In defence of the decriminalisation of drug possession in the UK

Authors Alex Stevens, Niamh Eastwood and Kirstie Douse Published March 24, 2024 Abstract In this review article, we develop the case for the decriminalisation of drug possession in the UK by describing our ‘modest proposal’ to repeal the relevant sections of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and its advantages. We defend this proposal against  …


Childhood trauma, challenging experiences, and post traumatic growth in ayahuasca use

Authors Ksenia Cassidy, CJ Healy, Eva Henje and Wendy D’Andrea Published March 20, 2024 Abstract Challenging experiences in ayahuasca use, childhood trauma, and posttraumatic growth have not been investigated systematically. This study aimed to explore whether a self-reported history of childhood trauma was associated with challenging experiences during acute ayahuasca effects and whether such challenging  …


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  …


Participation in an indigenous Amazonian-led ayahuasca retreat associated with increases in nature relatedness – a pilot study

Authors Simon GD Ruffell, Sam Gandy, WaiFung Tsang, Rono Lopez, Nathan O’Rourke, Arsalan Akhtar, Nige Netzband, Jack Hollingdale, Daniel Perkins and Jerome Sarris Published February 28, 2024 Abstract Indigenous Amazonian shamanic ayahuasca practice is embedded in a nature-based context and is employed as an ecological mediating agent and in collective environmental decision-making processes by some  …


Teaching Children about Vaping

Written by Hannah Dawes  In a world of misinformation, what can we teachers do? What should we do? How to capture the strained attention of a young audience and give them something useful? TikTok makes for gripping viewing. One video shows stock footage of a coffin being lowered into the ground. My friend died of  …


Minorities’ diminished psychedelic returns: Cardio-metabolic health

Authors Sean Matthew Viña Published January 9, 2024 Abstract Although there is a growing support for the protective factor of psychedelics to improve mental and physical health, these effects may differ across racial and ethnic groups. Race differences remain a critically understudied gap in psychedelic literature. Recent empirical research into Minority Diminished Psychedelic Returns suggests  …


Results from Long COVID trial published

We are delighted to share the news that the results from the Long COVID trial have been published by the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology. Access Publication Long COVID, a condition characterised by persistent symptoms following a COVID-19 infection, presents a significant challenge for both patients and healthcare providers. You can read our published review  …


UK’s largest medical cannabis study announces new industry partners

Drug Science is pleased to welcome three new industry partners to its groundbreaking medical cannabis study, T21 (formerly Project TWENTY21) They are SOMAí Pharmaceuticals, Blackpoint Biotech and 4Clabs who will be joining long-standing partner EthyPharm as collaborators. Launched in 2019, and now over 4000 patients in, T21 is building the scientific evidence base for the  …


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  …


Today’s ban on 'laughing gas' is wrong - Prof David Nutt

The government’s ban on nitrous oxide comes into force today (Wednesday 8th November, 2023) and possession of the drug is now a criminal act in the United Kingdom. Drug Science’s founder, Professor David Nutt, says: “We believe the ban is wrong. It is completely disproportionate to nitrous oxide’s harms. It will place a new burden  …


We have launched our new consultancy arm

Founded in 2010 by the neuropsychopharmacologist Professor David Nutt, independent research charity Drug Science is the leading organisation of its kind in the UK — we built a renowned international reputation as thought leaders, particularly around the study of cannabis and psychedelics. Today, we launch Drug Science Consultancy, to provide research advice and consultancy services  …


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  …


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’  …


Psilocybin for Existential Distress - the UK needs to show some compassion

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,  …


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  …