Last May, Denver, Colorado, became the first city to decriminalize magic mushrooms, a decision that was reportedly influenced by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) acknowledging psilocybin (the hallucinogenic chemical found in magic mushrooms) as a form of “breakthrough therapy” for its ability to treat depression. Today, John Hopkins University further cements the idea that psychedelics may have some unique benefits by opening the Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research.
The center will test the ability of magic mushrooms and other psychedelic drugs to treat mental health issues and will be the first center of its kind in the US. The Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research will focus on applications of the drugs for treating opioid addiction, nicotine addiction, Alzheimer’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, eating disorders, depression, and other diseases.
In a press release, Paul B. Rothman, M.D., dean of the medical faculty at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine, explains,“Johns Hopkins is deeply committed to exploring innovative treatments for our patients. Our scientists have shown that psychedelics have real potential as medicine, and this new center will help us explore that potential.”
The center’s current funding (it received $17 million from donors) will support five years of research done by a team comprised of six faculty neuroscientists, experimental psychologists, clinicians, and five postdoctoral scientists.