National Institute of Mental Health Study: Hallucinogens and Antidepressants

Spring 1994 Vol. 04, No. 4 Laying the Groundwork

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Request for volunteers

If you have taken LSD or similar hallucinogens while you were taking physician-prescribed antidepressant medication, Dr. Katherine Bonson at the National Institute of Mental Health would like to interview you about your experiences. All you have to do is answer a series of detailed questions about the antidepressant drug you were on (name, dose, length of time you had taken it), your drug history, which hallucinogen you had taken and what your response was to the hallucinogenic drug. We are particularly interested in any qualitative changes that you might have noticed in the hours after taking the hallucinogen as well as in the days following your hallucinogen use.

We want to emphasize that all contact with us is completely confidential. No one has to give a real name a unique pseudonym is fine as long as we have a phone number or address of a friend we can contact you through. We can also give you the questionnaire directly over e-mail, too.

This retrospective study is being conducted primarily to investigate the underlying biochemical interactions that occur when hallucinogens and antidepressants are taken concurrently. This will hopefully advance our understanding of the mechanisms of action of both kinds of drugs being studied. We have been finding that the response a person has to a hallucinogen can be greatly altered by antidepressants, dependent on the particular class of antidepressants that had been taken. Although we don’t want to give out specifics of what weve been finding at this point to avoid influencing the responses of anyone who replies to our request for volunteers, everyone who completes the questionnaire will be given a full update of our results. For those of you who are interested, but have no personal experience to relate, we will give a brief report in the next MAPS newsletter of our findings. The initial data of our study is also in the process of being written up for publication and will be presented at the Serotonin Club conference this summer in Chicago.

Please contact:

Dr. Katherine Bonson

Of note…

The current issue of the Journal of Psychoactive Drugs (Jan-Mar 1994) includes a lengthy overview article by Tom and June Riedlinger, Psychedelic and Entactogenic Drugs in the Treatment of Depression. The article is intended less for the "converted" than to capture the interest of mainstream psychotherapists, with emphasis on MDMA psychotherapy. The article also discusses Dr. Stanislav Grofs psychotherapeutic methods using both psychedelics and breathwork.