October 20, 2022
Magic Mushrooms and the Promise of Psychedelic Therapy for Mental Health
In this presentation, we will explore the feasibility, in light of historical and current medical findings, of psychedelic therapy in the treatment of various mental conditions and diseases. On November 6, 2022, Coloradans will decide whether to legalize the use of psychedelics in clinical settings for the treatment of depression, anxiety, substance abuse and end-of-life distress as proposed in the Natural Medicine Health Act 2022 (NMHA) aka Initiative 58. This act “would create a state-regulated access model to make it legal for people to receive natural medicine services at licensed ‘healing centers’ and approved health care locations, like palliative care. It would also remove criminal penalties for the use of these natural medicines.” Since the FDA has allowed medical research on some of these agents, in particular psilocybin, an examination of the pharmacology, the importance of extra-pharmacological variables (i.e. setting and set), and where they operate (i.e. frontier between spirituality and science) will be presented. We will address some of the pros and cons of this proposed Act.
Jean Strahlendorf, Ph.D. is a retired Professor Emeritus of Biophysics and Physiology at Texas Tech University School of Medicine. Her research field was Cellular Neuroscience and included chemical synaptic transmission mechanisms, electrophysiology, and programmed cell death. She has a long- standing interest in the cellular effects of psychotropic agents.