What is now needed is a combined, multi-level, multidisciplinary program of research.
Psychedelic drugs such as LSD and magic mushrooms should be used to treat depression and alcoholism, a new study has claimed.
According to the report, published in the scientific journal Cell, such psychedelics are an effective tool against a number of mental health conditions but have become an unfortunate victim of the global war on drugs.
The now-banned drugs were regularly used as treatments around the world until about 50 years ago.
Now, the government's former chief drugs adviser Professor David Nutt is among the team of scientists behind the study who are calling for "the resurrection of research into the neuroscience and therapeutic application of psychedelics".
"It (would rectify) decades of global research paralysis that emerged as collateral damage from the war on drugs," they write.
The study claims that brain imaging has revealed the "powerful neuroplastic changes" of psychedelics can have numerous long-term benefits for people suffering from a variety of mental health conditions.
"What is now needed is a combined, multi-level, multidisciplinary program of research into the mechanisms underpinning these findings," the report says.
Brendan Montague is editor of The Ecologist.