In a huge study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, it was concluded by the scientist at the Norwegian University for Science and Technology at Trondheim that there is no relation between the use of LSD and psilocybin (the active ingredient in magic mushrooms) and mental health problems. 135,000 participants were selected at random- including 19,000 who had used mind-altering drugs-and found no evidence regarding the connection in such drugs to the onset of mental disorders.
“Over 30 million U.S. adults have tried psychedelics and there just is not much evidence of health problems,” author and clinical psychologist Pål-Ørjan Johansen said.
Johanesen was cautious to recognize that users of psychedelic drugs are not immune to unhappy situations; they are as vulnerable as anyone else to mental health issues. But his findings contradicts a common insight that drugs like LSD put users directly in danger-a justification used in criminalization.
“This study assures us that there were not widespread ‘acid casualties‘ in the 1960s,” Charles Grob, a pediatric psychiatrist at UCLA, told Nature.
The study’s publication arrives at a time when the attention in psychedelic drugs- or at least their scientific usefulness- is rising. The journalist of The New Yorker, Michael Pollan, summarized that those scientists at New York University whose experiments had a positive result with managing psilocybin-particularly among participants who’s suffering with terminal cancer. In the U.K., 12 patients suffering from clinical depression will take magic mushrooms for a research next year at London’s Imperial College.
Since 1970, most psychedelic drugs- including LSD and psilocybin- have been illegal in the United States. It was the year that President Richard Nixed signed the Controlled Substances Act. The law classified LSD and mushrooms under Schedul1, banning not only their consumption and sale but also for the use in medicinal purposes. Research into the healing benefits of psychedelic drugs froze after decades of chaotic scientific investigation.
Despite a revival in scientific interest, a law reconsideration of LSD and mushrooms is not yet on the table, and may not be considered necessary. But a renewed enthusiasm for examining psychedelic substances hints, as with the gradual relaxing of marijuana laws across the country, at a more civilized, rational approach to the criminalization of drugs.