Medicinal psychedelics for mental health and addiction: Advancing research of an emerging paradigm

Perkins, D, Sarris, J, Rossell, S, Bonomo, Y, Forbes, D, Davey, C, Hoyer, D, Loo, C, Murray, G, Hood, S, Schubert, V, Galvão-Coelho, NL, O’Donnell, M, Carter, O, Liknaitzky, Paul, Williams, M, Siskind, D, Penington, D, Berk, Michael and Castle, D 2021, Medicinal psychedelics for mental health and addiction: Advancing research of an emerging paradigm, Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, pp. 1-7, doi: 10.1177/0004867421998785.

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Title Medicinal psychedelics for mental health and addiction: Advancing research of an emerging paradigm
Author(s) Perkins, D
Sarris, J
Rossell, S
Bonomo, Y
Forbes, D
Davey, C
Hoyer, D
Loo, C
Murray, G
Hood, S
Schubert, V
Galvão-Coelho, NL
O’Donnell, M
Carter, O
Liknaitzky, PaulORCID iD for Liknaitzky, Paul
Williams, M
Siskind, D
Penington, D
Berk, MichaelORCID iD for Berk, Michael
Castle, D
Journal name Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry
Start page 1
End page 7
Total pages 7
Publisher SAGE Publications
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2021-03-21
ISSN 0004-8674
Keyword(s) ayahuasca
Life Sciences & Biomedicine
mental disorders
post-traumatic stress disorder
Psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy
Science & Technology
Summary The medical use of psychedelic substances (e.g. psilocybin, ayahuasca, lysergic acid diethylamide and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is attracting renewed interest, driven by a pressing need for research and development of novel therapies for psychiatric disorders, as well as promising results of contemporary studies. In this Viewpoint, we reflect upon the ‘Clinical Memorandum on Psychedelics’ recently released by the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists and note subsequent developments including the application for down-scheduling of psilocybin and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine presently being considered by the Therapeutic Goods Administration and approvals for access via the Special Access Scheme. We suggest that this field is worthy of rigorous research to assess potential benefits, address safety parameters and clarify therapeutic mechanisms. To this end, we outline recent research findings, provide an overview of current knowledge relating to mechanisms of action and discuss salient aspects of the psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy treatment model. The sum of this research points towards medicinal psychedelics as a potential new class of psychiatric treatments when used within a medically supervised framework with integrated psychotherapeutic support. However, before widespread translation into clinical use can occur, appropriately designed and sufficiently powered trials are required to detect both potential positive and negative outcomes. Unique safety and regulatory challenges also need to be addressed. As for any new medical therapy, psychedelic research needs to be conducted in a rigorous manner, through the dispassionate lens of scientific enquiry. Carte blanche availability to practitioners, without specific protocols and appropriate training, would be potentially harmful to individuals and detrimental to the field.
Notes In Press
Language eng
DOI 10.1177/0004867421998785
Indigenous content off
Field of Research 110999 Neurosciences not elsewhere classified
11 Medical and Health Sciences
17 Psychology and Cognitive Sciences
Socio Economic Objective 920410 Mental Health
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
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Document type: Journal Article
Collections: Faculty of Health
School of Psychology
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