Houston Matters

Should psychedelic drugs be used to treat PTSD and depression in veterans?

A bill in Congress would fund a clinical trial studying the drugs’ effects. But there are ethical considerations.


The Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center.


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In 2021, HB 1802 passed in the Texas House and was signed into law. The legislation supported a clinical trial studying the effects of psychedelic medication in treating veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

The bipartisan bill was championed by an unlikely supporter: former Texas Gov. Rick Perry. Now, another piece of bipartisan legislation to fund a similar study is being pushed at the federal level with an unlikely coalition of supporters: Houston Republican Congressman Dan Crenshaw and New York Democrat Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

In the audio above, we discuss the potential of using psychedelics to treat PTSD, depression, and other disorders, as well as the dilemmas of applying such treatment, with two guests: Dr. Amy McGuire, professor of biomedical ethics and director of the Center for Medical Ethics and Health Policy at Baylor College of Medicine, and Dr. Lynnette Averill, a clinical research psychologist at the Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center and an associate professor of psychiatry, behavioral sciences, and neuropsychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine.

Michael Hagerty

Michael Hagerty

Senior Producer, Houston Matters

Michael Hagerty is the senior producer for Houston Matters. He's spent more than 20 years in public radio and television and dabbled in minor league baseball, spending four seasons as the public address announcer for the Reno Aces, the Triple-A affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks.

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