Explain why you agree with their position that clinical use of illicit drugs is important using evidence to support your position
I agree with the clinical use of illicit substances including MDMA, ketamine, classical psychedelics and cannabinoids for the treatment of depression, substance use disorders and PTSD.
According to Krediet, E., Bostoen, T., & Breeksema, J., “Findings of several recent studies suggest that the effects of classical psychedelics might be useful for the treatment of PTSD. As with ketamine, classical psychedelics induce several neurobiological changes that may be relevant for a psycho-therapeutic application. Both psilocybin (Catlow et al., 2013) and DMT (Cameron et al., 2018) have been shown to facilitate fear extinction in animal studies and to promote neural plasticity in vivo and vitro, increasing neurogenesis, spinogenesis, and synaptogenesis (Ly et al., 2018). The plasticity-promoting properties of these substances might contribute to their rapid antidepressant and anxiolytic effects. Classical psychedelics have also been shown to decrease amygdala reactivity during emotion processing (Kraehenmann et al., 2015; Mueller et al., 2017). As patients with PTSD often show heightened amygdala reactivity (see Francati et al., 2007), this may increase the ability to process traumatic memories.
Other acute effects that substantiate their potential therapeutic role in the treatment of PTSD include increases in emotional empathy (Pokorny et al., 2017), increases in creative divergent thinking (Kuypers et al., 2016), enhanced mindfulness- related capacities (Soler et al., 2015; Sampedro et al., 2017), increased insightfulness (Kometer et al., 2015), reduced avoidance and increases in acceptance and connectedness (Watts et al., 2017), long-term increases in the personality trait of openness (Maclean et al., 2011; Lebedev et al., 2016), and emotional break- through experiences (Roseman et al,. 2019), which has shown to be a key mediator in long-term psychological change in other mental disorders. Classical psychedelics are also known to induce mystical-type experiences (Griffiths et al., 2011). Such experiences have shown to mediate therapeutic effects of psilocybin in nicotine addiction (Garcia-Romeu et al., 2014); reductions in anxiety, depression, and existential distress in patients with a life-threatening diagnosis (Griffiths et al., 2016; Ross et al., 2016); and improvements in depression (Roseman et al., 2018). However, it is currently unknown whether this type of experience also holds value for the treatment of PTSD” (Therapeutic Rationale)
Krediet, E., Bostoen, T., & Breeksema, J. (2020, March). Reviewing the Potential of Psychedelics for the Treatment of PTSD. International Journal of Neuropsychopharmacology, (), 1-16. doi: https://doi.org/10.1093/ijnp/pyaa018
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