Is it possible to use psychoactive substances in a clinical setting for anxiety or depression related to a terminal illness, or to treat Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)?


Our show aired on 5/29/17 on

Psilocybin (active ingredient in “magic mushrooms”)  is a powerful medicine that is being researched in therapeutic settings. Researches caution against recreational use of psilocybin because of potential adverse psychological reactions.  New research suggests it has great potential as a treatment for severe anxiety caused by a serious illness,  or terminal diagnosis. Other psychoactive substances are being researched for PTSD, depression, and drug abuse.


Adam Strauss is a writer and performer based in New York City. His show, The Mushroom Cure, is playing at the Marsh Theatre in San Francisco for its West Coast Premiere. His show is inspired by a scientific study showing that hallucinogenic mushrooms may cure obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). Adam won the Leffe Craft Your Character Storytelling Competition and the New York Fringe Festival’s Overall Excellence Award for Solo Performance. He is also a stand-up comedian who performs throughout the US and the UK. Adam received his BA in psychology from Brown University. For more information about the show go to

Alicia Danforth, Ph.D. has worked in clinical research with psychedelic medicines since 2004 at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. She has collaborated with Dr. Charles Grob on pilot studies of psilocybin-assisted therapy for existential anxiety reactive to late-stage cancer and MDMA-assisted therapy for social anxiety in autistic adults. She currently is a licensed psychologist in private practice in the Silicon Valley and is beginning new research on psilocybin-assisted therapy for long-term survivors of HIV in San Francisco. Alicia co-taught the first graduate course for clinicians and researchers in training, entitled, “Psychedelics: Theory, Research, and Clinical Applications.”

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