MikeJohnson comments on Introducing Enthea - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: MikeJohnson 10 August 2017 11:23:49PM *  4 points [-]

Hi Milan,

I'm glad to see this sort of project. You may enjoy my colleague Andres's summary of the Psychedelic Science 2017 conference. He notes that:

It should not come as a surprise to anyone who has been paying attention that there is a psychedelic renaissance underway. Bearing extreme world-wide counter-measures against it, in so far as psychedelic and empathogenic compounds meet the required evidentiary standards of mainstream psychopharmacology as safe and effective treatments for mental illness (and they do), they will be a staple of tomorrow’s tools for mental health. It’s not a difficult gamble: the current studies being made around the world are merely providing the scientific backing of what was already known in the 60s (for psychedelics) and 80s (for MDMA). I.e. That psychedelic medicine (people love to call it that way) in the right set and setting produces outstanding clinically-relevant effect sizes.

In short, it does seem increasingly like psychedelics aren't just for edgy recreational use, but could be part of some useful medical tradition that can measurably and reliably help people. But it does seem like it would be helpful to have answers to the following questions: 1. How do these things work? If we think they do good things, then what's a gears-level account of how they do good? 2. Are there tradeoffs, and what are they? Are there ways of getting the good without the bad?

Anyway, thanks for doing this!