Milan_Griffes comments on Cost-effectiveness analysis: drug liberalization holds promise as a mental health intervention - Effective Altruism Forum

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Comment author: Milan_Griffes 15 September 2017 02:26:27PM *  0 points [-]

It's true that these effects all come from small-N pilot studies. Each effect size is discounted substantially by a replicability adjustment (best-guess input is an 80% discount).

Most of the studies considered didn't have a control group, though the PTSD study (Mithoefer et al. 2010) did. We included a placebo-effect adjustment for that study.

Interestingly, the depression study participants (Carhart-Harris et al. 2016) had all failed to respond to other depression treatments, so it's plausible that placebo effects were less strong in this population.

Similarly, most (all?) of the smoking study participants (Johnson et al. 2014) were longtime smokers who had made multiple unsuccessful attempts to quit in the past. Plausible that placebo effects were less strong in the population as well.