Psychedelic Treatment in Minneapolis–Not So New

Psychedelics are considered a relatively new and promising form of therapy for treating depression, anxiety, PTSD, and other trauma related disorders. While this is new to Western medicine, it has been used by indigenous people around the globe for thousands of years. As modern psychedelics go, Minneapolis has been on the forefront, and our own Dr. Brian Johns, conducted a study in 2014 that was instrumental in bringing a psychedelic drug out of hospital-only use to mental health clinics as an ongoing out-patient treatment. 

According to Dr. Johns, “When administered in a safe, controlled setting, certain psychedelics can help recalibrate the brain by growing neurons and helping them respond better to neurotransmitters that improve our mood.” These therapies are often used as part of an augmentation strategy with talk therapy or Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS). Psychedelics can even improve responses to other depression treatments.

The four main psychedelics that are currently being studied for use in depression patients include:

  • Ketamine (already FDA-approved)
  • Psilocybin
  • MDMA
  • LSD

Ketamine – An Approved and Proven Psychedelic

Leading the way as a clinically available and heavily studied psychedelic, ketamine was FDA-approved as an anesthetic in 1970, and the brand-name version, esketamine (Spravato), is the only FDA-approved treatment for suicidal thoughts. Ketamine has been used for psychiatric treatment and proven successful for many patients who tried multiple other antidepressants without relief.

Emerging Psychedelic Treatments

Other psychedelic medications are still being studied and are not yet approved for patients to use unless you are part of a clinical trial. However, the findings so far look promising. Even so-called psychedelic clinics in Minneapolis are waiting on further approval of newer psychedelic treatments and rely primarily on ketamine for now, and with good reason.  

Oregon is the first state to legalize psilocybin and many other states are in the process of legalizing the drug. The drug may only be administered by trained professionals for use in adults 21 years and older.  

The FDA is looking to approve the use of psilocybin and MDMA for treatment-resistant depression (TRD), major depressive disorder (MDD), and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) because psychedelic medications provide far better results than traditional antidepressants (Psychiatric Times). For patients with “treatment-resistant” mood disorders, the benefits of these medications far outweigh the potential dangers. For depression patients who feel hopeless, these medications could be life-saving. 

While there are more studies and trials that are needed before psilocybin, MDMA, and LSD can be used as a mood-altering medication, ketamine is available now. It is important that you receive ketamine from a mental health professional who has experience treating patients with similar psychiatric symptoms. 

To get started, meet with a mental health practitioner who offers ketamine or Spravato, such as at Advanced Brain and Body Clinic Ketamine TMS, to determine if ketamine is right for you. Please know that ketamine may not be right for everyone. For example, patients with psychosis or bipolar disorder must be working with a prescriber and taking medications appropriately, as ketamine alone can worsen both conditions. 

We are excited about the promising results that have been found thus far regarding additional psychedelic medications and are working with researchers at the University of Rochester to develop a pilot program. Our team of mental health professionals is always looking for the best treatments for our patients. If these additional psychedelic medications continue to provide consistent, positive results, we hope to add them to our mental health treatment solutions to help our patients feel better and live happier. 

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