How Politics Interferes With The Science Of Drugs
Neuropsychopharmacology isn’t just an annoyingly-long word, but it’s the word that describes the research of how drugs effect the brain, and British psychiatrist David Nutt happens to specialize in it.
In a recent interview with The Guardian, Nutt talks about the science and politics of using mind altering substances as therapy, and trying to study its effects:
Prof. Nutt is quite well-known in the UK – largely due to being fired by the Government from their drugs advisory panel for pointing out in a scientific paper that the health risks of taking ecstasy are about equivalent to going horse riding.
Rather than doing the usual dishonest apology required of government advisors where they ask forgiveness for ‘unintentionally misleading the public’ away from a convenient collective illusion, he decided to take the government to task about their disingenuous drug policy. He is now a straight-talking, evidence-based, pain-in-the-arse to the government who doggedly stick to the ‘war on drugs’ rhetoric that not even they believe any more.
In the interview the discussion ranges from how psychedelic affect the brain to the scientific basis (or lack thereof) of drug policy.
Additionally, he makes the claim that ecstasy and LSD are considerably less dangerous than alcohol, and thinks that further study should be done on how to use MDMA to treat PTSD. If you have an hour or so to spare, give this podcast a listen.