I’m excited for this one! On November 4th, JAMA Psychiatry published a study with an impressive claim: psilocybin was (get this) at least 4 times more effective on major depression than the usual antidepressants. Plant medicine is a big fascination for me, so it was so rewarding to speak with one of the authors that study, Dr. Alan K Davis. Alan is on the bleeding edge of both the research and the practical treatment at Johns Hopkins, and we talk about how the study was set up, the barriers involved, the effects on the patients, and some of the upcoming (and promising) studies in the pipeline.

Dr. Alan K Davis is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at The Ohio State University and Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Davis’s clinical experience includes working with people diagnosed with trauma-based psychological problems such as addiction, PTSD, depression, and anxiety. His clinical expertise includes providing evidenced-based treatments such as motivational interviewing, cognitive behavioral therapy, acceptance and commitment therapy, and psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy. Consistent with his clinical interests, his research interests and expertise focus on contributing to the knowledge of and ability to help those suffering with substance use and mental health problems, understanding how to improve clinical outcomes through examining new treatments, and developing ways to conceptualize substance use and mental health problems through a strengths-based approach. He recently completed a clinical trial of psilocybin therapy for major depressive disorder and current trials include exploring this treatment for patients with co-occurring alcohol use disorder and depression and patients with anorexia. He actively explores topics related to naturalistic psychedelic use among several populations including people of color who have experienced racial trauma, Spanish-speaking people, and people who use novel psychedelics such as 5-MeO-DMT.

Connect with Alan:

Ohio State University

Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research

Source Research Foundation (grants and support for students)

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