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muzak2me t1_j321fv7 wrote

So in other words, there could be a placebo effect going on. Perhaps white people on average are more likely to believe that psychedelics could cure them of depression. I have not seen any attempts at Placebo controlled studies on the effectiveness of psychedelics for treating depression...


badchad65 t1_j329efd wrote

There's been some in specific subtypes of depression (e.g., depression associated with cancer).

An enormous issue with placebo control is that its exceptionally easy to break the blind. The article in question doesn't appear to be looking at efficacy data though. It's an epidemiological analysis involving self-report use, which is quite different than a clinical trial.


muzak2me t1_j343lnr wrote

Awesome, thanks for the additional info and links.


Asleep-Song562 t1_j33o1wb wrote

I don’t think “placebo” is the right word here. Honestly, I find use of the term placebo in scientific research to be a problematic oversimplification. Any drug that acts on the brain will necessarily interact with the mind and biology of the individual taking it as well as that individual’s sociopolitical and spiritual environments and experiences. The word “placebo” oversimplifies the complicated relationship between mind, body, and society in healing. The author who summarized the article put it this way:

“Jones and his colleague Matthew K. Nock outlined some potential mechanisms that may underlie the results. One such mechanism might be the “set and setting,” which refers to an individual’s mindset and their environment, respectively. These two factors “are reported to have a marked impact on the effects of these compounds,” the researchers explained. “Unfortunately, in the American ‘setting,’ racism, prejudice, and discrimination are deep-rooted features of the minority experience and may thus negatively impact the minority psychedelic experience.”

However, Jones noted that the findings are correlational. “It doesn’t mean that psychedelics have weaker effects for treating mental health disorders for racial and ethnic minorities,” he said. It is also possible that unaccounted demographic factors contribute to the observed findings.