Draconian licensing rules and a lack of public funding are holding back the emerging field of psychedelic medicine in the UK, leading scientists have warned after the release of groundbreaking results on the use of psilocybin to treat depression.
The latest clinical trial found that a single dose of the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, combined with psychotherapy, helped alleviate depression in nearly a third of patients with severe depression. The finding follows other promising results suggesting that psychedelic drugs could be used in treating conditions including anxiety, PTSD, addiction and anorexia.
However, Prof David Nutt, the former government drug adviser and director of the neuropsychopharmacology research unit at Imperial College London, said that unless regulations and attitudes changed, potential treatments would remain “in limbo” at an experimental stage and available only to those who could pay for them in private clinics.
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