The following is an article written by Tom Shroder based on his new book
In the past decade, after thirty years in the deep freeze, research into the medicinal use of psychedelic drugs, ranging from psilocybin to Ketamine, and from MDMA to LSD, has begun to accelerate. FDA-approved pilot studies and clinical trials using the drugs under controlled conditions and in combination with talk therapy have shown they could be used safely, delivering promising results in a wide range of tough-to-treat maladies, including opiate and tobacco addiction, alcoholism, autism, anxiety, depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
These developments are not surprising to some who remember the first wave of research and even widespread clinical use of psychedelics in the quarter century after the accidental discovery LSD in 1943. A global review of psychedelic studies and clinical results in 1963 concluded: “Some spectacular, and almost unbelievable, results have been achieved by using one dose [of the drugs].”
In 1960, a psychiatrist named Sydney Cohen surveyed the results of 44 physicians who had administered 25,000 doses of LSD or mescaline to 5,000 subjects under widely varying conditions. Cohen found “no instance of serious or prolonged physical side effects” in either those 25,000 sessions or in the wider literature on psychedelic drug studies. Adverse psychological reactions, he found, were rare, and mostly related to pre-existing mental illnesses.