“Scientists Push to Renew Psychedelic Drug Research for Psychiatry”

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On the CBC Radio show The Current, Anna Maria Tremonti interviews UK neuropsycho-pharmacologist David Nutt, Mark Haden of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies and University of British Columbia, and Saskatchewan historian Erika Dyck about the past and present politics and science of psychiatric research with psychedelics.

Scientists push to renew psychedelic drug research for psychiatry (The Current, CBC Radio, June 8, 2015)

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2 COMMENTS

  1. I’m actually curious about psychedelic treatment. I’ve never tried them myself, but psilocybin (magic mushrooms) and Ayahuasca (DMT) have been used by humans for possibly thousands of years. I’m weary about man-made ones though such as MDMA, especially because it has been shown to be neurotoxic if taken too much.

    Among users and studies have confirmed that psilocybin have a lasting effect that INCREASES emotions like empathy and love. Whereas antidepressants such as SSRIs numb all those emotions sometimes permanently if used long enough. Psilocybin hyper-connects the brain’s structure rather than disconnect it like antidepressants do.

    http://www.iflscience.com/brain/magic-mushroom-chemical-hyper-connects-brain

    The thing about psychedelics is they can’t be patented so to a pharmaceutical company they are worthless. Also there would be no money in a possible curing drug that only has to be taken once or a few times rather than drugs that need to be taken daily. Daily treatment is more profitable than a one time cure. Simple economics.

    Maybe I should be more optimistic, but I don’t ever see psychedelics becoming mainstream medical treatment or legalized anytime soon. Big pharma doesn’t want people finding a potential one time cure to their mental health problems.

  2. Hi Jobos, Thanks for declaring your interest in getting the facts straight–that is comforting indeed, and a good reminder to reconsider the truth of as well. Also, you should most definitely not think of any drug as possibly curing you of some mental disorder, as you probably know, since the idea of that proving to be the case is just incoherent if you understand what is meant by the myth of mental illness. None of them could heal you except that you did some work with your experience, and also somehow benefited from the drug experience by getting ideas you could only learn of that way. Doing work on yourself is what psychedelics tend to inspire, and so one would think that the literature that points that out would have more worth to re-investigating their potential benefits. It used to. The fact seems so essential, that if the researchers in the video haven’t stated it, I would just think “here we go again” with their keeping trade secrets about every little mental thing. The decade of the brain–what a sad joke. You can learn the most, probably, if–besides looking for that level of disclosure–you were to read descriptive literature that is not promoting any kind of trips and not supplying you with any knowledge of the means to do so for yourself, as I’m sure you have imagined. Also, from personal experience: when I entered college, since acid was around a lot, the school itself held a free seminar in which someone who knew the facts who was an academic gave us all the tips of what it would typically do to you when taken, and nothing bad was said. To my luck, drug awareness classes where I grew up also were handled like this, even by the female gym teacher, even in ninth grade. No kind of curse got put on the temptation to experiment, just lots and lots of facts and ideas came out about varieties of impairment and pleasure/displeasure from the intoxicating effects as seen in different situations, and mentions were made of the increased health risks from developing recreational habits. I advocate the abolition of drug laws, but “drugs of choice” is my attitude about what someone needs available, anyway, including in mental health practice. I think we should be willing to patiently convince persons about why drugs aren’t helping them as much as they think a lot more often ,and believe that compliance should never be forced. We should also never use childish word games to make ourselves feel big and smart, like calling forced injections “sedatives” when they are creepy tranquilizers.