Therapeutic value of psychedelic drugs examined

Therapeutic value of psychedelic drugs examined. Researchers hope their study could lead to more effective treatments for depression, anxiety and even chronic pain. News Media Told: “We are going through what people call a psychedelic renaissance and the time really has come now to take the psychedelic drugs into our laboratory and find out if there’s any therapeutic potential in using them.” News Media was given rare access to the Maastricht Psychedelic Research Programme at the university, which is being run in conjunction with the Beckley Foundation, a British think-tank that advocates evidence-based drug policy reform. Volunteers are given placebo or microdoses of LSD to confirm whether the effect is real or all in the mind. They are then put through a battery of cognitive ability tests. Their pain tolerance is also assessed by timing how long they can keep their hand in iced water. Nadia Hutten, one of the researchers, said: “The definition of microdosing is that you don’t feel it but it improves your mood and creativity. “Such small doses can easily be a placebo effect because you’re not supposed to feel anything. “We want to have a really proper experimental setting where we can see if we can back up what people report.” Prof Ramaekers said: “So if you’re in a depressive state, you may fall back on rigid habitual thinking. “You may have lost some of the flexibility that is really needed to cope with any day to day operations and treatment with psychedelics may actually bring this flexibility of your mind back.” He added that psychedelics appear to be “much safer” than other medicines used to treat mental health problems. Researchers elsewhere are also beginning to look at psychedelics. Imperial College in London is running an online study in which participants are unaware whether they are taking placebo or a micro-dose of LSD. Researchers at Imperial have also shown that psilocybin, the active compound in magic mushrooms, can treat severe depression. Amanda Fielding started the Beckley Foundation in 1998 in the hope that scientific evidence could convince the authorities to ease restrictions on psychedelics. “We desperately need them,” she said. “We are heading fast into a mental health epidemic – suicide, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, dementias. “(Psychedelics) are incredibly valuable gifts of the gods, of nature. We made a mistake criminalising them.” Under UK law, LSD and other psychedelics are classified as class A drugs under the Misuse of Drugs Act. The Home Office said: “We have no intention of changing the law to legalise illicit drugs.”

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