Biden’s brother says the president is “very open-minded” about psychedelics for medical treatment

WASHINGTON (AP) President Joe Bidens The younger brother said in a radio interview Wednesday that the president has been very open in the conversations the two have had about the benefits of psychedelics as a form of medical treatment.

Frank Biden made the comments during a call on the Michael Smerconish program on SiriusXM. The conductor had just interviewed a Wall Street Journal journalist who recently wrote about powerful Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and employees who believe the use of psychedelics and similar substances can help lead to corporate breakthroughs.

He’s very open-minded, Frank Biden said when Smerconish asked him about the conversations he’s had with the president on the matter. Let’s put it this way. I don’t want to talk, I’m talking brother to brother. Brother to brother, the younger Biden said. The question is, is the world, is the United States ready for this? My view is that we are on the cusp of an awareness that needs to be brought about to resolve many of the issues in and around addiction, but just as importantly, to make us aware that we are all one people and must come Together.

FILE - The artwork on display is seen at the Psychedelic Science conference at the Colorado Convention Center on Wednesday, June 21, 2023 in Denver.  Australia is the first country to allow psychiatrists to prescribe certain psychedelics to patients with depression or PTSD.  On Saturday July 1, Australian doctors can now prescribe doses of MDMA, also known as ecstasy, for PTSD.  (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, Files)

Australia is now the first country to allow psychiatrists to prescribe certain psychedelics to patients with depression or PTSD.

Frank Biden added that he has done a lot of research on the matter because I have been a recovering alcoholic for many, many years.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

Some researchers believe that psilocybin, the compound in psychedelic mushrooms, change the way the brain organizes itself and can help users overcome things like depression, alcoholism, and PTSD. A related drug to the anesthetic ketamine has been cleared by the FDA a helping people with hard-to-treat depression.

But medical experts warn that more research is needed into the effectiveness of drugs and the extent of the risks of psychedelics, which can cause hallucinations.

The American Psychiatric Association did not approve of the use of psychedelics in treatment, noting that the Food and Drug Administration has yet to offer a definitive determination. The FDA designated psilocybin a Breakthrough Therapy in 2018, a label designed to expedite the development and review of drugs to treat a serious condition. MDMA, also known as ecstasy, also has that designation for the treatment of PTSD.

Last week the FDA released draft guide for researchers designing clinical trials testing psychedelic drugs as potential treatments for a variety of medical conditions. The Biden administration has also provided funding to the National Institutes of Health and other agencies dozens of projects studying psychedelic drugs with potential mental and behavioral health benefits.

Earlier this year, Oregon became the first state in the nation to do so legalize the adult use of psilocybin. Colorado voters last year voted to decriminalize psilocybin.

republican strongholds, including Utah and Missourithey have or are considering commissioning drug trials, inspired in part by veterans who have used psilocybin to help with PTSD.

Former Republican Texas Gov. Rick Perry spoke at a conference last week in Colorado to help pass a bill in the Texas Legislature in 2021 to fund a psilocybin study for veterans. Does not support recreational use.

In Congress, similar propositions focused on veterans have brought progressive Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York and far-right Representative Matt Gaetz of Florida into an unlikely alignment.


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