Psychology

Suicide is on the rise. Depression therapy is limited. Let’s try psychedelics.

Another route to legality may shorten the wait for suffering patients, however: including the drugs in the “right to try” and Expanded Access programs. Psychedelics fit the criteria. 

People living with incurable conditions — cancers and neurodegenerative conditions, such as ALS — often experience anxieties, grief and depression associated with the progressive debility and impending death. Many contemplate suicide. Indeed, terminal illness defines the one category for which ending one’s life is gaining social acceptance. In seven states and the District of Columbia, doctors can legally prescribe lethal medications to dying patients who want the option of ending their lives. Since Oregon’s Death With Dignity Act was enacted in 1997, roughly two-thirds of people who requested lethal prescriptions were motivated by feelings of being a burden, loss of control, lack of enjoyment of life, and a sense that life was not worth living. Clinical studies of psychedelics-assisted therapies for people who are dying and experiencing emotional and existential suffering have shown notably positive results … I am troubled by the normalization of physician-hastened death as a solution to suffering, yet it is fair to ask: If dying people have a right to die and take drugs to hasten death, shouldn’t they also have a right to try drugs that might alleviate their distress? And if larger-scale studies confirm the benefits of psychedelic-assisted therapies, why wouldn’t we cautiously expand access to those treatments to non-physically-ill sufferers? Treatment-resistant depression is, after all, a life-threatening condition that can end in suicide. Currently, in Holland, Belgium, Switzerland and Canada, people with persistent suffering who are not terminally ill, including those with depression, may qualify for assisted suicide and euthanasia.​
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Original Article (Washington Post):
 Suicide is on the rise. Depression therapy is limited. Let’s try psychedelics.
Artwork Fair Use: Texas A&M University-Commerce Marketing Communications

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