Exploring the Psychedelic Frontier: Promising Studies on Psychedelics for Treating Depression

Headshot of Charles Maddix APRN, MSN, PMHNP-BC
Charles Maddix, APRN, MSN, PMHNP-BC
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February 14, 2023

Psychedelics, once considered as dangerous and illegal drugs, have emerged as a promising alternative treatment for depression. Recent studies have shown that certain types of psychedelic drugs, such as psilocybin and ketamine, have the potential to alleviate symptoms of depression and improve the overall well-being of individuals suffering from this debilitating condition. In this blog post, we will discuss some of the interesting new studies that have explored the use of psychedelics for treating depression.

Psilocybin and depression:

Psilocybin, a compound found in certain types of mushrooms, has been used for centuries for its psychedelic effects. However, recent studies have shown that psilocybin may also have therapeutic effects for depression. One of the most notable studies in this area was conducted by researchers at Imperial College London, who found that psilocybin was effective in reducing symptoms of depression in patients who did not respond to conventional treatments. The study found that psilocybin increased connectivity between brain regions associated with emotional processing, leading to an overall improvement in mood.

Ketamine and depression:

Ketamine, a dissociative anesthetic, has also been shown to have rapid antidepressant effects. A recent study published in JAMA Psychiatry found that ketamine was effective in reducing symptoms of depression in individuals with treatment-resistant depression. The study found that ketamine rapidly improved mood and reduced suicidal ideation, with effects lasting for up to two weeks. Additionally, another study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found that repeated doses of ketamine led to sustained improvement in mood over a longer period.

MDMA and depression:

MDMA, also known as ecstasy, has been investigated for its potential therapeutic effects in treating depression. A recent study published in Nature Medicine found that MDMA-assisted therapy was effective in reducing symptoms of severe PTSD, which often co-occurs with depression. The study found that MDMA increased feelings of empathy and trust, leading to a reduction in symptoms of PTSD and depression.


The use of psychedelics for treating depression is a relatively new area of research, but the preliminary results are promising. These studies suggest that certain types of psychedelic drugs, such as psilocybin, ketamine, and MDMA, have the potential to alleviate symptoms of depression and improve the overall well-being of individuals suffering from this condition. However, it is important to note that the use of these drugs remain illegal in the US and have only been used in controlled, research settings under the guidance of trained professionals. Additionally, more research is needed to fully understand the long-term effects of these drugs on mental health. Nonetheless, the potential of psychedelic drugs as a new avenue for treating depression offers hope to those struggling with this debilitating condition.

Charles Maddix is the Owner & CEO of The Practice.  A private practice focused on the well-being of the individual as a whole, mind and body.

Among the unique modalities offered by The Practice are:

Ketamine Infusion therapy– Ketamine infusion therapy involves the administration of a series of infusions for the management of psychiatric disorders like major depressive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, and acute suicidality.  Working very quickly — in many, often within hours — to ease symptoms.

Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy - Bioidentical hormone replacement therapy (BHRT) uses hormones that are chemically identical to the hormones naturally produced in the human body. Derived from plant sources and formulated to match the molecular structure of hormones produced by the body. BHRT is used to treat symptoms of hormonal imbalances, in both men and women.

NeuroStar® TMS – NeuroStar® TMS delivers our advanced and unique form of TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation), a non-invasive therapy that uses targeted magnetic pulses to stimulate areas of the brain that are underactive in people suffering from depression.

Opioid Replacement Therapy - Opioid replacement therapy (ORT) is an effective treatment for addiction to opioid drugs such as heroin, oxycodone, hydromorphone (Dilaudid), fentanyl and Percocet. The therapy involves taking the opioid agonists buprenorphine (Suboxone). This medication works to prevent withdrawal and reduce cravings for opioid drugs.

Invega Sustena – a once-monthly injection treatment approved by the FDA for bipolar 1 disorder maintenance. This eliminates the need for daily oral medications in appropriate patients.Allergy Immunotherapy -

Allergen immunotherapy, also known as allergy shots, is a long-term treatment that decreases symptoms for many people with allergies often leading to lasting relief of allergy symptoms even after treatment is stopped. This makes it a cost-effective, beneficial treatment approach for many people.

Please call 904.877.1100 if you are interested in any of our services or would like to schedule an appointment.  Visit us at thepractice.co to learn more!