Depression Cure? Could Psychedelic Drugs Like Special K, LSD, And Psilocybin Mushrooms Be An Answer? [Opinion]

Depression is now the world’s most widespread illness, according to Fortune. The World Health Organization, or WHO, estimates that 322 million people suffered from depression in 2015, and the suicide rate has increased by 24 percent in the United States from 1999 to 2014, according to the New York Times.

Psychedelic drugs like Ketamine have been found to be effective in treating depression in clinical settings. Ketamine, known on the street as Special K, has yielded tremendous results in fighting depression in clinical trials in the United States. Dr. Thomas Draschil of Noetic Psychiatry revealed the amazing results to KSL.

“There’s no drug that reduces depression as fast and as robustly as ketamine does. Almost all of the clinics were reporting 75 to 90 percent response rates. That number is so high, it’s difficult to believe.”

The popular psychedelic street drug Special K, or Ketamine, which has also been used as a safe anesthetic in traditional and veterinary medicine, is reportedly curing depression very effectively. Dr. Draschil explained that the psychedelic drug is typically injected twice a week for three weeks. Improvement begins in less than 24 hours of the first shot.

If psychedelic drugs effectively halt depression, which is epidemic in the world and especially in the United States, India, and China, then why aren’t these psychedelic drugs being given more research dollars? Why are psychedelic drugs like LSD and Psilocybin mushrooms still illegal and not being used more extensively to treat depression?

Most depression goes untreated, but depression can lead to suicide, even with traditional antidepressant therapy. Dr. Draschil told KSL this tendency to suicide under antidepressant treatment is not true when treating depression with the psychedelic drug Ketamine.

“You have no suicidal ideations and there is not only not depression — you are able to engage in life in a way that is satisfying. Now, that’s a rapid shift right there!”

The psychedelic drug Ketamine not only treats depression successfully, it seems to be beneficial for overall mental health, according to Dr. Draschil.

“People will start having experiences on ketamine or just after that have a lot of meaning to them. Ketamine kind of loosens the psyche. People tolerate more stress, so they will talk about and think about things they normally avoid.”

Ketamine is a psychedelic or hallucinogen, but there are other more gentle psychedelic drugs available on the streets, if not in the pharmacy. Psilocybin mushrooms have been declared the safest recreational drug by the Global Drug Survey, according to Collective Evolution who cite the new survey.

“Psilocybin — the active psychedelic compound found in ‘magic mushrooms’ — is responsible for fewer emergency medical treatments than any other drug in the world, with just 0.2% of its users having sought out medical help in the past year. Psilocybin has not only been found to be non-toxic and harmless to human health but also remarkably effective at treating depression, even in cases where other treatment modalities have failed.”

Psychedelic Psilocybin mushrooms
Psychedelic Psilocybin mushrooms by Eskymaks Shutterstock

LSD is also a non-toxic substance. It too is safer than most medications at least in terms of any potential for toxic overdose, according to the survey cited by Collective Evolution. Perhaps LSD would have fewer side effects than Ketamine, but Special K is far safer than leaving severe depression untreated.

Depression is a debilitating and deadly disease. Suicide is often a result of depression. In the United States alone, there is a suicide death every 12.3 minutes, and suicide is the second leading cause of death for people 15- to 44-years-old, according to the National Network of Depression Centers or NNDC.

If psychedelic drugs like Ketamine, Psilocybin mushrooms, and LSD are effective in curing depression, then further research in treating depression with psychedelic drugs seems merited. In the United States alone, more than 42,000 people die of suicide each year. Why isn’t more depression research using psychedelic drugs being funded?

Depression therapy with Ketamine is not cheap, at $350 per shot, and this psychedelic drug therapy is not covered by insurance. Depression research is not being well funded. NNDC points out that while there are just as many suicides in the U.S. as there are breast cancer deaths, depression receives only 1 percent of the money for research that breast cancer does.

Psychedelic drug treatments remain controversial, mostly because of the stigma western culture holds against psychedelic drugs and getting high. KSL mentions that many of Dr. Draschil’s detractors in the medical community fear that patients will seek out Special K on the street and use it without medical supervision, presumably abusing the psychedelic drug.

Depression impacts many people, and an estimated two-thirds of depression sufferers do not seek out medical attention for their condition. At this point, faced with the price of $350 per shot, the lines between recreational drugs and affordable self-treatment of a known medical problem begin to blur and prohibition of psychedelic drugs begins to seem cruel and dangerous.

If depression is best treated with psychedelic drugs, rather than antidepressants, then why not do that? And, why should ketamine, often found in veterinary offices, cost $350 per shot? Why isn’t psychedelic drug treatment covered by insurance when antidepressants are widely prescribed and covered?

psychedelics can successfully treat depression
psychedelics can successfully treat depression [Image by Agsandrew/Shutterstock]

Are psychedelic drugs a human right? An article in Express raised this question. Express cites Dr. Pal-Orjan who believes it is time to end the 50-year ban on psychedelic and hallucinogenic drugs.

“Over 30 million U.S. adults have tried psychedelics and there just is not much evidence of [psychedelic drugs causing] health problems. Concerns have been raised [that] the ban on use of psychedelics is a violation of the human rights to belief and spiritual practice, full development of the personality, and free time and play.”

Psychedelic drugs could potentially save over 42,000 lives per year, and relieve the suffering of 322 million depressed persons worldwide. While society debates the arbitrary ban of psychedelic drugs, people are suffering and dying.


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If depression can be cured by psychedelic and hallucinogenic drugs, then why not legalize them and put a halt to the rising suicide rate?

[Featured Image by Jozef Klopacka/Shutterstock]