Steve, very much appreciate your perspective on this. Although I should point out that with psilocybin and LSD, and also MDMA, the idea is to have between one and four dosed session and that’s it. They are completely unlike existing psychiatric medications in that regard. That’s another reason Big Pharma isn’t pursuing them — these drugs compete with highly profitable medications, like antidepressants, that must be taken regularly. Pharmaceutical corporations have nothing to gain from drugs that are effective with one or two doses, even if they did find a way to tweak the compounds or patent an extended-release formulation.
Steve, very much appreciate your perspective on this. Although I should point out that with psilocybin and LSD, and also MDMA, the idea is to have between one and four dosed session and that’s it. They are completely unlike existing psychiatric medications in that regard.
That’s another reason Big Pharma isn’t pursuing them — these drugs compete with highly profitable medications, like antidepressants, that must be taken regularly. Pharmaceutical corporations have nothing to gain from drugs that are effective with one or two doses, even if they did find a way to tweak the compounds or patent an extended-release formulation.
Danny, thank you for your very insightful and balanced comments in this thread.
It’s worth noting that all the classic psychedelics being studied — LSD, DMT, peyote, and psilocybin — are too old to be patented. Without a patent, there is very little money to be made by Big Pharma. That’s why these kinds of studies, including the above, have been funded by pharmaceutical companies, but primarily by non-profits and universities.
“I don’t support psychiatrists or anyone else repurposing such drugs as ‘medical treatment’ for suicidality.” Suppose that more studies are completed in the future, and the effectiveness of these drugs for treating depression, addiction, and anxiety becomes well-established. In that case, would you support the ability of individuals to seek out and receive psychedelic-assisted therapy? Or do you think it should be banned altogether?
I agree with you that psychedelics should not be pushed on any and everyone by psychiatrists. We are most certainly over-prescribed currently, and I would hate to see these substance thoughtlessly administered to people who didn’t need them, didn’t understand them, or weren’t ready for the experience.
“It’s not about what can be useful…”
For me, and for people in need of more effective treatments than what is currently available, it is very much about what can be useful. That is the whole point of these studies — to determine new, useful treatments for intractable conditions suffered by millions.
“it’s about those that likely wont be offered a choice in the matter.”
I don’t think anyone here advocates for administering psychedelics to people without their consent! I wholly agree that that would be a terrible idea.
Drudo, very sorry to hear you had a bad experience, especially if it may have been linked to later mental health issues.
I’d like to point out that ‘natural’ is no guarantee of ‘good,’ and to assume otherwise is a logical error called the “Appeal to Nature.” Hemlock, for instance, is totally natural, but I’d much sooner consume a sheet of man-made LSD than a cup of hemlock tea. Many of our best medicines are synthetic, and we would not be healthier if we went without them.
If we follow the evidence, rather than our prejudice, it is not at all clear that psilocybin is superior to LSD in efficacy or safety. Indeed, they’re both very safe when taken in a controlled set and setting, and, from preliminary studies, appear to be remarkably effective at relieving a variety of very treatment-resistant mental issues.
But the research is just getting started (again, after a long hiatus). I agree that much more research needs to be done before psychedelic-assisted therapy is accepted into mainstream medicine.
Blood-letting was dismissed as unscientific, ineffective, and harmful by the end of the nineteenth century. How does this obsolete ‘treatment’ reflect in any way on modern psychiatry? If anything its obsolescence shows that we are willing to abandon “barbaric and non-effective treatments,” no?
Yes, I’ll admit that we are both biased, and I don’t expect either of us to change the other’s mind. But my username does not diminish the substance of my objections, of which you have not responded to a single one.
As for what side I’m on, I side with the evidence. Do you have any actual objections to the study, which demonstrates an apparent protective link between psychedelics and suicide? What makes psychedelic medicines illegitimate in your eyes?
I don’t think the article author, nor the researchers at UAB, are trying to characterize these drugs as a miracle cure.
Squash, nothing in the article suggests that this is a miracle cure. Neither the study nor the article concern nitrous, ketamine, or MDMA, so I am baffled how you claim that this research “seems to support the notion” that these drugs will be “the next great big cure all.” In fact the study directly contradicts what you’ve said — researchers concluded that use “of all other substances” — i.e. non-classic-psychedelics — “was by and large associated with an increased likelihood of psychological distress and suicidality at or above the trend level”.
You claim that this medical research is “insanity” and a “fad masquerading as legitimate ‘treatment'”. Yet studies increasingly show that LSD and psilocybin, in conjunction with psychotherapy, are effective treatments for real disorders — anxiety in people dying from cancer, alcoholism, and tobacco addiction to name a few. Do you have any actual objections to the methodology of the studies? What makes their findings invalid?
You also ask, in dramatic hyperbole, whether psychedelic medicines “elevate the local drug dealer to the level of ‘shrink'”. You do realize, I hope, that many drugs are used both medically and recreationally? Ketamine, heroin, cocaine, and cannabis all have legitimate medical applications — do you think this “elevates” all street dealers into doctors, or in any way diminishes the medical potential of these drugs?
What’s ‘ludicrous’ is how quickly people will turn to obsolete prejudices and stigmas when evaluating the potential of these drugs.