Expanding access to legal cannabis and a surge of research into medical cannabis-based treatments have brought with them a renewed interest in the healing powers of another class of mind-altering substances: psychedelics. Cultural attitudes toward psychedelic drugs and experiences are shifting dramatically, and psychedelic-based treatments are rapidly gaining legitimacy among medical and health professionals.

But when it comes to evidence-based treatments, researchers have some catching up to do. Psychedelic compounds present myriad opportunities for major medical breakthroughs, but doctors and scientists need opportunities to study them. And The Medical University of South Carolina’s new Psychedelic Research Center, slated to open in mid-2021, will offer researchers exactly such a space to explore the vast medical and therapeutic potential of psychedelics.

MUSC Partners with Psychedelic Studies Association to Launch Research Center

Despite rekindled interest in the ancient traditions of psychedelic medicine, tripping to heal remains a fringe concept for many health practitioners. But over the past couple of decades, more scientists have begun to investigate the effects of psychedelic compounds on psychiatric problems. Their work has produced a number of exciting and promising studies that point the way toward groundbreaking treatments for mental illness.

Indeed, one of those studies was conducted by Dr. Michael Mithoefer, a researcher in MUSC’s department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences who’s also spearheading the development of the new psychedelic research center. Mithoefer recently co-authored a study on using MDMA alongside psychotherapy to help veterans, firefighters and police officers overcome chronic PTSD.

Other studies have found that the use of psychedelics can help treat anxiety and depression, ween people off of addictions to nicotine, alcohol and opioids

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