There has been an explosion of clinical trials involving psychedelic drugs for treatment resistant mental health problems in the UK. Three major trials of psilocybin the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, started in London earlier this year. The US Food and Drug Administration licensed a variant of the party drug Ketamine for treatment-resistant depression. But are these drugs the greatest breakthrough in psychiatry since modern anti-depressants and anti-psychotics or are the benefits only temporary or placebo? Listen to my BBC Radio 4 report.
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2 thoughts on “Are psychedelic drugs the solution to untreatable mental health problems?”
Really interesting – these miracle claims have been around for decades, and now we keep hearing them come up in serious debate, maybe in the future they really will become a big part of mental health treatment, its been a real struggle to believers to convict the rest of us for sure!
I think its a bit of a double or quite option, so it needs to be approached with caution, maybe low doses, and a little at a time could turn out to be the step forward for so many who are suffering – that would be fantastic!
There is a very serious research program in the US at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, which is a pre-eminent center in neurosciences. Certainly worth disciplined exploration, with all the rigors in place, as so many people suffer from depression and other disorders that seem to be medication-resistant. Plus, the side effects of psychotropic drugs are so extensive. I was a medical writer for a while–I remember the introduction of Prozac–and thus will be interested and hopeful that something truly positive (and safe) comes of this.