MidPoint: Psychedelics for mental health

Operations volunteer Jessica Green, Dr. Chris Witowski, and MidPoint host Shelley Reback

Depression and anxiety seem to be a prevailing mood among the masses, and the clinical diagnosis and treatment of such mental illnesses still leave much to be desired. Adverse side effects from prescription medication and a continued sense of distress have given way to new thought processes and ideas on how mental illness could be treated in the future.

This week on MidPoint, chemist and researcher Dr. Chris Witkowski of Psilera Bioscience discusses their development of therapeutic and medicinal uses of natural psychedelics–psilocybin magic mushrooms.

Listen to the full episode here:

What is Psilera Working With?

The purpose of Psilera Bioscience’s research is “harnessing psychedelics themselves”. The positive properties of these naturally-derived substances are known, beyond their hallucinogenic capabilities. With further research and alteration, Dr. Witkowski says that he has full confidence that they can change the way society treats mental health problems.

A lot of the substances they work with are “Schedule 1”, which means they are illegal and considered to be at high risk for addiction and with no medical benefits. However, their research is working to prove otherwise, and their communication with the DEA and their research with the University of South Florida has started the process of changing that conversation.

One of the main focuses of Psilera’s research is on dimethyltryptamine (DMT). DMT is found to be in the brains of rats and pigs and is considered a neuro-protectant. At high doses, it can be hallucinogenic. But, it is of particular interest to the company because of its natural occurrence in the brain, and its potential uses in brain function. Their current project is to create microdoses of DMT through dermal patches so that recipients can feel the psychoactive effects without the hallucinogenic trips. Similar experiments and micro-dosing trials have been done using psilocybin, the main psychoactive in magic mushrooms.

You may also like

Tampa’s nearly decade-old police review board will be axed in July

Listen: Starting July 1st, a new Florida law will effectively...

"Bans Off Our Bodies Tampa Bay" sign
Florida seeks a stay of judge’s ruling requiring a revision to the abortion rights amendment’s financial statement

The state wants a court to put on hold a...

The Scoop: Weds. June 12th, 2024 Tampa Bay and Florida headlines by WMNF

Pulse nightclub massacre anniversary Today marks the eighth anniversary of...

stethoscope on money
Medicaid enrollment in Florida continues to decline

Enrollment in Florida’s Medicaid program continued to drop in May,...

Ways to listen

WMNF is listener-supported. That means we don't advertise like a commercial station, and we're not part of a university.

Ways to support

WMNF volunteers have fun providing a variety of needed services to keep your community radio station alive and kickin'.

Follow us on Instagram

Player position: