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Drug Science launches Working Group on Psychedelics

An illustration of a woman opening the key in her mind and being able to see out of the dark into the light

On July 14th 2020, the UK’s leading independent scientific body on drugs launched the Drug Science Medical Psychedelics Working Group.

Drug Science provides an evidence base free from political or commercial influence, creating the foundation for sensible and effective drug laws, by delivering, reviewing and investigating scientific evidence relating to psychoactive drugs.

Drug Science believes that the future of psychedelic medicine is extremely promising, and there is potential for widespread application of psychedelic drugs within public health models. The UK is a world leader in the development of clinical psychedelic research, which is now expanding globally.

However, current UK regulations have created serious and considerable barriers to legitimate research associated with Schedule 1 regulations. While current legislation does not preclude scientific research with these drugs, it does make them significantly more difficult, time-consuming and costly to study.

With a greater understanding amongst policy makers, academics, the media and the general public, there are realistic prospects of regulatory approval, leading to the evidenced possibility that medical psychedelics can be used safely, feasibly and with the potential for lasting therapeutic benefits.

Building off the success of the Medical Cannabis Working Group, the Medical Psychedelics Working Group is a consortium of Drug Science experts, leading academics, researchers and policy specialists, supported by industry partners.

List of people in the Scientific Committee

List of people who are policy specialists

The group’s aim is to create a rational and enlightened approach to psychedelic research and clinical treatment. The group will explore innovation within the psychedelic space with a specific focus on how psychedelics can be integrated into primary and secondary healthcare. Evidence-based science, sharing data, and strong partnerships are keys to success for the psychedelic community. The purpose of this group is to break down the barriers of 50 years of medical censorship by creating a rational and enlightened approach to psychedelic research and clinical treatment, ensuring the UK is a world leader in psychedelic medicine.

The Drug Science Medical Psychedelic Working Group will work in collaboration with industry partners Alta Flora, AWAKN, Entheos, Neo Kuma, Neuropharm, Scarlette Lillie Science & Innovation and Small Pharma

At launch, we released a series of educational materials for health care professionals (HCPs & trainees) that examine the history, law and pharmacology of MDMA and Psilocybin. We have expanded  these to included DMT and Ayahuasca, and will continue to provide additional educational materials on other substances. It is essential that HCPs learn about the benefits and potential harms of these substances. These slide sets will enable future HCPs to provide patients with valuable information and help support them in their decisions about their treatment plan.

For further information on Drug Science, the Medical Psychedelics Working Group, please contact James Bunn –

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