Author Topic: Use of psychedelic drugs in health care  (Read 115 times)

ditchdwellers

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Use of psychedelic drugs in health care
« on: 11 Nov 2021 11:37AM »
I get cluster headaches and treat them using both high flow oxygen and sumitripan injections, if the oxygen doesn't do the job.


On a cluster headaches support forum I use, a lot of people microdose with magic mushrooms. It is claimed that it is a complete game changer for the condition, frequently putting it into remission for many years. I'm fascinated by the potential of psychedelic drugs for a range of conditions and understand that some detailed research is finally being undertaken on a variety of psychotropic drugs, both natural and manufactured.


I would be more than happy to be a test subject if the results are as good as claimed. However, no longer being a reckless teenager,  my illegal drug taking days are well and truly over. Plus I don't trust any possible interactions with my prescription meds, so would want it to be supervised by my neurologist.


There are going to be a lot of hurdles to jump and prejudices to challenge in this sort of research and getting it legalised will be a minefield. Just look at the debacle over cannabis medication for an example, so it may not happen in my lifetime. I'm just pleased that researchers are looking back at earlier research and viewing it from a modern perspective.

lankou

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Re: Use of psychedelic drugs in health care
« Reply #1 on: 11 Nov 2021 12:57PM »
Be advised do not take Psilocin without someone being with you, there can be some very nasty side effects making it not safe to be on your own. It is very easy to confuse Psilocybe mushrooms with a deadly mushroom.

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Use of psychedelic drugs in health care
« Reply #2 on: 11 Nov 2021 03:53PM »
Gosh, yes, what's happened with other psychotropic drugs once they become trendy and bigpharma pushes them hard.

I don't think that there can be many medicinal drugs that don't have some side-effects or downsides, but boy does bigpharma go all out to hide them instead of being more open.  Then we have exposés and that's lead to enormous suspicion and wariness over anything that seems new, leading to more reluctance by bigpharma to be open about things.

And the cannabis thing, scream.  The problems in America where it's been legalised for pain relief, and companies sell modified/carefully selected variants of it that have far higher levels of THC, without warning patients taking it for pain relief that whilst small amounts don't kill pain and larger amounts do, even larger amounts leave you more sensitive to it.  I read a heartbreaking article by an American psychiatrist about how in practical terms, as opposed to technical terms, it creates the effect of addiction, insofar as patients trying to kill pain simply take more and more as the pain gets worse and worse.  Lovely profits for manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, advertisers etc.

CBD is now available here and fashionable.  I don't see anything advertised as being a particular strength or containing a specific amount.  I don't buy it but I'd like to bet that any details like that are in rather small print.

But suggestions that if you legalise anything like that you should put the equivalent of alcohol ABV labels don't go down well in this country. 

I've been horrified by what isn't told to people about existing psychotropic meds.  I was shocked when I realised that my night-blindness was due to medications I was taking and that doctors in various specialties, including ophthalmologist, psychiatrist, neurologist, GP etc. didn't register that they can impair vitamin A absorption even though if you rummage you can find they impair the functioning of the pancreas.  When I later asked my neurologist whether that could also be a factor in my ataxia, via problems with vitamin E absorption, his eyes lit up, not having previously made the connection.  Yet the relevant meds are ones that he prescribes for epilepsy.

So whilst I think there's enormous potential for creating a range of new psychotropic meds and other meds from psychedelic plants & substances, I think, sadly, we'll get the same sort of problems with a wide range of other meds.  Super-duper wonderful cure-all, push hard, oops, problems, deny, deny, oh dear, admit them, never mind, another super-duper cure-all is ready to market.

I think it happens far more with psychotropic medication than other meds, not least because it's easy to write off what mental health service users say than what physical health service users say.

Which is a pity, because if there's a big enough scandal over a med that can cause problems, it can get abandoned even where, if used appropriately and prudently, it would be very useful.
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)

Fiz

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Re: Use of psychedelic drugs in health care
« Reply #3 on: 11 Nov 2021 05:21PM »
The THC has to be removed from CBD in this country legally. I've tried to buy it with THC and failed!

Sunny Clouds

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Re: Use of psychedelic drugs in health care
« Reply #4 on: 11 Nov 2021 06:34PM »
I know what you mean, but I hope you'll forgive me if for the purpose of the discussion I split hairs and point out that THC is a separate chemical compound found in cannabis alongside CBD, not in CBD itself.

And I think it's those niceties that bigpharma exploits given half a chance.  If the sale of THC either separately or as part of cannabis were legalised, without very explicit labelling requirements, people wanting CBD could find themselves buying compounds including both CBD and THC without aware of the potential negative effects of THC as well as its positive effects.

That's what worries me.  Not legalisation of the sale of such substances, but misleading marketing and labelling of such substances.  If you buy any sort of mood-altering substance, whether as a medicine or as a recreational substance, we should have proper labelling.

As a parallel, if the government were to propose introducing a requirement that I think should be there in relation to alcohol labelling, their alcohol & pub trade big donors would stop them.  I think that products that I will call 'social alcohol' products like beer, wine, cocktails etc. (as opposed to products with alcohol for cleaning paintbrushes, sanitising hands etc. or products with small amounts of alcohol for dissolving something) should carry a clear warning that those consuming regularly should watch their vitamin B1 intake.  I've seen what Korsakoff's dementia does to people.  It's cruel.

For another parallel, I think that there should be more warning on cigarettes about dangers related to non-tobacco ingredients and dangers relating to passive smokers. (I've nearly died from people not realising you can be allergic to non-tobacco chemicals exhaled by cigarette smokers.)

So for me it's less about what's sold and more about the labelling.

That being said, as the rest of the NHS is privatised, health insurers enmeshed with bigpharma will be in a dilemma as to the balance between products providing profit for sales (like if they can get American style high-THC cannabis for people seeking pain relief, leading to rocketing sales for people dealing with rocketing pain levels) versus the consequent cost of healthcare.  I suspect that in America, they mostly deal with it via exclusion clauses in the health insurance.

Forgive my cynicism over it.  But meds get sold the same way as other potentially profitable products.  Skilled advertising, push hard, mislead along the way to get more sales than otherwise, whilst behind the scenes getting ready to launch something different once problems with the previous product get exposed and there's a backlash.

It doesn't just happen with mind-altering substances.  It happens with a whole range of food, household products, toys and just about everything.  Gosh, aren't I negative about the potential for harm of greed?  But that doesn't mean I think no good can come of these things.  A drive to make profit can lead to good products ending up on the market, or products both good and bad that can do good when properly labelled and appropriately used.
« Last Edit: 11 Nov 2021 07:31PM by Sunny Clouds »
(I'm an obsessive problem-solver, so feel free to ignore any suggestions or solutions I offer, even if they sound terribly insistent.)