December 22, 2016 – Use of Psilocybin


Anchor lead: While psilocybin can be helpful to people with cancer, caution is needed, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Psilocybin helped people with cancer relieve depression and anxiety, a study conducted jointly at Johns Hopkins and NYU has shown. Roland Griffiths, a psilocybin researcher at Johns Hopkins, says more than 80% of participants were helped, but that doesn’t mean people should attempt to recreate these findings on their own.

Griffiths: It’s important to recognize that psilocybin is an illegal drug, and it’s a potentially dangerous drug when used under conditions where people are not carefully screened, and prepared and supported during sessions. We foresee that if approved by FDA as a medicine, psilocybin would be available under very constrained conditions, with clinicians who were trained in psilocybin supported therapy.  :30

Griffiths says conversations with FDA are underway to reclassify psilocybin as a drug with therapeutic value and to undertake phase three trials with that objective in mind. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.