New research on the medical use of Psychedelic drugs could potentially drop the stigma attached to the use of such drugs, say scientists from Vancouver.
The study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal suggests a comeback of Psychedelic drugs in the medical world after their classification in 1970 as drugs of abuse that have no medical purpose.
For many years in North America drugs such as methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), that people know as Molly or ecstasy, psilocybin or lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), have not been approved by medical establishments.
That however is about to change, say researchers.
The Canadian Multidisciplinary Association took approximately 100 volunteers diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and kept them in intensive therapy while also administrating MDMA.
“A dramatic improvement has been noted in all participants,” reports Haden, an addictions counselor and Professor at the School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia.
Researchers from Switzerland, Brazil, Peru, Mexico and the United States are also conducting similar studies which prove that psychedelic drugs are useful in treating addiction, depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress.
Study participants had to take a dose of MDMA three times a day, whilst supervised by a therapist. They had counseling sessions before and after taking the drug and they were closely monitored during medication use. These psychedelics namely MDMA, LSD and psilocybin along with psychotherapy proved to have long lasting benefits.
Haden suggests that patients with PTSD or post-traumatic disorder, especially due to wartime experiences, can benefit from the use of psychedelic drugs, because they hinder disturbing and unpleasant thoughts.
South Carolina-based psychiatrist Dr. Michael Mithoefer concluded that after the MDMA-assisted therapy, 10 out of 12 research participants no longer suffered from post-traumatic disorder.
Cost and time are two factors that might favor the use of psychedelic drugs as an alternative to the pricey therapy sessions, says Matthew W. Johnson, a professor of behavioral sciences and psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University.
Three significant studies about LSD, psilocybin, dimethyltryptamine, mescaline and MDMA were summed up in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, by Dr. Evan Wood and co-authors Kenneth W. Tupper, Matthew W. Johnson and Richard Yensen.
In Switzerland, for example, 12 terminally ill patients showed lower anxiety levels after LSD-assisted psychotherapy. Overall the studies show that in all the cases, psychedelic drugs had a beneficial effect of people’s mental and physical health.
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