For 50 years, psychedelic substances have been classified as Schedule 1 substances, meaning they have no medicinal value and a high potential for abuse. Over the last decade and a half, however, academic studies and human trials have demonstrated promise in the treatment of various diseases with these same psychedelic drugs. Organizations behind the development of the drugs MDMA and psilocybin have were granted “Breakthrough Therapy Designation” in 2019, meaning the FDA has agreed that these treatments may have meaningful advantages over available medications. In March 2019, the drug esketamine, a more potent form of the psychedelic ketamine deliver nasally, was approved by the FDA to treat treatment-resistant depression. So how did we get here?
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