Date on Honors Thesis

Spring 5-2022





Examining Committee Member

Dr. Ricky Cox, Advisor

Examining Committee Member

Dr. Jana Hackathorn, Committee Member

Examining Committee Member

Dr. Sterling Wright, Committee Member


The percent of people with mental health disorders in the United States have skyrocketed over the past decade. With stigma surrounding the discussion of mental health and the symptoms associated with it, often those that are suffering do not receive sufficient treatment, as they might with a physical illness. The current, common treatment options for common psychological disorders, like depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder, are sometimes not effective in patients, due to resistance or poor response outcomes. Consequently, in order to research alternative therapeutic approaches for mental health disorders, scientists are researching the effects of several hallucinogenic drugs in controlled clinical environments as options. Drugs such as MDMA, psilocybin, LSD, and ketamine are socially prohibited by law; however, some of their benefits and mechanisms of action might have positive effects on treating the disorders of the brain. This thesis provides a summary of mental illness, hallucinogenic drugs, and the ongoing research regarding the use of these drugs in mental health treatment. While the negative connotation around hallucinogenic drugs remains, researchers are proving that they might have value in medicine, but the question remains if science and society are ready to implement controlled hallucinogenic drug therapies into mental health treatment based on the present research. The exploration of this question and suggested integration strategies will be included in this thesis.