RALEIGH, N.C.(WNCN) – You’ve probably heard of ecstasy and magic mushrooms, but did you know psychedelic drugs are being studied as a treatment for debilitating mental health conditions?
Some North Carolina lawmakers want to fund research into these psychedelics. Representative John Autry, a Democrat from Mecklenburg County, plans to introduce legislation to fund studies of MDMA and psilocybin.
Autry and others sponsoring the bill say psychedelics could help people who have suffered from mental health issues for years. They want to see the state fund research into psychedelic compounds to treat mental health conditions.
Researchers would look at MDMA, often known as ecstasy, which has shown promise in some studies in treating PTSD. They could also study psilocybin, a compound in magic mushrooms, for depression and anxiety – particularly when it’s associated with a diagnosis of cancer or other life-threatening illnesses.
At a Tuesday news conference, veteran Jonathan Lubecky, said he suffered from severe PTSD after returning to Raleigh from the Iraq War, but he added that three MDMA treatments cured him.
“I went from the Fourth of July, before I went through MDMA-assisted therapy, being in my closet wearing body armor with my service dog having flashbacks,” he recalled. “Eight years later, I returned to a combat zone and performed admirably.”
Lubecky said he still goes through therapy when dealing with a traumatic event, but he does not experience PTSD.
An Asheville man, Ken Maxwell, said he suffered cluster headaches, a type of headache so painful and debilitating that they are sometimes called “suicide headaches.” He credits psychedelics for making life bearable again.
The legislation that would fund these studies is still in draft form right now. Bill sponsors are working on a final version.