I was saddened to hear the news of Mathew Perry, the gifted actor who made it big after playing Chandler Bing on the hit television show “Friends.”
But to be honest, I was never a fan of the show. It was a bit too vanilla for me. And definitely did not represent the wider demographic of New York City. Although I did like him in “The Whole Nine Yards,” with Bruce Willis and “Fools Rush In,” with Salma Hayek. And based on a few interviews I saw, he seemed like a good dude. Although truth be told, I didn't know much about him.
In fact, I didn’t even learn about how bad his drug addiction was until this past weekend. Opioid addiction is no joke. And make no mistake, the opioid addiction epidemic is still very much alive and well. But it seems like we only discuss it after someone famous overdoses.
From what I understand, Perry did not overdose, however, but his battle with addiction became front and center news after his passing. Which I suppose is a good thing, as it forces us all to re-evaluate just how common addiction is.
According to the National Institutes of Health, 16 million people have had or currently suffer from opioid use disorder. That’s more than the entire population of Sweden. And that’s just opioids.
From alcohol to cigarettes to cocaine, more than one billion people across the globe suffer from addiction. And that’s more than double the entire population of the United States.
With so many addicts in the world, you’d think that addiction would be considered a health crisis far more urgent than any other disease known to man. Yet conventional treatments for addiction continue to fall short. And little to no attention from world governments is paid to it.
If the global community spent half as much attention and cash on addiction as it did on COVID, perhaps we’d see a massive reduction in addiction and addiction-related deaths.
Now there are some who would suggest that there’s just too much money in the legal and illegal drug trade for anyone to make any serious effort to combat addiction. And there’s probably some truth to that. After all, the War on Drugs continues to be a cash cow for private prisons, police unions, and banks that launder money for drug cartels.
As well, there’s a hell of a lot of money to be made in treating drug addiction – even when most common addiction treatments today are utter failures.
Take Alcoholics Anonymous, for instance, which, according to multiple studies, has a success rate of between 8% to 15%.
Or consider Chantix, the most effective smoking cessation drug on the market, which has a success rate of 33%.
Or medications such as suboxone and methadone, which are FDA-approved drugs designed to treat opioid use disorder. But those don’t actually cure addiction to opioids. They just trade the opioid addiction for another addiction to those drugs.
You’d think given all the technology at our disposal today, we could come up with a real cure for addiction. Something that not only helps addicts kick their addictions, but actually stay clean.
Well, there is.
And while nothing is 100% effective, recent FDA clinical trials and university studies are indicating that some new psychedelic-based medicines are proving successful in the treatment of addiction.
Take, for instance, the 2008 Johns Hopkins study that treated smokers with psilocybin-assisted therapy.
Psilocybin, by the way, is the active psychedelic compound in psychedelic mushrooms.
The results of that study confirmed that 67% of those who took part in that study remained smoking abstinent one year after the study’s completion.
To put that in perspective, remember that the most effective smoking cessation drug on the market right now has a success rate of 33%. So we’re looking at a success rate more than double that of what’s currently in the marketplace.
Psilocybin has also been studied as a potential treatment for alcohol addiction.
According to a study conducted by researchers at the NYU Grossman School of Medicine, where participants who were heavy drinkers received two doses of psilocybin combined with psychotherapy, 83% of those participants reduced their heavy drinking within 8 months, and 48% stopped drinking entirely.
Another psychedelic-based treatment currently being used and tested to treat addiction is ibogaine.
Ibogaine is a psychoactive alkaloid produced by a West African shrub called iboga. Thousands of people have used ibogaine-assisted therapy to battle opioid addiction, as it can significantly reduce withdrawal symptoms while also reducing the appetite for opioids.
Some studies have shown success rates for ibogaine as high as 80%!
This isn’t to say ibogaine is a confirmed cure for addiction, but early data indicate that it could serve as a much more effective treatment for some patients when compared to traditional opioid addiction treatments.
Today, there are a number of companies conducting studies and FDA-clinical trials on psychedelic-assisted therapies to treat addiction. And early results look very promising. Particularly when you consider how ineffective most addiction treatments are today.
Some of the companies that are actively working to bring psychedelics-based addiction treatments to market include, but are not limited to …
- MindMed (NASDAQ: MNMD)
- Atai Life Sciences (NASDAQ: ATAI)
- Cybin (NYSE: CYBN)
- Incannex (NASDAQ: IXHL)
- Enveric Biosciences (NASDAQ: ENVB)
- Awakn Life Sciences (OTCBB: AWKNF)
Psychedelic stocks remain to be quite risky, to be sure. After all, most of these are essentially biotech startups. But make no mistake: we are at the cutting edge of new psychedelic-based treatments for addiction that I believe will eventually prove to be far superior to anything we’ve seen before. So keep a close eye on the sector, and some of these stocks. We certainly will, and if there is an opportunity to pounce, we’ll be all over it.