Psychedelics have been the subject of experiments by scientists for decades but went out of favor with the law in the 1960s and 1970s when they “escaped the lab” and were picked up by proselytizers who helped give them a bad name, conference presenters said. This led to a backlash that slammed the lid on research for the next several decades.
The DEA and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration maintain that there is insufficient research to justify recategorization from Schedule I. This stance creates a catch-22 by basing the decision on the need for more research while limiting the ability of scientists to conduct that research. The June report recommends transferring responsibility for drug scheduling from the DEA to another agency or nongovernmental organization without a history of anti-drug bias, such as the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. No matter how it happens, until the drugs are reclassified, bringing psychedelics from research into clinical practice will be an uphill battle.
I found this on the AMA Rick Doblin reddit page, and it’s very useful for those who want to get more involved in research or want to know more about it. These are valuable contacts I will probably be hitting up soon…
As someone who has spent these past two weeks writing PhD applications, it’s been difficult to find programs that advertise their involvement in psychedelic research. […] Do you know of any programs that are doing particularly interesting work? […]
Visiting PubMed is a big first step; you can see who is doing interesting work just from reading recent publications.
For psilocybin; Roland Griffiths at Johns Hopkins University continues to do studies of psilocybin. Matthew Johnson, also of Johns Hopkins University, has investigated the effects of salvia divinorum; not sure if he is continuing with that or not.
Psilocybin research is also taking place at New York University, though they have not yet published findings.
Robin Carhart-Harris is conducting research at Imperial College, London on psilocybin. Carhart-Harris and D. Nutt have been involved in MDMA research, also with HV Curran. It is uncertain if this continues.
Franz Vollenweider may be doing research with psilocybin at the University of Zurich (in Zurich, Switzerland).
Harriet de Wit at the University of Chicago is doing MDMA research (it appears that this continues to do so.)
Gillinder Bedi at Columbia University is conducting studies of MDMA (also cannabis / THC).
Matthias Liechti and colleagues (often publishing under Hysek as first author) are conducting extensive studies of MDMA at the Unversity of Basel.
Kim Kuypers, Johannes Ramaekers and colleagues are conducting MDMA research at Maastricht University in the Netherlands.
Michael Mithoefer is collaborating with Mark George and Colleen Hamlon at MUSC
Note that because funding is tight and fluctuates, all such programs are subject to change. You want to look for a department with neuroscience and a medical school, but the best way to track programs of research is to search PubMed or the internet using the substances or questions of interest to you.
CIIS is starting a Certificate Program in Psychedelic Therapy, too!
-Ilsa Jerome, Ph.D., Research and Information Specialist
Check out his interview here first!
Rick Doblin, is an ordinary guy with an extraordinary vision. He started off with an idea, he dropped out of school for ten years where he spent his time tripping and figuring out his life. Then he enrolled back into school and with the help of networking and meeting certain people, he ended up finishing his dream: being the founder of MAPS.
I didn’t want to be a criminal. I didn’t want to be underground. I wanted to be a mainstream, normal kinda guy who just happened to be interested in psychedelics.
This is my favorite quote from his interview:
At the same time, I had graduated finally in ’87, and I had planned to go get a clinical psych Ph.D. to learn to do psychotherapy outcome research with MDMA. I almost got into several pretty great clinical psych Ph.D. programs, but in the end nobody wanted to let me in. That was 1998. Then I was like, what am I going to do with my life? So I went home and smoked a joint.
I want to do the same exact thing as he did…get a clinical psychology Ph.D in psychotherapy with a focus on psychedelics instead of MDMA, but my chances are slim and the path to get there is very rough. But now he’s inspired me to go out and persevere…even if I don’t get what I want the first time, there’s always another way around. It may be harder, but hey I want it badly enough to do whatever it takes to pursue my passion. I’d rather live a life of meaning than half-ass my way through it. Anyway, Rick is my new role model and I hope I get the chance to meet him one day…maybe even go on a “trip” with him if I’m lucky 😛
Sarah Schonfeld, a German artist, photographed drugs under the lens of a microscope including speed, LSD, meth heroin, MDMA, ketamine, etc. The pictures look very similar to the effects of the drugs themselves….so basically they look super sickkk!!
Take a look here