This month’s Psychologist journal features a special edition: A Brave New World for Psychiatry? Featuring articles on psychedelic psychiatry. If that wasn’t great enough, the issue is free to view online. Dig in, readers.
Brian Nutt introduces the special issue:
The psychedelic state is unquestionably one of the most interesting psychological experiences humans can have. Hallucinogenic drugs that have been used by humans for as long as we can determine to provide novel insights into the mind and enhance social bonding. For moral reasons, hidden behind spurious concerns about health harms, modern society has attempted to deny the value and importance of the use of these drugs and the study of this altered state of consciousness. This article explains why this scientific censorship has occurred and outlines the lost opportunities for neuroscience research and medicinal treatments that have resulted.
…The failure of the scientific community, particularly neuroscientists, to protest the denial of research on hallucinogens is one of the most disturbing failures of science leadership in the past century, and it must be rectified. Psychologists and other neuroscientists must demand the right to study these drugs. Our professional organisations should demand the overturn of the UN Schedule 1 status for hallucinogens and in the meantime push for hospital and university research groups to be given exemption from the need to hold these licences. The need for this field to be opened up to psychologists is beautifully put by Aldous Huxley himself: Great is truth, but still greater, from a practical point of view, is silence about truth. Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored. By simply not mentioning certain subjects… totalitarian propagandists have influenced opinion much more effectively than they could have by the most eloquent denunciations.