Psychiatry Tech presents Future Of Mental Health #46: Dr. Matthew Johnson on Psychedelics and Therapy

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Stigma around psychedelics appears to be fading in this country. Interest in evidence-based ways to enhance treatment is on the rise – including research into the potential found by adding psilocybin–otherwise known as magic mushrooms–as well as MDMA, Ketamine, LSD, and Ayahuasca, especially with the expansion of mental health needs brought on by the pandemic. Studies are showing exciting results about the possibility for psychedelics to help people with treatment-resistant mental health disorders, including chronic depression, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and substance use disorder.   “This is what makes psychedelics unique as potential medicines: they sort of open a window of opportunity, and we know biologically, there seems to be more mental flexibility. And based on animal research more–what we call–neuroplasticity.” – Dr. Matthew W. Johnson, Ph.D.


But there is still much to learn about what these medications do, how they work, how to administer them safely, and how to mitigate the risks they may pose, especially as recreational use of psychedelics may increase as a side-effect of their increasing visibility. 


Our guest, Dr. Matthew W. Johnson, is the Susan Hill Ward Professor in Psychedelics and Consciousness, and Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Johns Hopkins. He is one of the world’s most published scientists on the human effects of psychedelics, and has conducted seminal research in the behavioral economics of substance use , and risk behavior. 


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