Medicinal cannabis for treating PTSD and comorbid depression: Real World Evidence from Project T21

Authors Michael Lynskey, Alkyoni Athanasiou-Fragkouli, Hannah Thurgur, Anne Schlag and David Nutt Published March 12, 2024 Background Cannabis-based medicinal products (CBMPs) are increasingly being used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), despite limited evidence of their efficacy. PTSD is often comorbid with major depression, and little is known about whether comorbid depression alters the effectiveness  …


A history of the European Medical Society for Psycholytic Therapy (EPT) 1964–1974

Authors Torsten Passie Published February 22, 2024 Abstract The emergence of a so-called psychedelic renaissance has been proposed to characterize the revival of research into (psycho-)therapies using psychedelic drugs. In Europe, the most widespread approach employed in the 1960s and 1970s that involved the use of drugs like LSD and psilocybin as an adjunct to  …


Will the war on vaping result in more harm?

Key take-home messages: The disposable vape ban is intended to curb youth vaping, addressing the increasing use of vaping among youth in 2022 and 2023. There is a concern that the ban may have unintended and disastrous consequences on people who have successfully quit, or who are transitioning to quit smoking by using disposable vapes.  …


Psilocybin for Existential Distress

Compassionate Access to Psilocybin report Read our latest report on why patients experiencing ‘Existential Distress’ ought to be permitted access to psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy Access the full report here By James Bunn Chief Executive Officer – Psilonautica  Psilocybin for existential distress Psilocybin has shown promise as a treatment for existential distress, a condition marked by feelings of hopelessness,  …


Decrypting the cryptomarkets: Trends over a decade of the Dark Web drug trade

Authors Harjeev Kour Sudan, Andy Man Yeung Tai, Jane Kim and Reinhard Michael Krausz Published November 19, 2023 Introduction The Dark Web is a subsection of the Internet only accessible through specific search engines, making it impossible to trace users. Due to extensive anonymity, the drug trade on the Dark Web makes regulation complicated. We  …


Can ayahuasca reduce inattention, hyperactivity and impulsivity? A pilot study

Authors WaiFung Tsang, Simon GD Ruffell, Nigel Netzband, Angelina Jong, James Rucker, Quinton Deeley and Jack Hollingdale Published November 16, 2023 Background The potential benefits of ayahuasca on mental health conditions are well documented. This pilot study is the first to explore whether there is an association with ayahuasca use and reductions in inattention, hyperactivity  …


The impact of over the counter and prescription medication misuse on friends and family

Authors Rosalind Gittins, Roya Vaziri, and Ian Maidment Published November 16, 2023 Introduction Over the counter and prescription-only medication misuse is of concern. Little is known about the impact on friends/family who provide individuals with support. It is important to increase understanding to identify how substance misuse services (SMS) and others can better meet their  …


From prohibited to prescribed: The rescheduling of MDMA and psilocybin in Australia

Authors Octavian Dixon Ritchie, Cameron N Donley and Gabrielle Dixon Ritchie Published September 6, 2023 Background On February 3, 2023, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care, announced that on July 1, 2023, the psychedelics 3′4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and psilocybin will be medically accessible and regulated for psychiatric use in  …


Racial and religious motives for drug criminalization

Authors Petter Grahl Johnstad Published September 6, 2023 Abstract The world has a long-standing system of drug control intended to suppress the use of a range of psychoactive drugs on the basis that such use is very harmful both to the users themselves and to their social surroundings. This perception of harmfulness has a long  …


MDMA-assisted psychotherapy with adolescents suffering from PTSD: Do or don’t? a qualitative study with youth, parents, and clinicians

Authors Anoek S Van Vugt, Josjan Zijlmans, Ramon Lindauer and Levi Van Dam Published September 1, 2023 Background PTSD in adolescence causes much suffering and has substantial health-care costs. Many patients with severe PTSD do not respond to psychotherapy or continue to have symptoms despite trauma-focused psychotherapies and psychopharmacological treatment. A recent alternative in the  …


Perceived barriers to access to hepatitis C for people who inject drugs in Morocco: A qualitative explorative study

Authors Zakaria Belrhiti and Fatima Zohra Serghini Published September 1, 2023 Background Worldwide, approximately there are 15.6 million people who inject drugs. Recently, a rising prevalence of hepatitis C virus among the people who inject drugs community (8.2 million, 40 to 80% of people who inject drugs) urged governments to implement targeted preventive and structural  …


Cannabis-based medicinal products for the treatment of Long COVID symptoms: current and potential applications

Authors Hannah Thurgur,  Anne Katrin Schlag,  Elizabeth Iveson,  Adele Hosseini,  Michael Lynskey,  David J. Nutt Published August 31, 2023 Abstract Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection can result in a range of persistent symptoms impacting everyday functioning for a considerable proportion of patients, a condition termed Long coronavirus disease (COVID) or post COVID-19 syndrome.  …


A drug harms ranking study for Aotearoa New Zealand

Dr Rose Crossin Department of Population Health – University of Otago, Christchurch Drug harm is a significant public health burden in Aotearoa New Zealand (1,2,3); though harms are not evenly distributed across the population. Māori are the indigenous population of Aotearoa New Zealand, making up approximately 17% of the total population, and have a notably  …


Could classic psychedelics influence immigrants’ acculturation process? A narrative review contemplating how

Authors Benjamin A. Korman Published July 31, 2023 Abstract Rising international migration, paired with increasing public support for far-right political parties, poses a growing challenge to the countries tasked with successfully integrating immigrants into their society. Further complicating this matter is the fact that the acculturation process which immigrants undergo to fully integrate into their  …


A phenomenological analysis of Fellini's films to understand the effect of LSD therapy on his creativity

Authors Antonio Metastasio, Silvio Mignogna, Riccardo Paci, Milena Mancini, Fabio Melelli, Enrico Lando, Ornella Corazza and Giovanni Stanghellini Published July 31, 2023 Abstract Since its discovery in 1943, LSD has been used by artists, scientists, and intellectuals, amongst others, to stimulate their creative insights. Federico Fellini, one of the most important film directors in the  …


The Drug Science Podcast and Medical Cannabis

By Mags Houston – Head of Projects and Communications at Drug Science  Even before I joined the Drug Science team, the Drug Science podcast has been a vital and inspiring source of information for me when it comes to UK drug policy. I recall listening to a couple of early episodes as I prepared for  …


Reagent Testing Information

Any type of recreational drug use is likely to carry a degree of risk, both long-term and short-term. This is true for legal recreational drug use like drinking alcohol and smoking tobacco, but is heightened for illicit drug use. One reason for this, among others, is that illicit drugs are, by nature, unregulated. It is  …


A call for cannabis research reform in New Zealand: Why real world evidence and patients’ voices matter

Dr Fiona HuttonAssociate Professor at the Institute of CriminologyDirector Te Herenga Waka – Victoria University, Wellington Dr Geoff NollerBioethics Department, Dunedin School of Medicine, University of Otago, Dunedin Alice McSherry Doctoral Candidate at the School of Environment, University of Auckland While cannabis based medicines hold out the promise of much needed relief, at the same  …


Bayesian analysis of real-world data as evidence for drug approval: Remembering Sir Michael Rawlins

Authors Balázs Szigeti, Lawrence D. Phillips and David Nutt Published July 17, 2023 Background The two pillars of modern medical research are where in most randomized controlled trials (RCTs), the active treatment is compared with placebo. A recent expert consensus survey endorsed the statement that ‘Results from placebo-controlled trials are more reliable than results from  …


Impact of the introduction of medical cannabis in the UK on risk perception and recreational use of cannabis: A longitudinal and cross-sectional analysis

Authors Jon Waldron, Meryem Grabski, Tom P Freeman, Margriet Van Laar and Valerie Curran Published July 4, 2023 Background Cannabis was rescheduled in the UK in November 2018 so that it can now be prescribed as a treatment for certain medical conditions. It is not yet known whether this has had an impact on peoples’  …


Minorities’ diminished psychedelic returns

Authors Sean M Viña and Amanda L Stephens Published June 23, 2023 Abstract Although there is a growing support for the use of psychedelics to improve the health of marginalized groups, there are some critical gaps. First, no empirical studies have examined the effects of psychedelics on Black Americans. Second, there is little research on  …


Drugs: What are they good for? - 5-MeO-DMT

Written by Sally Turner MSc  What is 5-MeO-DMT? 5-methoxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine, or ‘toad venom’ as it’s better known, is a tryptamine psychedelic that occurs naturally in multiple species of plants and shrubs, is present endogenously in some humans (1, 2), and is excreted by the Colorado river toad (hence the nickname). 5-MeO-DMT has been consumed by indigenous  …


Psychedelic therapy in the treatment of addiction: the past, present and future

Authors Rayyan Zafar, Maxim Siegel, Rebecca Harding, Tommaso Barba, Claudio Agnorelli, Shayam Suseelan, Leor Roseman, Matthew Wall, David Nutt and David Erritzoe Published June 12, 2023 Abstract Psychedelic therapy has witnessed a resurgence in interest in the last decade from the scientific and medical communities with evidence now building for its safety and efficacy in  …


A roadmap for psychedelic pharmacy in Canada

Authors Jaden Brandt Published April 25th, 2023 Abstract The unprecedented progress in the science and clinical investigation of psychedelic medicine will require those in healthcare leadership and the legislative policy arena to conceptualize how future reforms, policy creation, and clinical practice should occur to broaden access to these agents while simultaneously maximizing effectiveness and mitigating  …


Drug Science submits evidence to the ACMD Nitrous Oxide Review

The Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD) is collecting written evidence regarding the health and social harms of nitrous oxide. Background In 2015 the ACMD considered the emerging issue of nitrous oxide abuse. In 2021, the then Home Secretary commissioned the ACMD to conduct an updated health and social harms assessment and whether  …


Psychedelics for managing pain

Dr. Joanna Kempner Dr. Joanna Kempner is a professor of sociology at Rutgers University, where she studies the overlap of science, medicine, technology, and inequality. When institutionalized medicine has failed to provide adequate treatment options in the past, people tend to mobilise as a movement to develop their own options. In the past, this can  …


Response from Drug Science to the Australian Government consultation on potential reforms to the regulation of nicotine vaping products

Border controls No legislative changes ought to be made to Australia’s current border controls for nicotine products. The black market and mislabelling of nicotine e-liquids exists precisely because Nicotine Vaping Products (NVPs) are regulated as medicines and only available on prescription. Given the reluctance of many General Practitioners (GPs) to prescribe, the complicated policies and  …