Psychedelics: From ‘Magic’ to Medicinal
Adam Bayes | Wayne Hall | Colleen Loo | Norman Swan
Could psychedelics unlock the answers to managing complex mental health issues?
Once associated with cults and hippies, psychedelics are now becoming an evidence-based treatment for psychiatric disorders. In Australia there are numerous psychedelic trials taking place and come July, psilocybin and MDMA will be available for prescription by authorised psychiatrists for the first time. This is on the back of ketamine recently being approved for severe depression.
Who will get access to psychedelics, and what are the ethical considerations of these treatments? Could new psychedelic treatments revolutionise the way the psychiatrists treat mental health, or has the Therapeutic Goods Administration jumped the gun?
Join UNSW research fellow and psychiatrist Dr Adam Bayes, Professor Colleen Loo, and Emeritus Professor Wayne Hall as they unpack the stigma, the myths, the benefits, and the path forward in a conversation chaired by Norman Swan.
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The Science Theatre is located at UNSW Sydney's Kensington Campus. Please note this is a live event only, and will not be available via livestream.
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Dr Adam Bayes is a psychiatrist who works as a clinician-scientist with a focus on mood disorders including depression and bipolar conditions. His research interests include diagnosis, classification and novel treatments for severe depression including ketamine and psychedelics. Bayes holds a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (Hons), Bachelor of Advanced Science, Master of Psychiatry, and a PhD. He is a Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, is a senior research fellow and VMO psychiatrist at the Black Dog Institute and the Discipline of Psychiatry and Mental Health at UNSW Sydney.
Wayne Hall is an Emeritus Professor at the National Centre for Youth Substance Use Research at the University of Queensland and the Queensland Alliance for Environmental Health Sciences, and a UNSW Sydney alum. He has advised the World Health Organisation on the health effects of cannabis use; the effectiveness of drug substitution treatment; the contribution of illicit drug use to the global burden of disease; and the ethical implications of genetic and neuroscience research on addiction.
Colleen Loo is a psychiatrist, Australian National Health and Medical Research Council Leadership Fellow and Professor of Psychiatry at the UNSW Sydney and the Black Dog Institute. She is an internationally recognised clinical expert and researcher in the fields of electroconvulsive therapy, Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation, transcranial Direct Current Stimulation and ketamine, and led the first Australian RCTs of these interventions in depression. Loo is active in ECT, Neurostimulation and novel treatments research, practice and policy, providing advice to Australian government health departments, the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists, and several international guidelines. She has published over 300 peer reviewed papers and has received competitive grant funding from the Australian NHMRC, MRFF and major overseas grant funding agencies and directs professional training courses in ECT, TMS, tDCS and ketamine.
Norman Swan hosts ABC RN's and co-hosts Coronacast, a podcast on the coronavirus. Norman is a reporter and commentator on the ABC's 7.30, Midday, News Breakfast and Four Corners and a guest host on the Health Report on RN Breakfast. He is a past Gold Walkley winner and has won other Walkleys including one in 2020. Norman has been awarded an AM, the medal of the Australian Academy of Science, a Fellowship of the Academy of Health and Medical Sciences and an honorary MD from the University of Sydney. His book, So You Think You Know What's Good For You? was a bestseller and his latest book So You Want To Live Younger Longer? has also been on the bestseller list. Norman trained in medicine and paediatrics in Aberdeen, London and Sydney before joining the ABC.