Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Biomedical Science




College of Graduate Studies

First Advisor

Jennifer Jones

Second Advisor

Robert Malcolm

Third Advisor

Viswanathan Ramakrishnan

Fourth Advisor

Jane Joseph


Substance use disorders (SUDs) present a rapidly evolving public health crisis and many individuals with SUDs fail to maintain abstinence despite adherence to current standard of care treatment options. Prior research has demonstrated compounds with unique psychoactive properties may improve ability to maintain abstinence across a variety of SUDs; examples of such compounds include psilocybin, ketamine, and 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). However, target population support for mental health treatment using these medications is unknown. In this study, a cross-sectional survey (n=919) was administered to analyze patient-level perspectives on the use of these novel psychotherapeutics for the treatment of SUDs. We hypothesized that individuals with SUDs would demonstrate differential acceptance of these treatment modalities as a function of prior awareness of these medications. The results showed that the majority of survey participants supported medical trials being conducted with psilocybin (72.1%), ketamine (71.6%), and MDMA (68.1%) in the future. Furthermore, survey respondents with prior knowledge of ketamine as a potential treatment option were significantly more in support of clinical trial research with ketamine compared to individuals without such prior awareness (3.96 vs 3.79; p= .005). However, there was no statistically significant difference in support for future research into psilocybin or MDMA based on prior knowledge of these potential treatment modalities. These results can be used to direct future research recruitment efforts and provide insight into clinical considerations that should be made when using these treatments.


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