Psychedelic drugs may be helpful in treating addiction, anxiety, and PTSD

published on September 8, 2015 by Carly Weeks in The Globe and Mail

Psychedelic drugs, including LSD and MDMA, could help some patients struggling with addiction, post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety, according to a new analysis that urges Canadian policy-makers to reconsider their perception of those drugs.

The analysis, published Tuesday in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, says several small studies show psychedelics may be effective at treating certain patients, but that “popular misconceptions” about the risks of the drugs are hampering research efforts. The authors argue that any novel treatment that may ease the symptoms of PTSD, addiction or anxiety should be explored, especially considering the limitations of available treatments.

“We’re hoping to reduce the kind of stigma, for lack of a better word, around this area of scientific investigation,” said Dr. Evan Wood, a professor of medicine at the University of British Columbia, medical director for addiction services at Vancouver Coastal Health and one of the study authors. “I think there has to be some acknowledgment that the traditional approach that’s been taken in mental health hasn’t really been effective.”

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