Ban on Drugs Interfere With Brain Research
British researchers say that government banning on mind-altering drugs interferes with their experimental studies, which could lead to the discovery of new treatment options.
Article written by guest writer Rin Mitchell
What’s the Latest Development?
The ban of marijuana, ecstasy, magic mushrooms and LSD, which are of interest in terms of consciousness, perception, mood and psychosis, have held back researchers in terms of seeking new treatments. Neuroscientists believe it prevents them from understanding these mind-altering drugs. In a trial conducted a year ago, researchers investigated an active ingredient in magic mushrooms called psilocybin, and its effect on the brain. They found out this specific ingredient—previously expected to increase areas in the brain linked to depression—actually suppresses it. It is discoveries like this that allow researchers to turn certain drugs into a form of treatment for specific conditions—just as marijuana is used as a treatment option for cancer in patients experiencing discomfort and/or lack of an appetite.
What’s the Big Idea?
Researchers do not debate the fact that drugs are harmful; however, they believe that to study and understand what they do—can aid in the war on drugs. The drugs banned are no more harmful than tobacco and alcohol, which are legal and readily available on store shelves. This current global approach to drugs policy, which is noted by scientists as un-scientific, makes it nearly impossible for researchers to conduct experiments in their mission towards medicinal progress in this area.
Malcolm Gladwell teaches "Get over yourself and get to work" for Big Think Edge.
- Learn to recognize failure and know the big difference between panicking and choking.
- At Big Think Edge, Malcolm Gladwell teaches how to check your inner critic and get clear on what failure is.
- Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Do you have a magnetic compass in your head?
A new study, led by psychologist Jean Twenge, points to the screen as the problem.
- In a new study, adolescents and young adults are experiencing increased rates of depression and suicide attempts.
- The data cover the years 2005–2017, tracking perfectly with the introduction of the iPhone and widespread dissemination of smartphones.
- Interestingly, the highest increase in depressive incidents was among individuals in the top income bracket.
On Thursday, New Zealand moved to ban an array of semi-automatic guns and firearms components following a mass shooting that killed 50 people.
- Gun control supporters are pointing to the ban as an example of swift, decisive action that the U.S. desperately needs.
- Others note the inherent differences between the two nations, arguing that it is a good thing that it is relatively hard to pass such legislation in such a short timeframe.
- The ban will surely shape future conversations about gun control in the U.S.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.