Dr. Reid Robison, MD: Treatment-Resistant Depression and Psychedelic Medicine Acceptance

September 12, 2022
Tim Smith

Tim Smith joined the MJH Life Sciences team as an assistant editor for HCPLive in August 2022. He graduated from UC Berkeley with a degree in political science, working in multimedia journalism as a staff writer prior to joining MJH. In his spare time, he enjoys reading, watching TV, listening to podcasts, and rock climbing. You can contact him at tsmith@mjhlifesciences.com.

Dr. Reid Robison, MD, MBA, described his research on clinical depression and the recent acceptance of psychedelic medicine.

On Sep. 8, a presentation and discussion was held regarding treatment-resistant depression and psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. The featured experts collaborated with HCPLive on this State of the Science Summit webinar titled “State of the Science in Psychiatry: Addressing Challenges in Depression Treatment.”

The paneled presentation was headed by Reid Robison, MD, MBA, psychiatrist and Chief Clinical Officer at Numinus. Robison is well-known for his research in psychedelics and ketamine use in psychotherapy.

In an interview with HCPLive, Robison reviewed some of the major themes of the webinar program, including this view that a new era of “ketamine and psychedelic medicine is being kind of welcomed with open arms in the field of mental health and by the public, broadly.”

Robison described his surprise at the public and mental health community’s acceptance of research into these forms of treatment, following the banning of psychedelic medicines in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

“It’s really reassuring to see both clinicians, clients, and their loved ones welcoming these options like MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD or psilocybin, the active ingredient in ‘magic mushrooms’ for depression,” Robison said.

Robison added that recently he and his fellow researchers were assisted by officials with the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) in their research into psychedelics.

“In fact, we’ve had local DEA officers visit our clinics and research sites recently, and it was really neat to see that, even with them, it was a collaborative approach in helping us get the Schedule I licenses to be able to do these studies,” he said. “The world really needs new treatment options.”

He also delved into the topic of severe depression and suicidality, as well as the clients with whom he has worked with both in research and clinical settings.

“I think there’s a lot of enthusiasm out there that is great, and it has been opening the door to more education, awareness and access,” Robison said. “However, I think it is important to balance that with caution, knowing that these medicines aren’t for everyone and there is careful screening and evaluation needed.”

Robison added that while psychedelic medicine may be useful in the therapy process for some, it should be paired with skilled, safe, and effective psychotherapy.


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