Taking psychedelic drugs to ease death



Psychedelic drugs like MDMA and psilocybin are increasingly being used to treat difficult mental health issues like PTSD, and for palliative care. The field of psychedelic therapy emerged in the U.S in the 1950’s, but the drugs were banned in the 1970s by the federal government and set back the exploration of these therapies. More recently, a resurgence in scientific research has renewed interest in the potential of these drugs in controlled treatment settings. Neha speaks with a veteran about how MDMA helped him overcome crippling PTSD and visits a woman whose husband found relief from the anxiety related to his terminal illness after one dose psilocybin.

SOURCES & FURTHER READING

Psychedelics: Where we are now, why we got here, what we must do
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29476779
FDA Grants Breakthrough Therapy Designation for MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for PTSD, Agrees on Special Protocol Assessment for Phase 3 Trials
https://maps.org/news/media/6786-press-release-fda-grants-breakthrough-therapy-designation-for-mdma-assisted-psychotherapy-for-ptsd,-agrees-on-special-protocol-assessment-for-phase-3-trials

Individual Experiences in Four Cancer Patients Following Psilocybin-Assisted Psychotherapy
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29666578?otool=nynyumlib&myncbishare=nynyumlib

Active ingredient in ecstasy may help veterans with PTSD, study finds
https://www.cnn.com/2018/05/01/health/mdma-psychotherapy-ptsd-study/index.html

CREDITS
Producer: Neha Shastry
Camera: Mark Zemel, Ilie Mitaru
Editor: Nick Blatt
Supervising Producer: Allison Brown
Research: Page Ellerson, Bela Quintero

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