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Former CIH Postdoctoral Fellow Dr. Matthew Oram Publishes a New Book on the History of Research on LSD Psychotherapy

The Trials of Psychedelic Therapy (2018), now available from Johns Hopkins University Press

Dr. Matthew Oram, CIH Postdoctral Fellow from 2016-17 just released his new book: The Trials of Psychedelic Therapy - LSD Psychotherapy in America. Congratulations to Dr. Oram. We're happy to hear your time at the CIH was valuable for you and contributed to the completion of this work. 

Dr. Oram began his fellowship at CIH in April 2016, after relocating from New Zealand to take up an Associated Medical Services Postdoctoral Fellowship in the History of Medicine and Health Care, supervised by Dr. Frank W. Stahnisch in the Department of Community Health Sciences, Cumming School of Medicine. 

This book is based on Oram's PhD thesis, completed at the University of Sydney in 2014. In The Trials of Psychedelic Therapy, Oram traces the early promise and eventual demise of LSD psychotherapy in the United States. The work considers the rise and fall of clinical research exploring the therapeutic potential of psychedelic drugs. This topic has typically been approached through the cultural history of the 1960s, particularly the drug’s association with the counterculture movement, and the federal government’s efforts to curb its increasing non-medical use—intentionally or unintentionally, the backlash against LSD’s recreational use ended legitimate research. However, Oram's research shows that the federal government never banned research, and in fact actively supported it for much longer than has been acknowledged. Oram contextualizes the history of LSD psychotherapy research within the changing regulatory and scientific contexts for pharmaceutical research, revealing scientific challenges that frustrated research and lead to its demise.

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