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Psychedelic drugs ease depression and anxiety

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Psychedelic drugs can ease depression and anxiety—and improvements are seen after just one dose.

A group of 81 US Army vets were treated with two psychedelic drugs at a clinic in Mexico after they had complained of longterm depression, anxiety, and PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).  Many of them also had traumatic brain injury that affected their cognitive abilities.

The group was given just one dose of two psychedelic drugs one day apart: ibogaine hydrochloride, derived from the West African shrub iboga, and 5-MerO-DMT, a substance secreted by the Colorado River toad.  Both drugs are listed as Schedule 1 substances in the US—which means they supposedly have no therapeutic value and are dangerous.

Every person in the group reported big improvements in PTSD symptoms, depression, anxiety, insomnia and anger issues.  Around 86 percent had suffered head injuries during conflict which had affected their memory.  

Researcher Alan Davis, from Ohio State College’s Center for Psychedelic Drug Research and Education, which surveyed the vets after treatment, commented: “Improvements in cognitive functioning linked to brain injury were probably the most striking result.”

References
American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, 2023; doi: 10.1080/00952990.2023.2220874
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