Hello, my name is Laura Suankulova, I am a medical student and on the final year of my studies. This issue drove my attention as it has been a topic of many debates in the scientific field.
The research on psychological effects of illicit drugs has been banned for many decades. However, with new innovations and open-minded approach, several studies managed to extract some useful information regarding this matter.
Due to the psychoactive potential of the drugs, majority of the trials has been focused on treating mental diseases such as depression, anxiety, sleep disorders, ADHD etc. Results have proved highly promising. One of the most well-known examples is LSD, also known as acid, found to be particularly helpful to the individuals suffering from depression and anxiety. Research suggests that psychedelic drugs, unlike conventional antidepressants, could possibly provide long-lasting relief for those dealing with the mental illness. Other substances, such as MDMA(ecstasy) has also showed to have therapeutic potential in treating post-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD) and social anxiety.
Although, this movement has caused controversy, mostly due to its legal status, but also the stigma and the drug misuse.
Mental diseases and substance abuse go hand in hand, particularly as an attempt to self-medicate. Therefore, I believe creating controlled environment would highly benefit patients with psychiatric conditions and provide us with better understanding of the pharmacodynamics of the drugs. Worth mentioning that such approach has proved successful in case of cannabis, which has been legalized in several countries for medical purposes.
On the other hand, it puts extra pressure on healthcare and pharmaceutical companies to take responsibility for possible unwanted outcomes, and would require special education for the medical professionals to practice such therapy.
How do you think, is there future for these drugs to become available on market? And if yes, would you, as a doctor, prescribe them?
References: the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS)