In a recent interview, Drew Barrymore told reporters that she might try psilocybin or MDMA therapy to help overcome her struggles with childhood trauma and drug abuse.
Barrymore experienced her first brush with fame after starring in the Steven Spielberg classic E.T. at the age of 7. Her instant success was marred by a deeply troubled relationship with her mother, though, and she soon turned to addictive drugs to help cope. The actress drank her first glass of champagne at the wrap party for Firestarter when she was 8, and started doing coke at age 12. By age 14, she had already been in rehab twice.
In recent years, Barrymore has been steering clear of addictive drugs, but she is reportedly “not a stranger” to cannabis. In 2007, paparazzi caught a snap of her sharing a joint with her friend Cameron Diaz. And in a new interview published this week, the actress said she was currently thinking about using MDMA or psilocybin. But instead of trying to get high and escape, she's focused on integrating these powerful medicines into her ongoing therapy practice.
“I really think I have some serious shit buried,” Barrymore told Vulture, New York magazine's pop culture section. “And I don’t know if it’s like I need to try an MDMA treatment or psilocybin as a way to get to some state where I could see things in a different way.”
And although Barrymore didn't go into further details, it's clear that she's been paying attention to the exciting field of psychedelic research. Over the past decade, hundreds of studies have revealed that psilocybin, MDMA, LSD, and other illegal psychedelics can effectively treat anxiety, depression, PTSD, and many other issues. And even more specific to Barrymore's own life, studies have shown that psychedelics can help people cope with childhood trauma and overcome struggles with substance abuse.
The growing wave of research has inspired a growing number of states, and even the federal government, to reevaluate these powerful medicines. Oregon legalized psilocybin therapy in 2020, and the state's first legal service centers will be opening their doors any day now. Colorado also legalized psilocybin therapy in 2022, but voters went the extra mile and completely decriminalized many other natural psychedelics as well.
The federal government still classifies all psychedelics as Schedule I drugs with no medical use, but the strength of the existing research has convinced the FDA to greenlight further research into these once-demonized compounds. The FDA has already granted its coveted “Breakthrough Therapy” status to both MDMA and psilocybin, removing the hurdles that have made it so hard for scientists to follow through with their research. These studies have been so incredibly promising that the feds may legalize the therapeutic use of one or both of these treatments as soon as this year.
Barrymore might be one of the few people who can actually afford to try legal psilocybin therapy, though. Oregon's first licensed psilocybin therapy center charges over $3,500 for a single session, plus an added fee for actually buying the shrooms. And in Australia, the first country to fully legalize MDMA and psilocybin therapy, the estimated cost of a treatment could cost more than $17,000.