Spectrum News: Therapies make psychedelics more accessible

UC researcher says decriminalization is a good step

Spectrum News turned to a University of Cincinnati researcher to explain the potential therapeutic benefits psychedelics could offer some people.

UC College of Arts and Sciences postdoctoral researcher Neşe Devenot told Spectrum News that people have had meaningful, transformative experiences using psychedelics such as psilocybin, the compound in magic mushrooms.

Neşe Devenot portrait.

UC postdoctoral researcher Neşe Devenot. Photo/Andrew Higley/UC Marketing + Brand

Devenot works in UC's Institute for Research in Sensing, which explores sensing and sensor technology from both scientific and artistic perspectives.

Federal lawmakers have proposed legislation to expand access to psychedelic substances for medical purposes.

Devenot said psychedelics are getting more research attention. 

“Some researchers look at this specifically as an experiential medicine, that there’s something about the experience that is therapeutic. That’s debated,” she told Spectrum News.

The Drug Enforcement Agency categorizes some psychedelics as Schedule I drugs, which criminalizes their use. Meanwhile, pharmaceutical companies are pursuing new medical treatments based on psychedelics.

Devenot said decriminalization would be a good step. Some studies have shown positive benefits to psychedelics for treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder or depression.

“Pyschedelics might help you get outside of those ruminative, fixated thought patterns to free you up to see yourself and your problems and relationship to the world in a different way,” Devenot said. “I think there's some truth to that.”

Watch the Spectrum News story.

Learn more about Devenot's work.

Featured image at top: UC postdoctoral researcher Neşe Devenot talked to Spectrum News about new legislation that could open up medical uses of psychedelics. Photo/Andrew Higley/
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