Taking the Grim out of Grim Reaper with a Psychedelic Trip

Things are getting pretty mystical at New York University, where doctors are using hallucinogenic drugs in a clinical study to relieve anxiety about death. The results so far: kind of mind-blowing.
(NYU)
Listen to the full episode53:59

Things are getting pretty mystical at New York University, where doctors are using hallucinogenic drugs in a clinical study to relieve anxiety about death. The results so far: kind of mind-blowing.

The patients took a drug called psilocybin, which is chemically related to LSD, and is the active ingredient in 'magic mushrooms'.

Read The New Yorker article about Anthony, his patients, and the history of using psychedelic drugs in scientific research.

Mary Hynes talks with Anthony Bossis, the co-principal investigator of this New York University project which aimed to alleviate anxiety in cancer patients. Tapestry producer Tina Pittaway spoke with Dinah Bazer, a cancer survivor who took part in the NYU study. Tina also spoke to Lisa Callaghan, the widow of Patrick Mettes, who received psilocybin treatment and the accompanying talk therapy.


If this episode of Tapestry piqued your interest, mark your calendars. Our colleagues at IDEAS will be looking at the resurgence of hallucinogens in medical research in an upcoming series called High Culture. The episodes air October 22, October 27, and November 27, 2015. 


Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.