Currently, there are a number of ongoing and planned clinical trials looking into the use of psychedelic therapies in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Most of these trials focus on one particular psychedelic, MDMA, which is commonly known as ecstasy. However, other psychedelic compounds have also shown therapeutic potential, especially with regard to treating trauma.
Given that trauma comes in different forms, researchers are focused on addressing the primary/root causes of trauma using psychedelics. Here we discuss broad categorizations of trauma being targeted by psychedelics.
Trauma and sexual and emotional abuse
Research has found that psychedelics may be used to treat developmental trauma, including neglect and emotional abuse, which is usually correlated with internalized shame and complex symptoms of trauma. Prolonged exposure to developmental trauma, which is also known as child maltreatment, has lasting effects on a child’s biological, social, affective and cognitive development.
A study carried out in Brazil has found that MDMA may be used in the treatment of sexual abuse, which is known to severely affect an individual’s psychopathology and mental health.
Trauma and military combat
Most military veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder from trauma experienced during combat. Despite their numbers, there did not exist medications that could effectively treat this trauma without merely masking their symptoms or numbing them, until now.
Various not-for-profit organizations are now helping veterans access PTSD treatment using psychedelics. Additionally, the Veterans Administration is monitoring the use of psychedelics in treating post-traumatic stress disorder, with the Michael Debakey VA Hospital recently being permitted by the state of Texas to conduct its own research on MDMA, psilocybin and PTSD. This comes as legislators continue to fight for veterans’ access to psychedelics therapies.
Trauma and race
Racism is rarely recognized as a source of trauma, despite one 2011 study finding that the lifetime prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder among Black people was the highest and lowest among Asians. The study found that in comparison to Whites, minority groups were unlikely to seek treatment for PTSD.
Additionally, minority groups haven’t been well represented in PTSD clinical trials using psychedelics, as reported in a separate study, with the majority of participants being non-Hispanic White individuals.
This explains researchers’ focus on how post-traumatic stress disorder affects race/ethnic minorities in America and the need to invest in culturally sensitive and accessible treatment options.
Apart from this, other trials focusing on the use of psychedelics as treatments for other indications are also being conducted. Currently, there are a number of clinical trials looking into the effectiveness of psychedelics in treating neuropsychiatric disorders, including major depressive disorder and anxiety.
A number of companies, including Cybin Inc. (NYSE American: CYBN) (NEO: CYBN), are making progress in their efforts to identify psychedelic remedies for various mental illnesses, and it may not be long before approved therapies of this nature hit the market.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Cybin Inc. (NEO: CYBN) (NYSE American: CYBN) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/CYBN
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