Psychedelic Health – Report: UK Government issues rapid response on psychedelic research

Jo Neill, Professor of Psychopharmacology at The University of Manchester, UK, acted as an independent peer reviewer for the response, alongside Professor David Nutt, Head of Imperial College’s Centre for Psychedelic Research.

Neill told Psychedelic Health: “I was delighted to be able to peer review this thorough and well-researched policy briefing on psychedelic-assisted therapy to treat severe depression, by the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology.

“It is very encouraging that Parliament is starting to engage with the enormous clinical potential of psychedelic medicine, particularly at a time when mental health disorders are at an all-time high.

“New therapies are urgently needed and psychedelics could provide just that. Given the weight of evidence presented in this new POST note, enabling safe patient access on the NHS must be a key priority for Parliament.”

Professor Nutt added: “I am very pleased with this report which shows how important this line of research and antidepressant clinical development is.

“I hope that both Houses of Parliament take it seriously and begin the process of rescheduling psilocybin and MDMA for treatment-resistant patients like Australia has just done.”

The response looks at how effective psychedelic medicines could be and what regulatory and legal challenges face their use, exploring topics such as “What are psychedelics?” and “How do psychedelic drugs act on the body?”.

In particular, it delves into the current research and knowledge on the substances psilocybin and ketamine, highlighting recent advances that have already been made in the UK in relation to psychedelics

These include the establishment of a partnership between the Institute for Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, South London NHS Foundation Trust and COMPASS Pathways to investigate the use of psychedelics for TRD.

POST stated in the report: “POST will publish further work on the use of psychedelic drugs for a wider range of mental health conditions, its role in elucidating other aspects of brain function, and stakeholder perspectives on their use, later in 2023. This Rapid Response focuses on their potential as a treatment for depression, given recent parliamentary interest.”

Read more at 

UK Government issues rapid response on psychedelic research

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