Could Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds be the answer to mental illness?

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Australia is missing out on the benefits of using psychedelic drugs to treat a range of mental illnesses, say two Australian psychologists. Overseas research over the past 15 years has investigated the use of drugs such as LSD, MDMA (Ecstasy) and psilocybin (the active compound in 'magic mushrooms') to treat post-traumatic stress, depression and anxiety. But years of misinformation and prejudice about drugs as well as a risk-averse research funding culture has stymied Australian psychedelic research, say the authors.Drug companies also lack an incentive to develop psychedelic treatments, since most cannot be patented and patients are often only prescribed two to three doses. The group is calling for an Australian psychedelic research program to keep up with other countries.

Journal/conference: Australian Psychologist

Organisation/s: Edith Cowan University, Curtin University, Monash University

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