Psychiatry - Research Publications
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ItemNo Preview AvailableLegalization of Psychedelic SubstancesDowney, LA ; Sarris, J ; Perkins, D (AMER MEDICAL ASSOC, 2021-12-21)
ItemAyahuasca and Childhood Trauma: Potential Therapeutic ApplicationsPerkins, D ; Sarris, J ; Caiuby Labate, B ; Cavnar, C (Springer International Publishing, 2021)The last 20 years have seen major developments in the understanding of how childhood trauma (negative events that cause distress and overwhelm a person’s ability to cope) can have long-term effects on the health and well-being of adults who have experienced this. Child sexual abuse was first included in global burden of disease and disability estimates in 2004, and there has been a steady accumulation of research and evidence identifying the public health issues and costs associated with various traumatic childhood experiences. Much of this research has used the framework of adverse childhood experiences or ACEs, which encompass emotional, physical, and sexual abuse, as well as various other adverse events, including growing up in a household in which there is domestic violence, alcohol or drug abuse, or a member with mental illness; criminal behavior or incarceration of a family member; caregiver separation or divorce; and neglect, both physical and emotional. Such experiences have been found to be associated with higher rates of physical and mental illness, disability, and premature death in adulthood.
ItemClassic serotonergic psychedelics for mood and depressive symptoms: a meta-analysis of mood disorder patients and healthy participantsGalvao-Coelho, NL ; Marx, W ; Gonzalez, M ; Sinclair, J ; de Manincor, M ; Perkins, D ; Sarris, J (SPRINGER, 2021-01-11)RATIONALE: Major depressive disorder is one of the leading global causes of disability, for which the classic serotonergic psychedelics have recently reemerged as a potential therapeutic treatment option. OBJECTIVE: We present the first meta-analytic review evaluating the clinical effects of classic serotonergic psychedelics vs placebo for mood state and symptoms of depression in both healthy and clinical populations (separately). RESULTS: Our search revealed 12 eligible studies (n = 257; 124 healthy participants, and 133 patients with mood disorders), with data from randomized controlled trials involving psilocybin (n = 8), lysergic acid diethylamide ([LSD]; n = 3), and ayahuasca (n = 1). The meta-analyses of acute mood outcomes (3 h to 1 day after treatment) for healthy volunteers and patients revealed improvements with moderate significant effect sizes in favor of psychedelics, as well as for the longer-term (16 to 60 days after treatments) mood state of patients. For patients with mood disorder, significant effect sizes were detected on the acute, medium (2-7 days after treatment), and longer-term outcomes favoring psychedelics on the reduction of depressive symptoms. CONCLUSION: Despite the concerns over unblinding and expectancy, the strength of the effect sizes, fast onset, and enduring therapeutic effects of these psychotherapeutic agents encourage further double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trials assessing them for management of negative mood and depressive symptoms.
ItemAssociations between ayahuasca consumption in naturalistic settings and current alcohol and drug use: Results of a large international cross-sectional surveyPerkins, D ; Opaleye, ES ; Simonova, H ; Bouso, JC ; Tofoli, LF ; Galvao-Coelho, NL ; Schubert, V ; Sarris, J (WILEY, 2021-07-25)INTRODUCTION: Emerging evidence suggests that psychedelic compounds, including the Amazonian botanical decoction ayahuasca, may provide clinical benefit in the treatment of alcohol or other drug use disorders. This study investigates associations between ayahuasca consumption in naturalistic settings and current alcohol and other drug use. METHODS: Online cross-sectional study of people who have consumed ayahuasca in religious, traditional and non-traditional settings in over 40 countries. A total of 8629 participants (53% male, average age 40 years) were included in the analysis. Logistic regressions were used to explore associations between ayahuasca drinking variables and the current use of alcohol and other drugs, as well as the influence of confounding factors, such as church or community membership. RESULTS: The number of times ayahuasca had been consumed was strongly associated with increased odds of never or rarely drinking alcohol, never or rarely engaging in 'risky drinking' and having not consumed a range of drugs in the past month, with these effects greater for those with a prior substance use disorder compared to those without. The strength of ayahuasca drinkers subjective spiritual experience, number of personal self-insights obtained and drinking ayahuasca with an ayahuasca church were also associated with lower substance use in some models. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS: Consumption of ayahuasca in naturalistic settings is associated with lower self-reported current consumption of alcohol and other drugs for those with and without prior substance use disorders, with such effects present after adjusting for religious or social group effects.