The FDA has approved the use of magic mushrooms as a treatment method for various psychiatric conditions.
The US Food and Drug Administration have given a group of psychiatrists permission to treat patients with magic mushrooms in therapy. Specifically, these trials aim to test the effects of psilocybin, the active chemical in psychedelic mushrooms.
While magic mushrooms will not be stocked up in pharmacies anytime soon, it represents a leap in changing public attitudes towards the drug.
Currently, psilocybin is categorised in Schedule 1 under the US’s Controlled Substances Act, making it illegal and of “no accepted medical value.”
Various scientists, however, have argued that the drug should be classified a Schedule 4 drug, amongst Xanax and the painkiller Tramadol. The trials are huge news for those who study the effects of psychedelics in psychiatry and public health.
While this doesn’t mean that the FDA will approve of psilocybin consumption anytime soon, it does show that the administration is looking to the substance as a new method of fighting conditions such as treatment-resistant depression, which affects up to half of people diagnosed.
Researchers also hope that the trials will help reduce public stigma against the drug and allow it to be explored as a potential form of treatment in the future.
Associate professor of psychiatry and behaviour sciences at Johns Hopkins University, Matthew Johnson, Ph.D, has said, that the trials “impl[y] that the FDA recognises the treatment is potentially one with a large impact on a largely under-treated condition.”
Although psilocybin will not be readily available for the public to consume or stocked up in pharmacies anytime soon, these sessions are indicative of the beginning of changing attitudes around the drug and exploring it as a viable treatment method.