Steve Levine, MD: Psychedelics and Psychiatry

August 23, 2021
Kenny Walter

Kenny Walter is an editor with HCPLive. Prior to joining MJH Life Sciences in 2019, he worked as a digital reporter covering nanotechnology, life sciences, material science and more with R&D Magazine. He graduated with a degree in journalism from Temple University in 2008 and began his career as a local reporter for a chain of weekly newspapers based on the Jersey shore. When not working, he enjoys going to the beach and enjoying the shore in the summer and watching North Carolina Tar Heel basketball in the winter.

There are a number of ongoing clinical trials testing psychedelics as a treatment for psychiatric disorders.

While psychedelics show promise in treating a number of psychiatric disorders, matching the right treatment for the right disorder for the individual patient is still being examined.

Currently, there are a number of clinical trials testing this class of drug for disorders like major depressive disorder (MDD), mood disorders, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

And there are several different psychedelics being tested, including psilocybin, LSD, MDMA, DMT, 5-MeO-DMT, and ibogaine.

Psychedelics are grouped in 2 different ways—classical psychedelics, including compounds that act at a certain receptor in the 5-HT2A receptor in the brain and other classes of psychedelics which do not act at that receptor, but causes a similar experience.

In an interview with HCPLive®, Steve Levine, MD, Co-Founder and Chairman of Heading Health, explained how psychedelics can transform psychiatric care.

Levine said this class of compound has been examined for psychiatric disorders for several decades, but it is still primitive in the correct usage.

In addition, psychedelics are unlikely to be used as a stand-alone treatment or a first-line treatment.

Levine explained how clinical trials are ongoing and will dictate if or when psychedelics like psilocybin will be used in the future for which indications and patients.