MPR News with Angela Davis

What role can psychedelics play in mental health?

Ann Arbor Decriminalized Magic Mushrooms
Magic mushrooms are seen in a grow room at the Procare farm in Hazerswoude, central Netherlands.
Peter Dejong | AP file

Can mind-altering drugs make you feel better? Many people are wondering. 

The Minnesota Department of Health started the Psychedelic Medicine Task Force out of the most recent legislative session to look into how hallucinogenic drugs, commonly known as MDMA, magic mushrooms and LSD, are talked about in legislative legal, medical and policy decisions. 

Other states, including Texas, Massachusetts and New York have even created centers to look at how mind-altering drugs, under controlled settings, can affect mental health and substance use disorders. 

MPR News host Angela Davis talks with guests who have studied the use of psychedelics.

Listeners also called to ask questions to the experts about psychedelics and they shared their own experiences using drugs like magic mushrooms, LSD or MDMA and their mental health.


  • Sandeep Nayak is an assistant professor and a medical doctor. He works at the Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelics & Consciousness Research.

  • Quyen Ngo is the executive director of Hazelden Betty Ford’s Butler Center for Research.

  • Ranji Varghese is chief medical officer at Institute for Integrative Therapies in Eden Prairie. He’s also on the Minnesota task force for psychedelic medicine.

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