History repeating in psychedelics research

Interesting paper by Michiel van Elk and Eiko Fried (2023) on flawed evaluations of psychedelics to treat mental health conditions and how to do better. Neat 1966 quotation at the end:

“Given the current state of research, strong caution is warranted regarding the hype around psychedelics as treatments: there is not enough robust evidence to draw any firm conclusions about the safety and efficacy of psychedelic therapy. […] For psychedelic research in particular, we are not the first to raise concerns and can only echo the warning expressed more than half a century ago [Masters & Houston, 1966]:

“‘To be hopeful and optimistic about psychedelic drugs and their potential is one thing; to be messianic is another. Both the present and the future of psychedelic research already have been grievously injured by a messianism that is as unwarranted as it has proved undesirable.'”


Van Elk, M., & Fried, E. I. (2023). History repeating: Guidelines to address common problems in psychedelic science. Therapeutic Advances in Psychopharmacology, 13.