Summary: The Los Angeles Times highlights international research into the therapeutic potential of psychedelics such as MDMA, psilocybin, and LSD. The Canadian Medical Association Journal recently published “Psychedelic medicine: a re-emerging therapeutic paradigm,” an analysis about the importance of expanding psychedelic research in order to develop new medical treatments. “It’s been a cautious road, but one that’s data-driven. A big factor is really that enough time has passed for the sensationalism to kind of simmer down and for sober heads to say, ‘Hold on, let’s look at the evidence,'” explains researcher Matthew W. Johnson.
Originally appearing here.
New research on the use of psychedelic drugs as treatment for a range of mental disorders appears to be throwing open doors of perception long closed within the medical community, says a new analysis in the Canadian Medical Assn. Journal.
For several decades, the North American medical establishment has classified psychedelic drugs — including lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), psilocybin and methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) — as drugs of abuse with little to no medical purpose or means of safe use.
That, four researchers argue, is changing.
While most are small-scale pilot studies, larger trials are planned — and “more and more people are becoming interested and even jumping into the field to start trials themselves,” said senior author Matthew W. Johnson, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins University.
Experimental therapeutic uses of psychedelic drugs have been tightly controlled, requiring extensive screening of prospective patients, close monitoring during medication use, and extended follow-up. But for all of that, when psychedelics such as MDMA have been tested in conjunction with psychotherapy for PTSD, or psilocybin for alcohol dependence, "relatively time-limited interventions" have been shown to have enduring benefits.
At a time when economy is sought in medical care, that may reveal psychedelics to be an "economically viable" alternative to existing therapies, the authors wrote.
And the passage of time since psychedelics gained notoriety in the 1960s appears to have made a reasonable assessment of their potential worth possible, Johnson said
“It’s been a long road — this started back in the mid-late 1990s when the [U.S. Food and Drug Administration] started to approve some of these very early studies,” he said in an interview. “It’s been a cautious road, but one that’s data-driven. A big factor is really that enough time has passed for the sensationalism to kind of simmer down and for sober heads to say, ‘Hold on, let’s look at the evidence.'”