Psychedelic Medicines: What do Pharmacists Think?

by | Oct 14, 2022 | Awareness

In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in psychedelic drugs and their potential therapeutic benefits. Although most of these drugs are still illegal in many parts of the world, an increasing number of medical professionals are beginning to see the potential benefits of these substances.

In particular, pharmacists are starting to play a key role in the psychedelics movement. Let’s take a closer look at why this is the case and what role pharmacists can play in psychedelic medicine.

What is The Role of a Pharmacist?

A pharmacist is a health professional who dispenses and provides advice on medicinal drugs. In addition to dispensing medication, pharmacists also provide information on drug interactions, side effects, dosage, and storage.

They may also be involved in research and development activities. When it comes to psychedelics, pharmacists can play a key role in ensuring that these substances are used safely and effectively.

Why Should Pharmacists’ Professional Opinions of Psychedelic Medicines Matter?

Pharmacists are experts on medicines and how they interact with the human body. They have a deep understanding of the potential risks and benefits of different drugs. As such, their opinion on psychedelic medicines is invaluable.

Research on the medicinal benefits of psychedelic drugs like psilocybin, MDMA, and DMT, is advancing quickly. So much so, that professional pharmacist education groups, like Pharmacy Times, are already educating pharmacists about psychedelic medicines. Pharmacy Times provides continuing education to pharmacists and is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE).

In an interview with Adi Zoloff-Shani, Ph.D., founder of Clearmind Medicine, Dr. Zoloff-Shani discusses how psychedelic medicines may be an effective treatment for alcoholism.

“I really want to focus on alcoholism…there’s a huge unmet need (and not good andsatisfactory treatments) for alcoholism. I don’t believe that many understand the magnitude of this problem. And I think that’s the elephant in the room”.

“Not only am I a true believer in the potential of psychedelics to treat mental health disorders, but I’m really, really optimistic and encouraged by everything that we are seeing now.”

Recent research on the benefits of psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy in reducing alcohol dependence supports Dr. Zoloff-Shani’s opinions.

Another Pharmacy Times interview educates pharmacists on psychedelics as an effective and innovative new treatment for eating disorders, featuring Reid Robison, MD, Chief Medical Officer at Novamind.

In reference to how psychedelic medicines can accelerate therapy, Dr. Robinson said,

“You could sum it up in 2 ways (that psychedelics may have with eating disorders); the first would be to help kind of alleviate some symptoms, or tone down the intensity. Then the second way it helps is creating this brain state that’s more desirable and amenable to treatment and can accelerate the therapeutic processes- whether that’s the self-awareness that comes along with it, the increased self-compassion.”

“Lastly, I’ll say that having done over a couple 100 clinical trials in psychiatry, I’m really inspired by the promise and potential of psychedelic medicine. Even though we have a lot more research to do, I am really looking forward to these tools as ways of getting more to the root underlying cause and hopefully intervening earlier and earlier in the process to help people get their lives back sooner.”

Dr. Robinson’s professional opinions are also supported by new research on psilocybin-assisted therapy for anorexia.

Psychedelics in the Practice of Pharmacy

With expert opinions like these being supported by sound science, it’s no wonder that today’s pharmacists are being taught about the therapeutic potential of psychedelic medicines. Pharmacists around the world are starting to become more open to the idea of using psychedelic drugs medicinally.

This is due to the growing body of evidence demonstrating the safety and effectiveness of these substances. Which much of suggests psychedelics have the potential to challenge our dependence on pharmaceutical medications by providing a safer and more effective alternative for treating mental health conditions.