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Psychedelic Drugs: Ready For A Comeback?

Psychedelic drugs are bad for you, boys and girls. Really? According to a new study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, this school of thought could be a thing of the past.

psychedelic drugs

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A team of researchers in the US, Canada, Switzerland, Brazil, Peru and Mexico and the United States (with no counter-cultural tendencies) are working on a project that is proving that psychedelic drugs are an important adjunct to psychotherapy in treating post-traumatic stress, addiction and the anxiety or depression that oft’times accompanies terminal illnesses.

Senior author Matthew W. Johnson, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland states that while most of their work involves pilot studies they plan to conduct larger trials as “more and more people are becoming interested and even jumping into the field to start trials themselves.”

The study notes that clinical research “can conform to the rigorous scientific, ethical and safety standards expected of contemporary medical research.” Their research is revealing that psychedelic drugs such as LSD, MDMA and psilocybin can be effective in treating certain patients.

Johnson, whose research focuses on addiction treatment, added that factors such as time and cost also appear to be changing attitudes about the potential therapeutic qualities of psychedelic drugs. For decades the experimental therapeutic use of psychedelic drugs has been restrictively controlled.

Extensive screening of prospective patients, monitoring of drug use and long-term follow-up was required. Nevertheless, when a psychedelic drug such as psilocybin was used to treat alcoholism or MDMA was used for PTSD, “relatively time-limited interventions” have proved to provide long-lasting benefits.

Additionally, with economy being a concern in modern day medical care, the investigative team believes psychedelic drugs could also prove to be an “economically viable” alternative to current therapies. Johnson also says that enough time has passed since the 1960s when psychedelic drugs first gained their notoriety that now “a reasonable assessment of their potential worth” is possible.

In a press interview Johnson concluded: “It’s been a long road – this started back in the mid-late 1990s when the (US Food and Drug Administration) started to approve some of these very early studies. 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.'”

Psychedelic Drugs: Ready For A Comeback?

About Will Phoenix

W. Scott Phoenix, B.A., B.S. was born in Hawaii, raised in Pennsylvania and resides in California. He has been a published writer since 1978. His work has appeared (under various names) in numerous places in print and online including Examiner.com. He is a single parent of three children and has also worked as an actor, singer and teacher. He has been employed by such publications as the Daily Collegian and the Los Angeles Times.