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FDA examines using psychedelics in medicine

Our ABC10 health expert said many patients are inquiring about psychedelics to treat conditions like depression and anxiety.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — May is National Mental Health Awareness Month. There are pharmaceutical and natural ways to treat anxiety and depression but there's a recent curiosity surrounding psychedelics. ABC10 Health Expert Dr. Tom Hopkins said many of his patients are inquiring about this.

Recently, NFL Quarterback Aaron Rodgers shared his story of how these drugs helped ease his fear of death, Hopkins said.

"What we know is if you take something like CBD and cannabis, particularly with THC, it's been used in a variety of different health conditions, from pain, sleep and anxiety," Hopkins said. "Even the FDA is looking at some of these other psychotropic, psychedelic medications — products out there that are currently illegal, but looking for them to see if they have a role in medical therapy, one of which is called magic mushrooms."

Mushrooms have helped people with depression and anxiety, and MDMA has helped with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. There's a thought that they can replace prescription drugs. Hopkins said he doesn't think we're too far off from seeing the use of these drugs. Lawmakers in Oregon and Colorado have already approved measures for the use of mushrooms. 

"It may be that these psychedelic medications may be the new CBD kind of replacement. I think more research needs to occur. I still think we're far behind just having the acceptance and the community and consumers understand that there is a role for these things," Hopkins said. 

He said with good clinical trials, research and studies that show it's safe, it could help remove the negative stigma surrounding the medicinal use of recreational drugs.

Watch more on ABC10

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