“When the moon was in the 7th house, and Jupiter alligns with Mars, and peace will guide the planet and love will fill the stars….

Remember the 60s? Great music. Great debates. Hippies who turned into yuppies. And all those nasty drugs that were so bad to use.

Well, now these nasty drugs are poised to be the next major breakthrough in mental health. Last spring, Swiss researchers published results from the first drug trial involving LSD in more than 40 years. According to Scientific American Mind magazine the following drugs are being researched in the treatment of common mental health issues.

Ecstasy (MDMA) is being used in PTSD and anxiety trials. These studies look at the effects on war veterans, firefighters and police officers with treatment-resistant PTSD. An earlier trial found the drug plus psychotherapy effective in about 80% of patients.

Ketamine aka Special K is being used with depression. In the drug trials from 2013 and 2014, ketamine alleviated stubborn depression in 30-45% of patients. Ketamine is less restricted than other psychedelics because it is a Schedule III drug, so it may enter clinical practice faster.

Magic Mushrooms (psilocybin) may help OCD, PSTD, and anxiety. In the largest psychedelic study in more than 40 years,scientists at the New York University School of Medicine are currently examining whether psilocybin helps to reduce anxiety and depression in cancer patients.

LSD (acid) may aid with alcoholism and anxiety. The first study of LSD-assisted therpapy in 40 years reported that cancer patients who took the drug felt their anxiety improve by about 20% whereas those who took a placebo got worse. Although the trial was small, it highlightsw the need for more research.

In a joint report released in June, the Drug Policy Alliance and the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies catalogue several ways in which they say that the DEA has unfairly obstructed research on psychedelics, incluing by overrlding an internal recommendation in 1986 that MDMA be placed on a less restrictive schedule. The DEA and the US Food and Drug Administration maintain that there is insufficient research to justify recategorization. This stance creates a catch-22 by basing the decision on the need for more research while limiting the ability of scientists to conduct that research. The June report recommends transferring responsiblity for drug scheduling from the DEA to another agency or nongovernmental organization without a history of antidrug bias, such as the US National Academy of Sciences. No matter how it happens, until the drugs are reclassified, bringing psychedelics from research into clinical practice will be an uphill battle.