Experienced trippers should advise on Europe’s use of psychedelics, says lobby

Putting the heads in charge !

Pity the guys in the header image aren’t still with us.


Politico report..

The European Medicines Agency is set to host a workshop on the development of psychedelic treatments.

Europe needs a collective voice of authority on the medical use of psychedelics — and experienced users should be on that panel — according to a lobby group for developers and those working in the field.

In a briefing document to be sent to the European Medicines Agency (EMA) on Tuesday, and seen by POLITICO, Europe’s Psychedelic Access Research and European Alliance (PAREA) calls for the creation of a “multidisciplinary advisory body” to guide regulators and professionals on best practice with such therapies, as data amasses on their potential medical benefits.

Early trials delivered promising results with the chemicals found in magic mushrooms and ecstasy pills in hard-to-treat depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The mushroom chemical psilocybin is also being tested to treat people with anorexia.

While Europe has yet to approve any psychedelic treatments, Australia and parts of the United States already allow medical professionals to prescribe psychedelics for certain mental health conditions. Some lawmakers in Europe want things to move faster.

Ahead of a workshop to be hosted by the EMA on the development of psychedelic treatments before the end of the year, PAREA wrote to the drugs regulator, pushing for greater centralized leadership on the practical and clinical use of such therapies. That includes how these therapies will be delivered.

Navigating non-ordinary states

Unlike most pills, psychedelics need to be administered alongside a suite of before and after care, as well as assistance during the trip. PAREA wants to make sure that this care is standardized, with consensus from across multiple groups.

An EU advisory body “would benefit from the collective knowledge of various stakeholders, including the EMA, [the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction], national competent authorities, professional organizations, health care professionals and managers, psychedelic organizations, patients’ organizations, drug developers, and the wider community,” the briefing states.

These professional organizations could include the Open Foundation and the Beckley Academy, both in the Netherlands, and the Mind Foundation, in Germany, PAREA told POLITICO.

These groups provide training for psychedelic therapists, based on the latest research borne from institutions including Imperial College London and the U.S.’s Johns Hopkins University and often includes getting high on psilocybin or ketamine. The Beckley group, which teaches people to “navigate non-ordinary states to better serve your clients,” also runs its own psilocybin retreats.

“The importance of ensuring that the therapeutic model adopted is evidence-based and in the best interest of the patients cannot be overstated,” the lobby group’s briefing states.

PAREA also wants the EMA to step up to prevent diverging delivery strategies across Europe. “Centralized coordination would offer an efficient mechanism to propel the field forward, rather than individual EU countries initiating their own work groups,” it states.

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