Nearly 1 in 5 adults, or about 52.9 million people, in the U.S., live with some kind of mental illness. But, around 50% of Americans will experience mental illness at some point in their lifetime. Psilocybin, derived from “magic mushrooms,” has been the subject of several recent medical studies and is showing promise in alleviating symptoms of a variety of ailments.
Psychedelics like psilocybin have proven helpful in treating PTSD, depression, and addictions. Psilocybin has currently labeled a Schedule I illicit substance nationwide, alongside heroin and LSD. Schedule I substances “serve no legitimate medical purpose in the United States,” according to the National Drug Intelligence Center. But, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Reputable institutions like New York University have completed trials with promising results.
Studies conducted by researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine found psilocybin treatments for major depressive disorder symptoms had substantial antidepressant effects for up to a year for some patients. The FDA gave Breakthrough Therapy designation for psilocybin therapy for treatment-resistant depression.
New studies are being published regularly recognizing the medical benefits of psilocybin. For those suffering from mental illness and not finding relief through traditional treatments, psilocybin can be an excellent option.
Can Your Doctor Prescribe Psilocybin?
This is still an illegal substance at the federal level. While some states have decriminalized it, this is not a substance that your doctor can simply prescribe to you. The DEA will only issue a select number of licenses to those studying psilocybin with FDA-approved research.
That said, yes, doctors can prescribe psychedelics like psilocybin in certain situations. You won’t be able to pick this up from the pharmacy, though. Treatment will be conducted in controlled environments by licensed professionals.
Speaking to Your Doctor About Psilocybin
Speaking to your doctor, therapist, or mental health professional about psilocybin treatment is a big step. You will need to prepare yourself for the discussion.
Though this is considered a breakthrough therapy, it is not FDA-approved. There may be several clinical trials and research studies actively studying the effects of psilocybin, but medical research and regulation are still behind what most doctors would like to see.
Even if there was extensive research available, it is still an emerging therapy, making many health professionals hesitant. So, expect to face some hesitation and pushback from your doctor if they are not a psychedelic integration specialist.
Do Your Research
Your doctor will likely be hesitant, but they may not be familiar with this emerging treatment. So, you should do your research and come prepared. Be sure that you are using reputable and respected resources like the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies or the National Institute of Mental Health.
Know Your Options
Your doctor may still push back even with the research. But, in the end, you are ultimately the one in charge of your health. If you genuinely believe that you may benefit from psilocybin treatments, don’t let your doctor’s hesitation end the conversation.