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June 6, 2023

The Conversation

Lucy Walker

Are the tides turning on psychedelics? What once was considered a dangerous experiment might now be the answer to PTSD, depression, anxiety and other mental health problems. Lucy Walker, the documentary filmmaker of How to Change Your Mind, has studied the effects of various psychedelics and is convinced of the favorable treatment they provide. It may seem counterintuitive, but Lucy cites examples of how these drugs can lead to long-term sobriety. Tune in to hear about the studies and the existing roadblocks.


  • [03:00] Lucy describes why she produced the documentary, her experience with drugs and how she obtained the rights to Michael Pollan’s book
  • [10:12] How the illness of Lucy’s sister spurred Lucy to delve deeper into research as she produced her film. Amanda and Lucy discuss the need for more discussion about death and dying
  • [17:13] Lucy discusses her cancer and the misdiagnosis and how her recovery reframed her thinking about life
  • [24:30] Lucy explains what components are necessary for her to choose a film project
  • [26:55] A drug called ibogaine is showing promise with opiate addiction, and yet it is still illegal
  • [30:18] The story of a friend who struggled with depression and trauma and fatally went on to use heroin and cocaine and died
  • [34:54] The status of FDA approval and the decriminalization movement. The use of MDMA for PTSD patients and how it will be available in psychotherapist's offices


  • There are drugs used for cancer treatments and depression; hence the buzz phrase “nature’s antidepressant” was born.
  • Clinical trials suggest that psilocybin can provide remission from depression and anxiety.
  • Ibogaine has anti-addictive properties suggesting promise in treating alcohol use disorders.



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Documentary - YouTube

Lucy Walker Directing Ibogaine Feature Doc ‘Of Night & Light’


The Conversation with Amanda de Cadenet is a groundbreaking series of weekly interviews featuring candid conversations with impactful thought leaders. Host, Amanda de Cadenet provides a platform for raw and honest discussions on a wide variety of topics from porn to politics. Visit amandadecadenet.com to learn more and sign up for her newsletter. Follow Amanda on Instagram @amandadecadenet.


“I was given a second life. I had twelve days of suffering, thinking that it was the end of my life, and somebody gave me a new life. So I had renewed determination to use the time I had to be of benefit. “ - Lucy Walker

“The fact is that psychedelics now are shown incredible promise for alcohol use disorder and all kinds of addictions, including smoking. Ibogaine has this specific property for opiate withdrawal, but lots of these other compounds, including psilocybin, are tools showing incredible promise. Couldn't we just use them in our world? It's so counterintuitive that something that's got this scary reputation, like psychedelics, could actually be helpful for anxiety and that a drug that we think of as an illegal, bad drug could actually be really helpful to combat, for example, drug addictions and drug use disorders.” - Lucy Walker