Are psychedelics dangerous? - What the research says

Authors Anne K Schlag, Jacob Aday, Iram Salam, Jo C Neill, David J Nutt Published February 3, 2022 Psychedelic medicines are a rapidly developing area of clinical research and public health policy. Despite an increasing body of studies highlighting their efficacy to treat a broad range of medical conditions, psychedelic drugs remain a controversial issue  …


Professional Perspectives on Treatment for Substance Use Disorders with Mental Health Problems

Authors Ben Houghton, Alexis Bailey, Christos Kouimtsidis, Theodora Duka, Caitlin Notley Published November 25, 2021 Background Opioid-related deaths are at record levels in the UK and contribute to over half of all drug-related deaths. The prevalence of psychiatric disorders within people who uses substances is known to be considerably higher than the general population, yet  …


Patient Perspective on Psychedelic Therapy - Q and A

A personal Q&A from two patients of psychedelic therapy:   Psilocybin for depression – Michael Bourne Michael Bourne is a 57-year-old website designer from the North East of England, who tried several unsuccessful depression treatments, including talking therapy and prescription medications, before turning to psilocybin clinical trials. Michael took part in research into psilocybin treatment  …


Facing drug addiction: Vietnam’s struggle with opioids

Authors Dang Minh Hieu, Benjamin Gray, Dang Minh Tuan, Benjamin P Colman Published August 29, 2021 Drug addiction is a historical issue in Vietnam. Although Vietnam has a long history as a producer of opium poppies and crossroads for the illicit drug trade, it now has some of the most stringent drug laws in the  …


Addiction, Trauma and Ayahuasca - The Patient Perspective

In this Drug Science webinar, we learn how ayahuasca may be helpful in the treatment of addiction, trauma, and anger issues from addiction recovery coach Mark Drax, who describes the efficacy of ayahuasca to treat sex addiction. From the age of 3, Mark Drax’ childhood was riddled with physical abuse both in his home and  …


Managing kratom dependency with Buprenorphine during covid-19: A case report

Authors: Rosalind Gittins & Samantha Cole Published: July 19, 2021 This paper describes a case report where buprenorphine was successfully used for the management of kratom (Mitragyna speciosa) dependency during the Covid-19 pandemic in a specialist community substance misuse treatment service. The individual had a notable iatrogenic dependency on oral over the counter and prescribed  …

Addiction in Psychiatry

Drug usage is currently extremely high and it is particularly prevalent amongst those suffering from mental health conditions. Despite this, many healthcare workers are not trained to recognise the signs of substance misuse and are often unaware of how to treat this distinctive patient group appropriately.  Psychiatric patients who use drugs are much less likely  …


#33 - Trauma and Stress

 This week’s episode features Dr Gabor Maté, a Hungarian-Canadian physician who’s main interests include childhood development and trauma, and their impact on lifelong physical and mental health. Professor Nutt and Dr Maté talk about the inseparable nature of our body and mind. How do they affect each other? How can psychedelics offer therapeutic potential  …


Medical cannabis dependence: A critical review of issues and evidence

Authors: Anne K Schlag, Chandni Hindocha, Rayyan Zafar, David J Nutt, H Valerie Curran Published: February 17, 2021 This Drug Science research was published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. For recreational users, the estimated chances of becoming dependent on cannabis after any lifetime exposure is 8.9%, which is considerably lower than for cocaine (20.9%), alcohol  …

#25 - Treating Addiction with Psychedelics

Tobacco and alcohol are the largest sources of preventable death in the world. Our current treatments are only 15% effective at best. However, psilocybin-assisted therapy has achieved an astonishing 80% success rate in clinical trials. Professor Matthew Johnson is paving the way for this new an innovative treatment to address one of the most damaging  …


#21 - Drugs and consciousness

In this episode of the Drug Science podcast, Professor Nutt is joined by an old friend who he has known for 35 years. Professor Roland Griffiths is a researcher who has examined a wide range of psychotropic substances over the years. He has studied, the abuse potential of a number of different substances; caffeine dependence  …


Addiction Psychiatry in the NHS in the Time of Coronavirus

By Dr Tracey Myton MRCPsych Consultant Addiction Psychiatrist Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust   March 2020 seems like a lifetime ago. Coronavirus came nearer and nearer and was viewed with varying degrees of gravity whilst we went about our daily business. In mid-March we were called to seriously consider how our services should  …


Letter to the Home Office - Supply of controlled drugs

The Home Secretary has this week amended the Misuse of Drugs Regulations 2001, providing Ministers with emergency powers concerning the supply of controlled drugs such as morphine in specified circumstances during a pandemic. Ministers now have the option to trigger additional flexibilities during the covid-19 pandemic, such as allowing pharmacies to supply controlled medication without  …


Society’s inconsistent moral judgements of potentially harmful activities

What do horse riding, motorsports, base jumping, mountain climbing, storm chasing, and drug use have in common? They are of all course all potentially dangerous activities pursued for a thrill, a rush, and often a great deal of enjoyment. But in our modern-day prohibitionist culture, one of those things is not seen as being like  …


#4 - Addiction

Professor David Nutt sits down with Mark Johnson and Ian Miller to discuss the science, and challenge the concept, of addiction. • Why do some people become ‘addicted’ to drugs and others do not? • Is addiction physical or psychological? • Should drug and alcohol services focus on the drug or the individual? • How  …


Controversies in substance misuse in the older person

There are a range of issues facing us in relation to substance misuse in the older person: some are ongoing controversies and uncertainties; some are myths; and others certainties. Much of these issues are covered in depth in a new report published by the Royal College of Psychiatrists this year – Our Invisible Addicts. There  …

Addiction: from basic neuroscience to clinical treatments

This blog piece is a book chapter written by David Nutt from a book on addiction, targeted at Sixth Form and secondary school students What is addiction? Addiction is a behavioural pattern that certain people experience as a result of taking part in certain activities such as gambling or taking some drugs. Addiction, particularly to  …