I’ve got PTSD and depression both after reading today’s Health.com/CNN article on ecstasy, psilocybin (psychedelic mushrooms) and ketamine for depression and post-traumatic stress disorder. The author, Ann Harding, quotes retired FDA medical officer Bruce Stadel, M.D., as saying, “These drugs in the 60s were just let loose without any proper study. [Now] they’re going through the FDA, through the process of clinical trials.”
What’s traumatizing is reading the description of the hoops the researchers have to jump through to generate a reasonable placebo environment. These measures are not without their necessity, I’ll admit — after all, a placebo control for magic mushrooms is not like one for statins in a cholesterol study. Assuming the drug has any effect at all and was given at an effective dose, what kind of a pinhead wouldn’t notice they’d eaten mushrooms? It kind of nullifies the placebo control when the psychotherapist’s face starts melting, right? Kinda hard to miss that.