If the history of medical marijuana is anything to go by, it shouldn't surprise you that there are numerous other common street drugs that may have some real medical potential. Here are five street drugs that you might see on pharmacy shelves in the future.
The belief that psilocybin - the active ingredient found in magic mushrooms - might be an effective medication is nothing new. Formal research on the drug stretches back to at least the 1960s, but it was only recently that the psychedelic substance got it's big medical break. Back in November of 2018, the US Food and Drug Administration acknowledged that psilocybin has real potential to become a powerful treatment for depression. That's why they've fast-tracked research that could see the drug become a legal pharmaceutical.
MDMA - the drug commonly referred to as ecstasy or molly - has actually been used as a therapeutic drug in the past. Back in the 1970s, MDMA was sometimes administered as part of psychotherapy sessions. These days, however, the drug is banned from medicinal use in the US, though that may change soon. A growing base of research is proving that MDMA can be of real benefit to people suffering from PTSD and a study researching the topic is soon to enter its third stage.
We're still very much in the early days of the research evaluating the medicinal uses of N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT). The chemical is the active ingredient in hallucinogenic substances like ayahuasca, a traditional medicine long used by culture in the Amazon that's well known for producing a short but powerful psychedelic experience. Recent research suggests that the substance might have potential as an anti-depressant.
While the powerful hallucinogen is probably most associated with prog-rock, LSD also has some real medical potential as well. In limited trials LSD has been shown to improve people's mood and self confidence. So maybe acid was a big part of that peace and love hippie attitude after all.
This particular party drug already has an established medical usage as an anesthetic. However, ketamine gained prominence as a club drug through the 1970s and is just as well known now for its recreational use as it is its surgical. Ketamine may get new life as an entirely different kind of medication in the near future though. Recent studies suggest the drug may drastically reduce suicidal thinking and may become an effective anti-depressant.
While ketamine and the rest of these drugs still need the thorough years of scientific vetting before they're cleared for medicinal use, early trials are promising.