THE REHABILITATION OF PSYCHEDELICS
The trial investigating “spontaneously occurring mystical experiences” that sparked psychedelics’ comeback took place at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine in Baltimore. Volunteers tripped out to classical music on a sofa.
A team of scientists in California led by Charles Grob found psilocybin improved the mood of terminally ill patients for up to six months, as well as reducing their anxiety. Patients also reported feeling closer to their friends and family.
Norwegian scientists trawled through 1960s LSD studies. They found a single trip seemed to have “a significant beneficial effect” on alcoholics. They wrote: “It’s puzzling why this treatment has been largely overlooked.”
Repeated ketamine infusions were shown to have an antidepressant effect on those resistant to treatment in a study by the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. The effects lasted for 18 days at a time.
Many have called SSRI antidepressants into question. Harvard Medical School’s Irving Kirsch suggested they are no more than placebos. “The serotonin theory is as close as any in the history of science to having been proved wrong,” he wrote.
Last year, Imperial College London conducted the first clinical trial into psilocybin as a viable treatment for depression. After just two sessions, all 12 volunteers showed markedly improved symptoms.