Sunday October 04, 2015

Taking the Grim out of Grim Reaper with a Psychedelic Trip


Listen to Full Episode 53:59

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. 

stories from this episode