HomeIndustryResearchers criticise the validity of psychedelic research

Researchers criticise the validity of psychedelic research

A new article published by researchers at the University of Leiden has criticised the validity of psychedelic research that has been conducted so far.

According to Michael van Elk and Eiko Fried the research conducted is plagued by methodological issues that mean the efficacy and safety of psychedelic drugs remains uncertain.

Since new research has been released over the past decade that has generally tended to show positive results from psychedelic treatment for a variety of ailments, there has been pushback from certain sections of society.

Accusations have been levelled that much of the research is overhyped and that they are not in fact, wonder drugs as some may believe.

van Elk and Fried have published their criticism of the studies, in their paper which is yet to be peer-reviewed, listing ten issues that they see within the current research.

Many of the studies that they have reviewed failed on more than one issue at the same time.

Some they believe are easy to resolve while others will continue to prove difficult due to the nature of psychedelics.

The easier issues to solve include having a control group, which is standard practice for most drug trials.

More moderate issues would be expected to be solved as further trials take place. These include larger sample sizes, a wider variety of participants and long-term investigations into yearly use of such drugs.

There remains harder issues to solve, however. One key problem issue is how to solve the placebo effect.

For participants in control groups of a psychedelic study it will be apparent and obvious that they are receiving a placebo.

The authors suggest that many of these issues, although largely common, are being ignored due to the vast amounts of money being spent by big pharmaceutical companies and could prove detrimental to the outcome they desire.


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