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Psychedelic Drugs Offer Effective New Psychiatric Treatments

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Fruit bodies of the hallucinogenic Psilocybin mushroom (Psilocybe semilanceata) (Alan Rockefeller/MushroomObserver.com via Wikimedia Commons)

For months, the world’s leading science journals have been filled with the news of late-stage medical research trials on new drug treatments for disorders such as post-traumatic stress syndrome, clinical depression, and drug and alcohol addiction. What makes these treatments so remarkable is that they employ two powerful psychedelics, or hallucinogenic, compounds that have provided patients with significant - and lasting - relief.

The startling results have spring-boarded two once-taboo drugs – psilocybin and MDMA (aka "Ecstasy") – into mainstream medicine. Both psychedelics appear to be moving toward eventual FDA approval for clinical therapeutic use. Some states have already made them legal.

Today on Midday: the potential, and perils, of psychedelic psychiatry. Two of the nation’s leading researchers in this burgeoning field join Tom for the hour:

Dr. Rick Doblin is the founder and executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, or MAPS, a Boston-based non-profit research, education and advocacy organization. Dr. Doblin leads more than a hundred neuroscientists, pharmacologists and regulatory specialists on a mission to bring psychedelic psychiatry into the medical mainstream. Dr. Doblin joins us on our digital line from New York City…

Dr. Roland Griffiths is a psycho-pharmacologist and professor of Psychiatry and Neurosciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He’s also a specialist in mind-altering meditation practices, and the founding director of the two year-old Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research. He is the author of a landmark 2006 study showing the beneficial effects of psilocybin. Dr. Griffiths join us on Zoom…

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Dr. Rick Doblin (left) is founder and executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, or MAPS; Dr. Roland Griffiths is founding director of the Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research (MAPS/Hopkins)

Our guests also address listener questions and comments.

Host, Midday (M-F 12:00-1:00)
Rob is Midday's senior producer.