In this episode, we have a discussion with Ted Perkins about the use of psychedelics to treat addiction and other mental health challenges such as PTSD, and clinical depression.
About Ted Perkins
When Ted grew up, he was surrounded by alcohol use as something entirely normal and necessary as part of life. His parents worked as diplomats and cocktail parties were part of the job. In his adult years, Ted carried this into his work as well, but in time his drinking became problematic. He addressed the problem in SMART Recovery, where he now facilitates meetings and works in their media department.
Ted’s Interest in Psychedelics
Ted used psychedelics in high school and found that he gained some profound insights from the experiences. In one instance, an experience led to the healing of a troubled relationship he had with his sister. Later in life, as he got into recovery, he became interested in how psychedelics could help him and others achieve insights that could help resolve issues surrounding addiction and alcohol use disorder.
In recent years there have been a number of articles published about the promise of psychedelics for successfully treating depression, PTSD, and anxiety in controlled clinical settings. In some states in the US, the use of psychedelics has been approved to treat certain disorders. Psychedelic mushrooms for example were approved in Oregon for use with patients under palliative care.
Lifting the Stigma
Ted says the public has a misperception of these drugs being dangerous and this is closing minds to the idea that in a controlled setting, they can help many people with debilitating mental health problems. The promise is that people can gain insight in a short period of time to help resolve their problems, saving years that it would take to have these insights through talk therapy.
People take very small quantities of LSD and are able to function, but the dose helps them with their depression. A good book on this subject is A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My Life, by Ayelet Waldman
Why are Psychedelics Effective?
We don’t know yet know why these drugs are effective in treating addiction and other mental health challenges, but studies are underway and the answer may someday be known. Ted believes it is possible that psychedelics may be treating the issues that underlie addiction, but more research is needed to know for sure.