Alan K. Davis, PhD, of the Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research at Johns Hopkins University, discusses his important work researching the powerful and positive effects of psilocybin on depression sufferers.
Dr. Davis has vast clinical experience in multiple areas and he regularly works with people who are dealing with trauma-based psychological problems, including addiction, PTSD, depression, and anxiety.
Dr. Davis discusses his research, and his work as a guide for psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy for people suffering from depression. The doctor’s work focuses on psychedelic research that includes clinical trials with psilocybin (the active psychedelic ingredient in “magic mushrooms”) for people with depression. His research explores the many psychological mechanisms through which the psilocybin can potentially ameliorate mental health and functioning. Remarkably, approximately 50% of the people who participated in their study stated that their depression was completely eradicated after about one month of treatment. And following up, at the three and six month marks, Dr. Davis states that a good number of those people are still free of depression entirely. Dr. Davis explains their treatment process and how actual psychotherapy is an integral part. As he states, it’s important to build a rapport with study participants and create a level of trust, so they are comfortable with the environment and the process.
Dr. Davis talks about some of the upcoming trials and the data that the FDA will need to approve the psilocybin as a specialty drug that can be prescribed by psychiatrists or general practice doctors and then administered by psychologists, social workers, and counselors. Dr. Davis discusses some of the states that are working to push legislative changes, and how the DEA is involved with the scheduling of the drug.
Continuing, Dr. Davis discusses in detail the mechanisms that allow psilocybin to work. As he states, the psilocybin takes action on serotonin, a neurotransmitter in the brain. Dr. Davis explains that serotonin is the chemical in the brain that regulates many things such as mood, appetite, and sleep. And as depression sufferers often experience negative mood, decreased or increased appetite, and sleep disruption, psilocybin is potentially a great alternative for depression, especially for those people who have found no relief through other meds that are typically prescribed for depression.