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Surprising Science

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.  


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