Exposure therapy has been a common treatment for anxiety disorders (especially OCD) since the 70’s. It involves gradually exposing patients to triggering situations in a safe environment so they can work through their irrational response.
Now imagine being exposed to your triggers through immersive virtual reality… while on psychedelics.
It may sound scary, but psychedelics could actually provide feelings of safety and allow patients to change their perspective and response to the stimuli.
This is how Incannex Healthcare (IXL) plans to treat patients with severe anxiety disorders in upcoming trials in collaboration with Monash University.
MindMed’s latest study compared the experiences of LSD and psilocybin in high and low doses.
Subjects were assessed on a scale that measures changes in consciousness like feelings of unity and bliss, ego dissolution, auditory and visual sensations, spiritual experiences, and insightfulness.
Researchers found “no evidence of qualitative differences in altered states of consciousness” between the substances, except that LSD lasted longer. Any other differences could be attributed to the dose, not the substance.
They found that 20 mg psilocybin is equivalent to 100 µg LSD (a 1:200 ratio), and that body weight had no influence on the concentration of the drugs in blood plasma.
To learn more about psychedelic medicine, Dr. Adele Lafrance attended an ayahuasca ceremony with her parents. It was so transformative that she’s planning to conduct studies on how psychedelics can support healthy family relationships.
She explains that the ceremony “planted the seeds for deeper emotional intimacy” and allowed her family to talk about love in a vulnerable way for the first time. The experience helped her heal from painful childhood memories.
“Ifelt a level of understanding toward my parents that was so deep, forgiveness wasn’t necessary. It was beautiful.”