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Human hallucinogenic drug research: regulatory, clinical, and scientific issues (1994)

Human hallucinogenic drug research: regulatory, clinical, and scientific issues (1994)

  1. Calliope
    NIDA Research Monograph 1994;146:92-123.

    Strassman RJ.

    Several converging factors now provide a suitable backdrop for the resumption of human research with hallucinogens (Freedman 1984). The aforementioned advances in serotonin neuropharmacology have generated one of the major thrusts in current neuroscience research; that is, the role of serotonin in normal and aberrant brain function. Much human psychopharmacologic data are being generated on the effects of 5-HT agonists and antagonists, including L-tryptophan, L-5-hydroxytryptophan, fenfluramine, chlorimipramine, buspirone, b-chloro- (1-piperazinyl)pyrazine (MK-212), meta-chlorophenylpiperazine (MCPP), ritanserin, metergoline, methysergide, and cyproheptadine (e.g., Murphy et al. 1991). No 5-HT active compounds generate more profound or unusual effects on mental function than the hallucinogens, and a firmer theoretical foundation is now available to begin assessing the relative contributions of specific 5-HT subtypes in their mechanism of action. In addition, the use of hallucinogenic drugs by young adults is growing, unlike the use of other illicit psychoactive drugs (NIDA 1991). Therefore, public health issues are addressed by resumption of careful study of the hallucinogens with the possibility of developing safe, effective, and rapid antidotes to drug-induced acute adverse reactions. Finally, the approaches taken by proponents of the psychedelic revolution may have faded sufficiently into the background of the American psyche to allow the resumption of systematic, hypotheses-based research into the effects and mechanisms of action, and perhaps therapeutic utility, of these most interesting drugs.