Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Home Life Style Health & Fitness LSD, magic mushrooms less harmful than thought and should be reclassified, says...

LSD, magic mushrooms less harmful than thought and should be reclassified, says renowned psychiatrist


By NewsGram Staff Writer

Psychedelics were made illegal in 1967, when medical research suggested widespread concern about their psychological and social harms.

Today, a leading psychiatrist claims that psychedelic drugs, including LSD and magic mushrooms, are less harmful than projected and should be reclassified in order to promote research into their potential benefits.

“No evidence had ever shown the drugs to be habit-forming. There is also little evidence of harm when used in controlled settings, and a wealth of studies indicating that they have uses in the treatment of common psychiatric disorders”, writes Dr James Rucker, a psychiarist at King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience

According to one small Swiss study, LSD and psilocybin- the active compound in magic mushrooms–can be used to alleviate symptoms of anxiety in terminally ill patients.

Other researchers are starting to consider how such psychedelics can benefit addicts and those suffering from the obsessive compulsive disorder.

Dr Rucker, however, argues that larger trials are “almost impossible” because of the “practical, financial, and bureaucratic obstacles” imposed by the drugs’ legal status.

Magic mushrooms and LSD are classified as class A and schedule 1 drugs in the UK. Only four hospitals in the UK possess licenses to conduct research due to the exorbitant amount(£5,000) that one has to shell out for holding such a license.

Complying with international regulations also involves hefty charges for researchers who wish to acquire the drugs. According to Dr Rucker, a gram of psilocybin can cost up to £100,000.

“These restrictions, and the accompanying bureaucracy, mean that the cost of clinical research using psychedelics is five to 10 times that of research into less restricted (but more harmful) drugs such as heroin – with no prospect that the benefits can be translated into wider practice,” Rucker writes in BMJ

Rucker further argues that national and international bodies should reclassify psychedelics as a schedule 2 drugs, to enable a comprehensive, evidence-based assessment of their therapeutic potential.

Former chairman of the Advisory council on the misuse of drugs, Professor David Nutt was dismissed after saying that LSD and ecstasy are less harmful than alcohol.

An outspoken critic of the restrictions around studies of psychedelics, Professor Nutt is currently conducting research into psychedelics’ effects on the brain. His team at Imperial College London are the first in the world to conduct brain scans on people under the influence of LSD.

Nutt compares the repression of such research to the censorship of Galileo and the banning of the telescope. His team recently announced they would have to crowd-fund the next stages of their research, amid prospects of deteriorating funds.

Stating his opposition in no uncertain terms, Mike Penning, Minister for Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice and Victims said, “Drugs are illegal where scientific and medical analysis has shown they are harmful to human health. They destroy lives, cause misery to families and communities, and this Government has no intention of decriminalising them.”

“We have a clear licensing regime, supported by legislation, which allows legitimate research to take place in a secure environment while ensuring that harmful drugs are not misused and do not get into the hands of criminals”, Penning further added.




Most Popular

6 Books To Add In Your Bookshelf This October

If you are looking to welcome the festive season with a dash of reading, six upcoming Indian authors could be interesting additions to your...

Divorce And Separation: Realize That You Are No Longer A Married Couple

By Greg Summit It would seem obvious that divorce means that you are no longer a couple. But in practice, many are faced with the...

Maa Durga And Cosmic Divinity

By Salil Gewali October is here, and we, with the feeling of enthusiasm, are set to celebrate Durga Puja. For many of us, Durga Puja...

Air Pollution Causes Food Delivery Leading to Plastic Waste

When the air quality outside is bad, office workers are more likely to order food than go out for lunch, which in turn increases...

Virus Can Reinfect COVID Patients When Antibodies Start Depleting

Patients who have recovered from COVID-19 can again get infected by the virus once the antibodies of the viral disease start depleting, the Indian...

International Chef Day a Low-Key Event Due to Pandemic

The International Chef Day is observed on October 20, but this year, the celebrations here were muted as chefs are facing a torrid time...

Coffee Before Breakfast May Increase Diabetes Risk

If you're taking coffee before breakfast, read this carefully. Researchers have found that drinking coffee first thing can have a negative effect on blood...

India’s Nutrition Experts on Supporting Public Health Delivery

Indias public health and nutrition efforts are differentiated by an enterprising early start going as far back as 1975 with the beginning of Anganwadi...

Recent Comments