cover how psychedelic businesses are helping take these findings to patients. In not too many years, we believe, psychedelic-assisted therapies will become a tool in the psychologists’ toolbox.
There is estimated to be over 150 million people living with some form of substance use disorders worldwide. Thankfully, clinical trials are taking place all over the world using psychedelics like psilocybin, MDMA, ayahuasca, ketamine and ibogaine to treat these disorders and are producing positive results.
Anxiety impacts 300 million people. Psychedelics show promise in alleviating symptoms of anxiety. Studies over the last 20 years with LSD, MDMA, ketamine and more psychedelics are paving the way towards psychedelic-assisted therapy for anxiety.
Autism spectrum disorders are believed to affect 1 in 160 children globally. At present, there are no FDA-approved treatments for autistic adults. There has been little research to date regarding the use of psychedelics to treat autism spectrum disorders, however, one trial using MDMA yielded promising results.
There is estimated to be 45 million people living with some form of bipolar disorder across the globe. No trials have taken place using psychedelics to treat bipolar disorders as researchers are unsure if psychedelics may induce a manic episode in participants.
Though not studied nearly enough, some psychedelics (mainly ketamine) are being researched to help those with borderline. One trial is ongoing to study the effects of psilocybin on borderline that co-occurs with depression.
Chemists look closely at molecules and how they react together. This is also the case with psychedelics. This topic report covers how chemists play a role in discovering novel psychedelics, and the new ways of producing them.
Can psychedelics aid in creative pursuits? And if they can, how do they help? Creativity and psychedelics have long been a topic of discussion and some research is pointing out how they are intertwined.
The two most common eating disorders are anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, affecting roughly 16 million people globally. Current medications have limited success in treating people with these disorders. Research with psychedelics including MDMA and psilocybin to treat these disorders is underway.
If psychedelics are to become medicines at scale, the economics of the treatments do need to work. By work, I mean they will need to be cost-effective to a point that insurers are willing to provide the funds for them. Private (non-medical or non-insured) use will certainly have a place, but the real impact will be realised when psychedelics become part of mainstream healthcare.
Psychedelics have a long history and have been used for centuries. The knowledge that is possessed by indigenous communities and how they should be compensated is currently a hot topic in psychedelics.
Fibromyalgia is a condition that causes pain all over the body. Two percent of adults in the US currently suffer from fibromyalgia. Three clinical trials have started this year to investigate the effect of psilocybin on fibromyalgia.
Psychedelics are being investigated for several headache disorders. These include migraines and cluster headaches which are two separate, but both debilitating, headache disorders with different expressions and underlying processes.
Health behaviour change is the effort to change habits and attitudes to prevent disease. It refers to the motivational, wilful, and action-based processes of stopping health-compromising behaviour in favour of health-enhancing behaviour.
Healthy subjects or health normals is a term used for those who are currently not suffering from a mental health or substance use disorder. In psychedelic research, the term is often used to describe participants in Phase I or Phase II studies who are testing the safety of a treatment.
Nearly 4% of the world's population is affected by one of more than 80 different autoimmune diseases. Many of these diseases have no cure. Researchers believe that psychedelics have anti-inflammatory properties which may be used to treat these disorders.
Microdosing is the practice of regularly using low doses of psychedelic drugs. This relatively recent phenomenon was made popular through the anecdotal reports of young professionals from all walks of life, taking sub-hallucinogenic doses of psychedelics for a variety of reasons.
Music has long played a crucial role in psychedelic-assisted therapy (PAT) as it helps evoke emotions, guide patients through their inner journey, and create an optimal therapeutic environment. Modern guidelines recommend using music during PAT, and its importance has been recognized since the early stages of psychedelic research.
Neurocognitive disorders refer to a decrease in mental function due to something other than psychiatric illness. Dementia, Alzheimer's and traumatic brain injury are causes of neurocognitive disorders.
OCD affects an estimated 1-2% of the population and is ranked as one of the 10 most disabling illnesses in terms of lost income and decreased quality of life in tandem with medications like SSRIs is the most common treatment. Phase I studies using psilocybin to treat OCD are underway.
It is estimated that chronic pain affects at least 30% of the world’s population. The fallout from the Opioid Epidemic has spurred a new interested in finding more effective treatments for pain management. Some trials using psychedelics like psilocybin to treat phantom-limb pain and cluster headaches are underway.
End-of-life anxiety & depression happen to many patients with cancer. In this population, psychedelics research was restarted at the start of this century. Palliative care with psychedelics can help them out tremendously.
At the simplest level, personality entails the characteristic patterns of thoughts, feelings and behaviours that make a person unique. Personality is ever-changing and it is believed that psychedelics have the ability to influence these changes.
PTSD is generally grouped alongside anxiety disorders given the similar symptomology that is experienced. There is estimated to be over 300 million people living with PTSD globally. MDMA holds significant promise for treating PTSD and is in Phase III of the clinical trial process,
In the 70s, psychedelics were used as a relationship therapy tool. MDMA and 2CB were used then to enhance the therapeutic process. Modern research (and therapeutic use) of psychedelics for relationship coaching or therapy is still very limited.
Safety is of the utmost importance when discussing any sort of drug. Not only do scientists have to prove drugs are therapeutically effective, but they must also ensure drugs are safe for human consumption.
Schizophrenia and psychedelics have a long and intertwined history. First psychiatrists took LSD to better understand their patients as they believed that the acute LSD experience mirrored that of their patients. This perspective, of psychedelics as so-called psycho-mimetics persisted for a long time in academia and in the common understanding. Little research has been done on how psychedelics can help those with schizophrenia.
More than 700,000 people die by suicide each year. Suicidality is often linked to a range of mental health disorders including depression and substance use disorders. Ketamine is showing great promise to rapidly alleviate suicidal thoughts, something which is very important when we think of the outcome.
About 30% or one in three of those suffering from depression are dealing with so-called treatment-resistant depression (TRD). The name refers to that these patients have tried at least two treatment options, without success. Psychedelics may offer hope to those suffering from TRD.
Last Updated: 2022-03-25
Psychedelics for Mental Health, Pain, & Substance Use Disorders
Will psychedelics become one of the, if not the, treatment option for a variety of mental health & substance use disorders? This is the question that our research, and these topic pages, aim to answer. In the early 2020’s we are getting ever closer to confirming the validity of psychedelics (from ketamine to novel psilocybin derivatives) for helping treat mental health disorders.
This is only a part of the puzzle, the rest of the map still needs to be drawn and when we go from research to implementation, these pages will also closely track the development of psychedelics as medicine.