Before psychedelic drugs returned to mainstream media, heralded and backed by all this new research that shows the therapeutic benefits and potential they may possess, many had known these substances to be drugs used by hippies and party-goers.
As the public perception of these substances changes, many ask, what is the possibility of the use of psychedelic medical treatment in the United Kingdom?
Last year, the MHRA (Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency) authorized a clinical trial that would look into the potential of DMT as a treatment for various mental health conditions, such as depression. In addition to this, the UK also plans to launch its first medical psychedelic health center in Bristol this year.
The clinic’s objective will be to provide psychedelic drug treatments for a range of disorders including addiction, depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. Because ketamine is used as an anesthetic and a legal medical product in the UK, ketamine-assisted psychedelic psychotherapy will also be available at the clinic, with a limit of 30 to 40 patients every month.
Conversely, psilocybin and MDMA are classified in the schedule 1 of the Misuse of Drugs Regulations, 2001. In other words, this means that these substances cannot be prescribed legally outside a clinical setting despite their use in clinical trials. Additionally, for one to supply, possess or produce these substances, a Home Office license is needed.
The Bristol clinic will also provide therapists with training in psychedelics, as well as conduct more research into MDMA and psilocybin, which is the psychedelic compound found in magic mushrooms. This research will be used to back the utilization of these psychedelic substances in psychotherapy in the future.
This is not the only facility that intends to conduct more research on these substances, as there are various clinical research projects being carried out across the globe that have the same end goal: to gather the evidence required to back a meaningful change in policy on the legality of psychedelics.
For instance, COMPASS Pathways, a mental health-care firm based in London, was recently granted Breakthrough Therapy designation by the FDA for its psilocybin therapy program that is aimed at treatment-resistant depression in 2018.
AWAKN Clinic’s chief medical officer, Dr. Ben Sessa, also conducted a study that showed significant promise in the use of MDMA as an alternative treatment for alcohol use disorder. His research was reported in a recent “Neuropharmacology” journal.
Despite psychedelics being illegal in many countries across the globe, a shift can be seen in the way that the public perceives these substances.
A good example of this would be the voters from the state of Oregon, who approved a measure on their November 2020 ballot that legalized the therapeutic use of psilocybin. Canada also made it legal for patients who are terminally ill to use psilocybin as a part of their psychotherapy treatment.
Many hope that this will rub off on UK health officials, who seem opposed to embracing the potential that psychedelics possess.
In nearby Canada, Cybin Inc. (NEO: CYBN) is taking full advantage of the resurgent interest in psychedelics and functional mushrooms. The company has so far raised more than $8.2 million during its initial funding round.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Cybin Inc. (NEO: CYBN) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/CYBN
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