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Psychedelics Could Aid In Treating Mental Health Disorders

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Psychedelic Swirl
Patty Talavera
Psychotherapy is crucial to the use of hallucinogenics and provides insights from the psychedelic trip a patient may experience.

Psychedelic drugs often have a negative connotation but ongoing clinical trials show they can be beneficial to some patients.

A relatively new option is on the market for patients with severe depression who don't respond to traditional pharmaceuticals.

In 2019, the Food and Drug Administration approved esketamine, a derivative of the anesthetic ketamine, for use in "treatment resistant depression or major depression with suicidal features," said Dr. Tyler Kjorvestad, director of the Comprehensive Depression Assessment and Treatment Clinic at The University of Kansas Health System.

Two other psychedelic drugs, psilocybin, a component in magic mushrooms, and MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy, have been granted emergency use authorization to conduct clinical trials.

For treatment of post traumatic stress disorder,"MDMA may be ground breaking," said Dr. Kjorvestad.

Kjorvestad says FDA approval is on the horizon for psilocybin and MDMA, which he cautioned should not be used outside of approved clinical trials.

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When I host Up To Date each morning at 9 a.m., my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. My email is steve@kcur.org.
Elizabeth Ruiz is a freelance producer for KCUR’s Up To Date. Contact her at elizabeth@kcur.org or on Twitter at @er_bentley_ruiz
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