In recent years, Johns Hopkins has been one of the leading research institutions exploring a class of drugs that were once considered taboo–namely psychedelics and hallucinogens. The Canadian Medical Association Journal recently analyzed a number of studies looking at psychedelic research at Hopkins and elsewhere. They found that the drugs show remarkable promise, and recommend that research should be increased.
The CMAJ study looked at many small-scale studies on hallucinogenic treatment for everything from anxiety to alcoholism to PTSD to fear of death to suicidal thinking. “Continued medical research and scientific inquiry into psychedelic drugs may offer new ways to treat mental illness and addiction in patients who do not benefit from currently available treatments,” the study authors wrote. “The re-emerging paradigm of psychedelic medicine may open clinical and therapeutic doors long closed.”
Johns Hopkins’s Matthew Johnson, one of the leading voices in the field, spoke with the CMAJ for their podcast series earlier this week. Johnson credits the recent resurgence of psychedelic research to the fact that enough time has passed since the heydey of LSD in the 1960s that researchers can now evaluate the risks and rewards of such compounds, rather than relying on sensationalism or fear.