Episode 59

Psychedelics: Treating Addiction, Depression, and Anxiety

With Dr. Roland Griffiths

Psychedelics were the subject of serious medical research in the 1940s to the 1960s, when many scientists believed some of the mind-bending compounds held tremendous therapeutic promise for treating a number of conditions including severe mental health problems and alcohol addiction. By the mid-60s, research into psychedelics was shut down for decades.

After the blackout ended, the doctor we have on the podcast today was among the first to initiate a new series of studies on psilocybin—the psychoactive compound in “magic” mushrooms.

On today’s Broken Brain Podcast, our host, Dhru, talks to Dr. Roland Griffiths, a Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Neurosciences at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He has conducted extensive research with sedative-hypnotics, caffeine, and novel mood-altering drugs. In 1999, he initiated a research program at Johns Hopkins investigating the effects of the classic hallucinogen psilocybin that includes studies of psilocybin-occasioned mystical-type experiences in healthy volunteers, psilocybin-facilitated treatment of psychological distress in cancer patients, psilocybin-facilitated treatment of cigarette smoking cessation, psilocybin effects in beginning and long-term meditators, and psilocybin effects in religious leaders.

In this episode, Dhru and Dr. Griffiths talk about his extensive research with psilocybin in the treatment of psychological distress in cancer patients and cigarette smoking cessation. They discuss the connection between psilocybin, spirituality, and consciousness. They also talk about psychedelics and their potential for treating conditions ranging from drug and alcohol dependence to depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

I know you’ll love this episode of The Broken Brain Podcast as much as I did.

PS – For more on Dr. Roland Griffiths and his research on psychedelics check out his website https://hopkinspsychedelic.org.

Interested in joining Dhru’s Broken Brain Podcast Facebook Community? Submit your join request here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2819627591487473/
For more on Dhru Purohit, be sure to follow him on Instagram @dhrupurohit, on Facebook @dhruxpurohit, on Twitter @dhrupurohit, and on YouTube @dhrupurohit. You can also text Dhru at (302) 200-5643 or click here https://my.community.com/dhrupurohit

I hope you enjoyed this conversation as much as I did.
Wishing you health and happiness.
Dhru Purohit

In this Episode, you will learn

  1. The connection between psychedelics, spirituality, and consciousness
    (7:48)
  2. The history of psychedelic research
    (8:28)
  3. The reintroduction of psychedelic research by Dr. Roland Griffiths and others
    (12:27)
  4. Why research participants rated their psychedelic experience as one of their most meaningful
    (16:36)
  5. What is happening in the brain when using psychedelics
    (23:39)
  6. How psychedelics can help us understand altered states of consciousness
    (29:09)
  7. The therapeutic benefits of psilocybin for the treatment of addiction
    (40:16)
  8. How a single dose of psilocybin substantially diminished depression and anxiety in cancer patients
    (44:52)
  9. The future of psychedelics
    (48:07)
  10. The downside and risks of psychedelics
    (56:14)
  11. Learn more about Dr. Roland Griffiths and his work
    (1:00:24)

Guest

 
Dhru Purohit

Dhru is the host of the Broken Brain Podcast, a top 20 health podcast with over 10 million downloads, that teaches listeners how to improve their brain performance and mental health through their diet, lifestyle and everyday biohacking.

As an entrepreneur, Dhru is also the CEO Dr. Hyman Enterprises, Farmacy and the UltraWellness Center, a functional medicine based clinic that specializes in treating chronic disease through personalized medicine.

 
Dr. Roland Griffiths

Dr. Griffith’s is a Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Neurosciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.

His principal research focus in both clinical and preclinical laboratories has been on the behavioral and subjective effects of mood-altering drugs. His research has been largely supported by grants from the National Institute on Health and he is author of over 360 journal articles and book chapters.

He has been a consultant to the National Institutes of Health, and to numerous pharmaceutical companies in the development of new psychotropic drugs. He is also currently a member of the Expert Advisory Panel on Drug Dependence for the World Health Organization.

He has conducted extensive research with sedative-hypnotics, caffeine, and novel mood-altering drugs. In 1999 he initiated a research program at Johns Hopkins investigating the effects of the classic hallucinogen psilocybin that includes studies of psilocybin-occasioned mystical-type experiences in healthy volunteers, psilocybin-facilitated treatment of psychological distress in cancer patients, psilocybin-facilitated treatment of cigarette smoking cessation, psilocybin effects in beginning and long-term meditators, and psilocybin effects in religious leaders.

The Hopkins laboratory has also conducted a recent series of internet survey studies characterizing the effects hallucinogen-occasioned mystical experiences, challenging experiences, and effects on substance abuse.

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