Psychedelics have been investigated for their therapeutic applications in end-of-life care as early as 1960. Recently, there have been four main groups conducting clinical trials for either lysergic acid diethylamide or psilocybin for the treatment of anxiety and depression in patients with terminal illnesses. The recent trials have higher methodological quality and demonstrate the profound impact of psychedelics for this particular patient presentation. However, a number of gaps, including understanding the meaning of death and dying in Western society; the nature of the psychedelic experience and how this lends itself to assisting those who are facing death; and how suffering and psychological distress are defined and understood in current psychiatric and medical frameworks. This article provides a critical evaluation of the recent publications and suggests how anthropology may contribute knowledge to this emerging field.
Authors:Cody Sykes Gilbert, Mitch Earleywine, Maha N. Mian, and Brianna R. Altman
onset, withdrawal, side effects, and poor efficacy have inspired renewed research in psychedelic-assistedtherapy ( Romeo, Karila, Martelli, & Benyamina, 2020 ). Ayahuasca, a psychoactive plant brew traditionally consumed by native communities in the
to numerous requests from therapists seeking an opportunity to undergo psychedelic-assistedtherapy for training purposes. They applied to FDA to amend their existing LSD research protocols to include the administration of LSD to both therapists and
outpatient services and the self-administered daily use of pharmaceutical drugs ( Richert & Dyck, 2019 ). Today, insistence by those who wish to develop scalable psychedelic-assistedtherapies on the prioritization of safety, quality of service provision, and
Authors:Henrik Børsting Jacobsen, Audun Stubhaug, Bjørn Holmøy, Tor Morten Kvam, and Silje Endresen Reme
Psilocybin is emerging as a promising therapeutic agent for a wide range of psychiatric conditions, and clinical trials on psilocybin-assisted treatment are forthcoming in Scandinavian countries. However, little is known about attitudes towards this psychedelic compound among the general public in Nordic countries. This might represent a confound, and reduce the validity of research findings or the overall feasibility of conducting high-quality clinical trials.
The main objective of this study is to address the knowledge gap surrounding use and attitudes towards psilocybin in Norway.
We asked a representative sample of the Norwegian population (N = 1,078) if they have ever tried psilocybin and if they would be willing to do so as part of medical treatment. These questions were part of a larger online survey on a variety personal preferences and attitudes, and the survey was not presented as a study on psilocybin.
Of the 1,078 respondents, 8% reported previous psilocybin use and 51% were willing to try psilocybin in medical treatment.
Psilocybin use is more common in Norway than the authors hypothesized, and the general public is relatively open to using psilocybin in a medical context. The latter is interpreted as promising with regards to the feasibility of conducting rigorous clinical trials on potential effects and side effects of psilocybin-assisted treatment in Norway.
, psychedelic-assistedtherapy has failed to center the needs of people of color ( Williams & Labate, 2020 ). Over 80% of participants in treatment trials are White and less than 3% are Black ( Michaels, Purdon, Collins, & Williams, 2018 ). Across the globe
clinicians to deliver psychedelic-assistedtherapies ( Phelps, 2017 ). Yet, despite these developments, and an impressive spate of progressive and well-intentioned international investigators, the science as a whole remains severely lacking in diversity and
Authors:Jamilah R. George, Timothy I. Michaels, Jae Sevelius, and Monnica T. Williams
al., 2016 ). Anecdotal reports from patients comparing the experience of typical psychotherapy and psychedelic-assistedtherapy emphasize that hallucinogens appear to accelerate emotional processes ( Gasser, Kirchner, & Passie, 2015 ), perhaps facilitating a
Authors:Monnica T. Williams, Sara Reed, and Jamilah George
everyday interactions outside of the treatment space ( Williams et al., 2020 ). Discussion Psychedelic-assistedtherapy for Black women The material that emerged from the MDMA-assisted psychotherapy sessions was filled with themes that are particularly
participant may choose to lie down wearing eye shades and headphones; music being an important aspect of the therapeutic effects of psychedelic-assistedtherapies ( Kaelen et al., 2015 ).
Heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature will be taken before