New Possibilities for Psychedelic Medications in Pain Management

In an effort to move psychedelic substances out of the counterculture and into the medical establishment, Abraham Dreazen, CEO of Nextage Therapeutics, is developing psychedelic medications for pain management. Dreazen and his partners are focusing on conditions like fibromyalgia and endometriosis, which have limited treatment options beyond addictive painkillers. Their unconventional partner in this endeavor is the Colorado River toad, which contains the psychedelic substance 5-MeO-DMT in its skin.

The team believes that 5-MeO-DMT has the potential to effectively address pain issues. The compound has a short duration of action, lasting only about 30 minutes to an hour. However, Dreazen explains that the impact could be significant and long-lasting, although follow-up treatments may be necessary. The team is currently working on chemical replicas and collaborating with researchers to develop new molecules based on 5-MeO-DMT for more effective pain reduction.

Research on psychedelic drugs was halted decades ago due to conservative policies, but has resumed in recent years due to the growing need for innovative treatments for conditions like depression and anxiety. Dreazen predicts that within a year, the first psychedelic drug will be available for therapeutic use. The nonprofit organization called “MAPS” is already developing an MDMA-based drug for the treatment of PTSD, which may be the first approved psychedelic treatment. These treatments will be administered within a tightly regulated framework to ensure safety and avoid irreversible harm.

Psychedelic substances increase brain plasticity and facilitate neural rewiring and memory alteration, similar to Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). However, Dreazen emphasizes the importance of developing drugs to ensure precise and controlled treatment without causing harm to the body. The approval of psychedelic drugs in Israel within a year will be significant, potentially offering life-changing possibilities for trauma treatment and prevention.

The commitment of the Israeli Health Ministry, Defense Ministry, researchers, and doctors to pioneer groundbreaking areas makes the country a leader in this field. With continued research and advancements, psychedelic medications may revolutionize pain management and psychological treatment in the future.

Source: Personal interview with Abraham Dreazen, CEO of Nextage Therapeutics.