A leading psychiatrist in London says it’s time to reclassify psychedelic drugs and properly acknowledge their value in treating mental illness.
via The Daily Beast:
A leading psychiatrist has called for the reclassification of magic mushrooms, LSD, and other psychedelic drugs on the grounds they could be crucial in treating mental health problems.
James Rucker, honorary lecturer at King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, proposed that legal restrictions on the use of such substances be lifted and used to aid ailments such as anxiety and addiction.
Such drugs “were extensively used and researched in clinical psychiatry” during the ’50s and ’60s, Rucker wrote in the British Medical Journal, but were prohibited in 1967 following fears that they were causing psychological harm—in spite of medical evidence to the contrary. But more than two decades after they were classified as Schedule 1, materials in accordance with the United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances, the U.S.’s war on drugs was revealed to be little more than fear mongering.
In 1992, John Ehrlichman, former assistant to Richard Nixon, admitted that the administration had stoked misgivings about the harmful effects of drugs and exploited the public’s lack of awareness for their own political gain—a move which means, 50 years later, psychedelics face more restrictions than heroin and cocaine.
“Hundreds of papers, involving tens of thousands of patients, presented evidence for their use as psychotherapeutic catalysts of mentally beneficial change in many psychiatric disorders, problems of personality development, recidivistic behaviour, and existential anxiety,” Rucker says of the drugs’ medical history. “No evidence shows that psychedelic drugs are habit forming; little evidence shows that they are harmful in controlled settings; and much historical evidence has shown that they could have use in common psychiatric disorders.”