March 11, 2016Filed Under: Personal Injury

Could psychedelic drugs be used to treat PTSD?

Could psychedelic drugs be used to treat PTSD?

In previous posts we have written about how post traumatic stress disorder could be a side effect following a brain injury or a traumatic event such as a car accident. This debilitating condition can make life difficult for those suffering from it causing a variety of symptoms including anxiety, feelings of avoidance, trouble concentrating and issues with sleeping. They may appear for a short period of time or, in other situations, last for years. They can be difficult not only for those suffering from it but close friends and family as well. There is no one treatment that can address the symptoms.

Photo of bright colours and blurred lights to symbolize the effects of pychedelic drugs.
Photo by Thouston6 via CC BY-SA 2.0

A recent article in the Canadian Medical Association Journal looks into the use of psychedelic drugs to treat PTSD and similar conditions, such as anxiety. Drugs that are being looked at to aid people in these situations include:

  • MDMA
  • Psilocybin from magic mushrooms
  • LSD (acid)
  • Ayahuasca brew
  • Mescaline (peyote)

There is no question that using psychedelic drugs to treat PTSD and anxiety is not something most people would first consider, and there are certain risks that go along with their use. For example, in people who suffer from bipolar disorder, psychosis or have a family history of the conditions, it is possible that the use of the drugs could trigger a psychotic break. Because of this possibility, so far those who are participating in the study are being pre-screened and monitored.

Whether these drugs will ever be widely used to treat PTSD depends on multiple factors including the results of further testing. One such study is being conducted in Canada now, involving MDMA. We will provide updates on the potential treatment as they become available.

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