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Can magic mushrooms be used to treat depression?

Back in the fifties and sixties, psycheldic drugs like LSD were being used to treat depression. But in 1967, they were banned and classified as having no medical use, making them incredibly difficult to research. It’s a move that Professor David Nutt claims is the “worst censorship of research in the history of the world”. 

He’s been championing the potential that drugs like magic mushrooms, ketamine and ecstasy have to transform our understanding and treatment of mental illness. Leading the way with fascinating research, David’s famous for his assertions that ecstasy is less dangerous than horse-riding and alcohol, statements which led to his dismissal as the government’s drugs tsar. 

In our latest MQ Open Mind, he talks about his work looking at psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, to treat depression and addiction. He explains why he thinks it’s working and what happens in the brain when people are on a ‘trip’. 

David goes onto to explore the “crazy bureaucracy” involved in studying illicit substances, which leave him “treated like a drug dealer”. He maps out a future where psychedelic drugs are part of the solution to a more mentally healthy world.

Listen to this epsiode and others on iTunes or Podbean.

Last updated: 3 July 2018

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