According to the National Institute of Mental Health, eating orders are a severe illness that can often be fatal. Various eating disorders like bulimia and anorexia exist and are becoming more commonplace than before. Society has long undermined eating disorders, but that’s slowly starting to change as research gives us a better insight into how dangerous these disorders are.
According to ANAD, eating disorders affect 9 percent of people worldwide. Moreover, the association estimates that 28.8 million people Americans will battle an eating disorder in their lifetime. These figures aren’t negligible by any means and represent a serious concern that needs addressing immediately.
According to research on the social and economic costs of eating disorders by Deloitte, 10,200 deaths occur every year due to eating disorders. Conducting further calculations reveals that’s one death every 52 minutes. Moreover, eating disorders pose fatal consequences for the victims, but they also have a severe economic burden on society. Deloitte reports that the socioeconomic cost of eating disorders is $64.7 billion annually. Therefore, it’s safe to say that treating these cases of eating disorders needs to be a priority for governments and social institutions.
While there are many emerging treatment programs for eating disorders, their efficacy rates vary. However, increasingly scientists are turning their attention is the use of psychedelics to treat eating disorders.
Psychedelics have a long history in human society. The use of these drugs dates back thousands of centuries. Contrary to popular belief, these drugs didn’t always have negative connotations attached to them. During the 1950s, numerous scientists were conducting ample research on these drugs. However, shortly after, the government classified most of these psychedelics as Schedule one substances during the campaign against drugs. However, recently, these drugs are regaining prominence in research settings because of the numerous benefits they offer. Society’s increasingly becoming more accepting of psychedelic medicine.
How Psychedelics Can Help Treat Eating Disorders
Psychedelics are proving to be an effective treatment for eating disorders. Psychedelics come in various forms and types. Let’s explore how these different psychedelics can help facilitate eating disorder recovery.
Treating Eating Disorders with MDMA
According to the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), MDMA combined with psychotherapy shows promising results for treating various psychiatric conditions, including eating disorders. MDMA consumption impacts several brain systems, including the serotonergic and dopamine systems.
However, researchers also have some considerations when using MDMA to treat eating disorders. One of the drug’s most notorious side-effects is its tendency to cause users to lose weight. Therefore, many scientists consider the drug to be dangerous to administer to anorexic patients. However, there’s room for MDMA usage when it comes to treating binge-eating disorders. There’s currently a multi-site study ongoing regarding the impact of MDMA on eating disorders.
Psilocybin is the active ingredient in magic mushrooms. Many people believe that magic mushrooms only hold value as a recreational drug, but that’s not true. Researchers have found psilocybin can help with depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, tobacco and alcohol cessation, and more. Psilocybin is one of the leading psychedelic drugs that medical professionals administer. That’s partly because there has been extensive research on it. Moreover, the Food and Drug Administration granted a special breakthrough designation for psilocybin in 2019. In addition to treating mental disorders like depression and anxiety, there’s also promising evidence that psilocybin can be beneficial for recovery from eating disorders.
There’s currently a small-scale study ongoing at the University of California San Diego.
Ayahuasca is an Amazonian plant that was a staple in Mesoamerica for the longest time. Most Mesoamerican civilizations would use the drug for religious ceremonies. In addition, they also believed that the drug possessed significant spiritual properties, resulting in the user experiencing hallucinations and mystical experiences.
Ayahuasca has many notable benefits, including helping treat depression, anxiety, and addictions. However, a study conducted by La France and colleagues shows that it also holds promise for treating eating disorders. According to La France’s study, participants reported reductions in eating disorder symptoms following Ayahuasca consumption. Moreover, they also stated the experience nurtured their self-compassion.
Funding the Future of Medicine
Now that you know about the benefits of psychedelics and how they can aid eating disorder recovery, you might be wondering about the future of medicine. We at The Conscious Fund are vocal advocates about psychedelics and the role they’ll play in shaping the future of medicine. Hence, as a psychedelic VC fund, we’re committed to funding psychedelic medicine companies by providing early-stage psychedelic medicine initiatives with investment. Moreover, as a psychedelic investor, we’re focused on funding plant-based medicines to deliver better outcomes for mental health, addiction, and pain.
Visit our website for more information.