Australasian Science: Australia's authority on science since 1938

Shroom to grow: Australia's missing psychedelic science

By Stephen Bright (Curtin University) and Martin Williams (Monash University)

A recent Norwegian study on psychedelic drugs and psychological well-being not only highlighted fewer mental health issues among users of these drugs but also underscored the reinvigoration of scientific research in a field maligned since the moral panic of the 1960s.

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.

A recent Norwegian study on psychedelic drugs and psychological well-being not only highlighted fewer mental health issues among users of these drugs but also underscored the reinvigoration of scientific research in a field maligned since the moral panic of the 1960s.

Psychedelics are a broad category of drugs that profoundly alter perception. Examples include LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide), mescaline (found in some cacti), psilocybin (found in some mushrooms), dimethyltryptamine (found in ayahuasca) as well as ketamine and methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA).

Plant-based psychedelics have been integral to healing practices for thousands of years in a number of cultures, including native Americans, the African Bwiti and the Mazatecs.

Western research into the therapeutic potential of psychedelics commenced in the middle of the 20th century, but quickly became conflated with the counter-cultural movement in the United States, Europe and Australasia.

A moral panic ensued, leading to the prohibition of psychedelics and cessation of research. But...

The full text of this article can be purchased from Informit.