Currently Ketamine is the only legal psychedelic available outside of research settings, in the state of Minnesota. As more psychedelic medicines are made available for clinic use, IIT will incorporate them into practice.
Upcoming Drugs + Distinguishing Characteristics
MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, which is demonstrating promising results for PTSD is likely to be approved by the FDA in 1-2 years for clinic use. Psilocybin- assisted psychotherapy is also being studied and expected to be available in 3-5 years for clinic use. The 4-phase psychedelic therapy process that IIT currently uses for Ketamine, is the same general structure that IIT will use with future psychedelics.
MDMA Assisted Psychotherapy
The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is in the process of completing the 3rd and final phase of research that aims to examine the effectiveness of treating PTSD with the substance MDMA. The results are very promising, indicating that nearly 2/3 of participants no longer meet the criteria for PTSD by 12 months after their treatment has completed.
Once this research is analyzed, it will be submitted to the FDA for approval, and then trigger the rescheduling of MDMA from a schedule I substance to a Schedule 3. This will allow clinics like IIT to utilize MDMA in the psychedelic-assisted therapy model.
MDMA is expected to be approved by the FDA by the end of 2023 or beginning of 2024.
What is MDMA therapy?
MDMA is an incredible substance that seems to have a variety of applications when used in an appropriate and safe therapeutic context.
MDMA promotes the processing of challenging or traumatic memories, while calming the body, enhancing memory consolidation, and fostering a sense of self-compassion and trust. MDMA is being studied for the treatment of PTSD, social anxiety, end-of-life distress, eating disorders and general enhancement of healthy functioning.
Historically MDMA has been used in individual, couples and group settings, prior to it being rescheduled in the 1980s. Learn more at MAPS.org
Several institutions are researching the impact of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy on a variety of presenting concerns, including depression, anxiety and end-of-life distress.
Psilocybin is commonly referred to as the main ingredient in “magic mushrooms”.
Psilocybin is known for its ability to produce “mystical states of consciousness”, which may include:
- Experience of unity with the universe, ultimate reality
- Transcendence of space and time
- Global awareness
- Ineffability (words cannot describe it)
- Sense of awe, sacredness
- Increased knowledge of self, place in the world
- Deeply felt positive mood
These experiences may be regarded as “transpersonal”, meaning that they “go beyond” the boundaries of one’s personal lived experience, and involve contact with a deeper sense of meaning, purpose and reality. Such experiences can radically shift one’s understanding of themselves, what is important (and what is not), and that there is a larger purpose to their own experience and that of humanity.
Currently, several institutions are collecting data on psilocybin for various conditions, and it is expected that the FDA may approve it for clinical use in the next 3-5 years.
Learn more about Johns Hopkins research on psilocybin
Beyond MDMA and psilocybin, additional psychedelics are starting to be researched and we expect that more will become available in the coming years.