Awkward Conversations: Managing Patients with Chronic Pain
Psychedelics in pain management: fad or new frontier? Early experimentation with LSD as a new tool for psychiatry began almost immediately after its psychoactive properties were identified. We are now seeing departments within schools of medicine, such as Johns Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research and the University of California Berkeley Center for the Science of Psychedelics, prepared to invest great resources into research on psychedelics. As the disciplines of psychiatry and psychology play an integral role in multidisciplinary pain management, this alone could be a rationale to explore the use of psychedelics in pain management. The mind-altering qualities of psychedelics have been attributed, through serotonin-2A receptor (5-HT2A) activation, to alterations in regions of the brain known to play prominent roles in pain perception and neuropathic states. This lecture will provide a brief overview of the history of psychedelics in medicine, discuss where psychedelics work in the body, and explore the uses of psychedelics in psychiatry and proposed uses in pain management.