Kenosha News editorial: These psychedelic experiences at UW are for therapy | Editorial

They are experimenting with psychedelic drugs again at UW-Madison.

No, we’re not talking about wide-eyed college students in tie-dyed T-shirts walking along Picnic Point whispering “Oh, Wow” as they do their own “independent research” into spiritualism and religion. self-realization. It was in the 60s.

We’re talking about research, rigorously controlled clinical research, with human trials to see if long-banned drugs like psilocybin (magic mushrooms) can be used to treat depression or addiction. UW researchers are testing MDMA (think the club drug known as ecstasy or molly) to see if it can boost psychotherapy to treat post-traumatic stress disorder.

A new study suggests that psilocybin may be as effective as major antidepressants. According to a study published in the “New England Journal of Medicine”. psilocybin, the active compound in magic mushrooms, may be as effective as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors. the main type of antidepressant drug. PsyPost reports that 59 men and women with moderate to severe depression participated in the 6-week trial. . Psilocybin therapy appears to be at least as effective as a leading conventional antidepressant and works faster with a reassuring safety profile when administered by professional therapists, study author Robin Carhart-Harris and head of the Center for Psychedelic Research at Imperial College London, via PsyPost. Patients in the psilocybin group would have been less likely to have side effects such as anxiety, dry mouth, sexual dysfunction, and reduced emotional reactivity. Researchers involved in the study noted that although the results are intriguing. a larger and longer study would be necessary to arrive at conclusive results.

As editor-in-chief Preston Schmitt reported in the current issue of “On Wisconsin,” the UW alumni magazine, the door was effectively closed on psychedelic research in 1971 when Congress passed the Controlled Substances Act, which stated that psilocybin, LSD and later MDMA had “” no currently accepted medical uses and a high potential for abuse.

“It was highly unlikely that the researchers received the necessary federal approvals to pursue such studies,” Schmitt told us, “And in this climate, given the cultural and political backlash, there was little will to do so. “

This head-in-the-sand approach to psychedelic research has gone on for decades.

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