There is interest in the therapeutic potential of psychedelic drugs, such as LSD and psilocybin (magic mushrooms), particularly in the treatment of alcoholism, depression and other mental health disorders. However, scientific research in this area is curtailed by legal restrictions.
The illegal status of these drugs is being challenged by scientific researchers, who argue that harm associated with psychedelic drugs is extremely rare. Analysis of more than 135,000 randomly selected adults in the United States found that people who had ever used psychedelic drugs (approximately 20,000 individuals) were no more likely than non-users to experience mental health problems, including suicidal ideation.
“It is difficult to see how prohibition of psychedelics can be justified as a public health measure,” write the researchers in the Journal of Psychopharmacology
(online, 5 March 2015).