Psychedelics: Where we are now, why we got here, what we must do

Belouin S, Henningfield JE
Neuropharmacology, 142:7-19, 2018.

The purpose of this commentary is to provide an introduction to this special issue of Neuropharmacology with a historical perspective of psychedelic drug research, their use in psychiatric disorders, research-restricting regulatory controls, and their recent emergence as potential breakthrough therapies for several brain-related disorders. It begins with the discovery of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and its promising development as a treatment for several types of mental illnesses during the 1940s. This was followed by its abuse and stigmatization in the 1960s that ultimately led to the placement of LSD and other psychedelic drugs into the most restrictively regulated drug schedule of the United States Controlled Substances Act (Schedule I) in 1970 and its international counterparts.

The authors conclude that more must be done to effectively address mental illnesses and brain related diseases which have become so pervasive, destructive, and whose treatments are becoming increasingly resistant to current evidenced based therapies. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled ‘Psychedelics: New Doors, Altered Perceptions’.