Could psychedelic drugs be the ticket to improved mental health?

New research suggests the altered sense of self from the use of psychedelic drugs could help mental health patients recover.

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For many mental health patients, the inability to view things differently is a major barrier to recovery. Academics at the University of Adelaide suggest that the use of psychedelic drugs could be the answer.

According to Professor Philip Gerrans and Dr Chris Letheby, the use of drugs such as LSD or magic mushrooms can help patients dissolve their ego or lose their sense of self. This moment of expanded awareness can enlighten them to their subjectivity, allowing a more meaningful connection with the world around them.

In a new article published in Aeon, Professory Gerrans and Dr Letheby say that there is growing evidence that psychedelic experiences can be truly ‘transformative’.

Dr Letheby suggests that ‘ego dissolution offers vivid experiential proof not only that things can be different, but that there is opportunity to seek change’.

There is a history of using these kinds of drugs to treat psychiatric conditions, with psychiatrists in the 1950s claiming success in the treatment of alcoholism and other conditions. While there is much more research to be done, Professor Gerrans suggests that it may be time for these drugs to make a comeback.

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