10:00am - 10:30am
Track 3: Albrecht-Kossel Lecture room (Charité)
Can Psychedelics be Used to Improve Public Health?
As clinical research into psychedelics has become more mainstreamed over the last decade, there is growing public and media interest in potential therapeutic utility outside of structured and regulated settings, and the implications that this might have for public health. Emerging evidence suggests that these compounds may produce positive effects on health, well-being, and social behaviours; but how has this been characterised, how robust are these findings, and what are the implications?
This talk will consider the scope and quality of evidence for potential population level effects of psychedelics, and critically examine how and why – if at all – these substances might be useful in addressing key public health challenges, and where there are significant evidence gaps. It will also reflect on the legitimisation of psychedelic therapies from a public health perspective, and in particular in relation to mainstream professional training and development, health systems and structures, and the emerging commercialisation and corporate capture of the field.