Tesla CEO Elon Musk recently stated on Twitter that psychedelic substances and other plant-based drugs were effective as treatments for a number of mental health conditions. Musk has in the past smoked a joint during a livestream video.
The tweet in question is an excerpt from a conversation between a pair of Twitter users, one of whom referred to a feature on the New York Times, which discussed Adderall. The other user replied to the tweet, noting that prescribed psychedelic drugs would soon replace selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and amphetamines, probably in the next decade. SSRIs are antidepressants commonly prescribed to alleviate the symptoms of depression.
This is when Musk responded to the tweet, noting that he’d interacted with many individuals who were helped by ketamine and psychedelics more than amphetamines and SSRIs.
Tesla’s CEO is right, given the multiple ongoing studies surrounding the use of psychedelic drugs as alternative treatment options for a range of conditions at a time when the United States is grappling with an unprecedented mental health crisis. Legal psychedelic drugs are expected to disrupt the multibillion-dollar mental health field as more clinical trials are conducted that focus on the use of substances such as MDMA, ketamine and psilocybin in conjunction with therapy for conditions such as severe PTSD.
For instance, the Imperial College London is carrying out a phase IIa trial that is looking into the effectiveness of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in treating alcohol use disorder patients. Compass Pathways has also developed a synthetic psilocybin therapy dubbed COMP360 for managing symptoms of treatment-resistant depression. The company plans to carry out its phase III trial on the therapy soon.
Additionally, Mind Medicine Inc. (NASDAQ: MNMD) (NEO: MMED) (DE: MMQ) was recently permitted by the FDA to advance its MM-120 phase II trial on the use of LSD as the treatment of generalized anxiety disorder. Furthermore, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is advancing a phase III trial involving the evaluation of MDMA as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder.
Currently, treatments that use ketamine are the sole psychedelic therapy that is federally legal in the United States. This may help explain why so many ketamine clinics are being launched in different parts of the country.
These clinics offer some degree of relief to the significant numbers of Americans suffering from major depressive disorder that haven’t had any luck with SSRIs. This is significant progress especially if one considers that a couple of years ago, the psychedelic sector was mainly comprised of a small number of academics and some risk-taking investors.
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