Drew Barrymore Considers Psilocybin, MDMA to Overcome Trauma

In an interview with New York magazine, Drew Barrymore opened up about psychedelics.
Barrymore

In a blunt interview with New York magazine, Drew Barrymore revealed that she’s ready to try psilocybin and MDMA in order to overcome trauma stemming from divorce and likely her troubled childhood. The interview was published on June 5, hot on the heels of recent tapings of her new successful talk show.

“I spent a lot of my life loving romance and drama and all of that,” Barrymore told Vulture, the pop section of New York magazine. “I just burnt myself out on it. I genuinely am tired and exhausted.” 

Most people know the story, and if anyone understands how trauma affects our mental health and self-worth, it’s her: After Barrymore starred in Steven Spielberg’s E.T., she became a child star at age 7, and has been behind a camera since she was 11 months old. Like many other child stars, she was exposed to drugs and alcohol earlier than most. She smoked weed at age 10 and snorted coke by age 12. One year later, she was institutionalized at 13 by her mother. By age 14, Barrymore had already checked into rehab—twice.  

But that was years ago and her return to fame was bigger than before, however new traumas are also part of the picture: Barrymore told the Los Angeles Times last December that to deal with her “cripplingly difficult” divorce from Will Kopelman, she resorted to alcohol. 

Barrymore then opened up about ways to overcome past traumas, including using drugs but this time, not as a coping mechanism that leads to addiction, but as a psychological tool. “I’m curious to examine why I’m not open to a relationship,” she said. “I really think I have some serious shit buried. 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.”

Currently, she’s hosting The Drew Barrymore Show, which recently wrapped up taping of its third season. The A.V. Club called her talk show “TV’s most viral talk show.” The show was forced to start in an empty studio during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. 

Barrymore is constantly photographed, so it was bound to happen: She was photographed and caught sharing a spliff with her pal Cameron Diaz. “She is not a stranger to the plant,” High Times reported in 2018 in a story about moms who smoke pot.

How Psilocybin and MDMA Can Help with Addiction and Trauma

Trauma often leads to addiction, and regarding psilocybin and MDMA for those purposes, Barrymore could be on to something.

Research to support psychedelics for treating trauma continues to pile up: Researchers associated with NYU Langone’s High School Bioethics Project are exploring psilocybin as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It may be useful for other types of trauma. A recent study published in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors by the American Psychological Association on June 5 has found that psilocybin can be an effective treatment for people with alcohol addiction.

MDMA is also being explored as a treatment for various forms of trauma.

A pair of Democratic state senators in Nevada introduced legislation in March to allow for research into psilocybin, or psychedelic mushrooms, as well as MDMA, drawing inspiration from states like Oregon and Colorado where such substances have been legalized.

This new research and law reform arrives amid a psychedelic renaissance as those types of substances are popping up everywhere.

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